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John Taylor: Giulia's Thursdays

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John TaylorGiulia's ThursdaysCam Jazz2012There has been a flurry of activity around film music this spring/summer 2012, all of it good. Warner Jazz has released an anthology of movie themes written by the Italian composer Nino Rota, Collector Nino Rota; Alex Sutton's piano trio took northern European movie composers as its inspiration on Legentis (F-IRE); and University of Illinois Press has published John Caps' biography, Henry Mancini: Reinventing Film Music.British pianist John Taylor's Giulia's Thursdays is a tribute to another Italian film and TV composer, Carlo Rustichelli. It is the fourth ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John Taylor: Requiem for a Dreamer

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It's been three years since John Taylor's last trio disc, but this time the British pianist takes a small detour, rather than continue the winning streak of Angel of the Presence (Cam Jazz, 2006) and Whirlpool (Cam Jazz, 2008). Requiem for a Dreamer reunites Taylor with his longstanding trio--Swedish bassist Palle Danielsson and British drummer Martin France--but with the addition of saxophonist Julian Argüelles., he makes an inspired choice, capitalizing on the chemistry of the trio while adding a fourth voice who provides some fresh blood without being an entirely unknown quantity. Taylor has long followed a ...

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John Taylor and John Geggie: Ottawa, Canada October 9, 2010

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John Taylor/John GeggieNational Arts Centre Fourth Stage Ottawa, Canada October 9, 2010 After an impressive start to its 2010 Fall/Winter Series, the TD Ottawa International Jazz Festival kept the momentum up by bringing another of modern jazz's finest pianists to town, less than a week after Chick Corea and his latest trio, with bassist Christian McBride and drummer Brian Blade, delivered a well-received show at Dominion Chalmers Church the previous Sunday. John Taylor so rarely makes it to North America that husband and wife Josh and Min Rager--both fine pianists in their own rights--not only caught ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John Taylor: Phases

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As much as he's become a major proponent of the piano trio tradition, John Taylor is gradually building a solo piano discography that may not be as voluminous or popularly acclaimed as those of Keith Jarrett's, but certainly bears comparison as much for its substantial differences as for any perceived similarities. While Taylor himself would cite Jarrett as being an influence alongside Bill Evans and Chick Corea, Phases further distances him from his roots, demonstrating ongoing growth from previous solo efforts Insight (Sketch, 2003) and Songs and Variations (Cam Jazz, 2005).

Jarrett largely approaches solo performance ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John Taylor: Whirlpool

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For his follow-up to the remarkable Angel of the Presence (Cam Jazz, 2006), John Taylor continues to mine the strong chemistry between himself, bassist Palle Danielsson and drummer Martin France. It's a more balanced set this time around, with three of the pianist's own compositions alongside three by longtime musical compatriot Kenny Wheeler, one jazz standard and a surprising reinvention of a classical piece by Gustav Holst.

Quietly, and without much fuss, Taylor has gradually emerged as one of the most important pianists of the past forty years. His lineage may include the romanticism and impressionism ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John Taylor: Whirlpool

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John Taylor is the pianist of weightlessness. Although overly simple, this aphoristic description of the English virtuoso's dense yet liberated musical discourse renders justice not only to its inherent quality, but to the effect it imparts to listeners. Suspended above an evanescent pulse, swift, jolted rhythms loose their grip; upwardly clouting modulating, mellifluous aural jaunts of texturally multifarious phrases and voicings. Tones, pristine and silvery, jump out like garish colors on a De Kooning canvas. Projects featuring his playing have a certain touch of sophistication and class, which he brings steadfastly. A plum listening experience, indeed, for fellow musicians and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Guildhall Big Band with Special Guest John Taylor: Pure and Simple

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It would be easy to call Pure and Simple a John Taylor project, since all the charts are his and he's a featured soloist on every track. But, as was the case with the Australian Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra's The Mothership Plays the Music of Mike Nock (Jazzgroove, 2006), that would be a mistake. As part of CAM Jazz's CAM Jazz Presents series, aimed at creating exposure for some of today's younger jazz talents, it's important to delineate this as an homage by the young Guildhall Big Band, with Taylor featured as guest pianist.

Britain's world-renowned Guildhall School of Music and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John Taylor: Angel of the Presence

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British pianist John Taylor has been an active player since the late 1960s with a range of partners including trumpeter Kenny Wheeler, reedman John Surman and drummer Peter Erskine. But, excluding his Azimuth trio with Wheeler and singer Norma Winstone, he has put out few releases as a leader until the beginning of this decade. Still, his manifest presence pervades every recording he's played on. In some cases, like his 1990s work with Erskine and bassist Palle Danielsson, so much so that it's hard to know who's really the leader--if, indeed, there is one at all. That very pursuit of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John Taylor: Angel of the Presence

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English pianist John Taylor, who's now in his mid-60s, has worked with a variety of partners on the ECM label. For a while there, he seemed to have nestled comfortably into a particular vibe, generally sounding quiet and lyrical, soft and elastic, not ever really crossing the line. He was quite reliable for that sort of thing, actually. But listening to this new trio release, recorded in late 2004, it's pretty clear that the pigeon has popped out of its hole. When did this happen?

Angel of the Presence is not all that big a surprise in the end, given ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John Taylor: Angel of the Presence

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The title sums this record up perfectly. Presence can be defined as the feeling of being close to someone or something, sometimes of a supernatural order; and angels, symbols of spiritual elevation and purity, are ethereal heavenly beings. English pianist/composer John Taylor has succeeded in crystallizing the two not only in a poetic title, but also the music on this release. Maybe the aptly titled album is a quiet homage to the late pianist's spouse, whose computer-generated artistic work garnishes the album's cover and liner notes? Throughout, the presence of angels is felt nearby.

Steve Swallow's “Up Too ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kenny Wheeler & John Taylor: Where Do We Go From Here?

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Over the past thirty years, pianist John Taylor has clearly been trumpeter Kenny Wheeler's accompanist of choice. Cerebral yet quietly passionate, intuitive and supportive, with a musical personality rooted in Bill Evans that has, nevertheless, long since evolved beyond comparative considerations, Taylor's ability to get inside Wheeler's often melancholic compositions is without equal. From big band records to intimate settings like this new CamJazz release, Where Do We Go From Here? , Taylor is the perfect foil for Wheeler, and neither have sounded better. Consisting of one standard, two Taylor compositions and seven mostly-new Wheeler compositions, this ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Charlie Haden/John Taylor: Nightfall

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Bassist Charlie Haden is in the enviable position of being able to play with pretty much anyone he wants. From his own Quartet West to duet recordings with Kenny Barron, Egberto Gismonti, and Pat Metheny to collaborations with Paul Bley, Joe Henderson, and Paul Motian, his spare yet deeply emotional approach has also made him a highly in demand session player. When the audiophile Naim gave him the chance to produce another in a series of duet recordings, his choice this time was British pianist John Taylor. The result, Nightfall , will be no surprise for Haden fans; but it ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John Taylor Trio: Rosslyn

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At age 61, pianist John Taylor has finally made his major label debut as a leader. But then again, Rosslyn doesn't really have a chieftain. Taylor, who has been a sideman since the 1970s, seems not to mind sharing his rostrum with his two bandmates: bassist Marc Johnson and drummer Joey Baron.

The British-born Taylor gained early recognition with John Surman, before becoming the house pianist at Ronnie Scott's club. Critical acclaim came with the group Azimuth (with Kenny Wheeler and Norma Winstone) who applied minimal or pulse music to improvisation. Last decade he sat in as the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kenny Wheeler, John Taylor: Moon

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Wheeler and Taylor have produced some great music together in the past, but seldom as irresistibly gorgeous as this. Confining himself to flugelhorn, Wheeler is lyric beauty personified, his mellifluously songlike improvisations burnished by a richly expressive tone; Taylor is the perfect partner, his piano matching and echoing Wheeler's explorations at every turn. It says much for clarinettist Mirabassi that he fits into this closely-knit duo so well when he joins them on three pieces. The material, six originals by Wheeler, three by Taylor, allow free rein to their imagination and the results are sublime, their beauty enhanced by the ...



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