Paul Taylor casts off the shackles of smooth jazz to release a contemporary instrumental gem that is tenacious!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
Paul Taylor has been a model of consistency for close to two decades. Smooth jazz is an unfair tag to hang on Paul as his entire vibe has settled into a more urban contemporary feel and Tenacity takes to it the next level. A lyrical intense and focused release that manipulates flavor and texture as one. Some special friends drop by to lend a hand, two of the best contemporary keyboard players rolling today in Jeff Lorber and Jonathan Fritzen add their own unique harmonic blend to a release that while diverse in presentation is executed with a melodic precision to have Tenacity as arguably Taylor's finest release to date.
One of the keys to success with Tenacity would include working with one producer, namely long time musical co-conspirator Dino Esposito. We get a tighter sound with a deeper color palette that takes tunes that might ordinarily be overlooked and raises them to a new melodic level. Highlights are numerous with "Luxe" standing out as part of the new dynamic sound for contemporary instrumental jazz. Paul Taylor's soprano is fluid while guest Jeff Lorber creates a more ambient texture than normally found in this genre. The closer "Empire" is a somewhat dark evocative piece built on the meticulous manipulation of texture while staying the lyrical course.
Paul's last release, Prime Time hit the top ten on the Billboard Jazz chart. Prime Time was really good, this is even better. Paul Taylor's game is tight, a model artist that knows who he is and where he is going. Contemporary instrumental music has taken some hits, Paul Taylor is one of a handful of artists that can help the genre get back on track.
Nothing to grind on here.
Tracks" Supernova; Tenacity; Awakening; Spur of The Moment; Luxe; Peace Of Mind; Wicked Games; Open Road; More To Come; Empire.
March 8 Arizona Jazz Festival, Phoenix Az.
Aprill 11 Pelham Civic Center, Pelham Al.
May 2 Sculler's Jazz Club, Boston Ma.