Asked what kind of music he writes, composer / guitarist Taylor replies, “Tom Taylor music.” He does have a keen ear for a charming melody, that’s for sure. Jazz, strictly speaking, it ain’t (although some parts might qualify); interesting, it definitely is. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Taylor’s eccentric compositions, which blend elements of Jazz, rock, bluegrass, baroque, world music and other formats into an appetizing smorgasbord that isn’t easy to pigeonhole — which, I’m sure Taylor would agree, is the whole idea. Taylor hasn’t much good to say about Jazz (“whose formula . . . was exhausted years ago”) or classical music (“an aural museum”) as a whole, and he may have a valid point; on the other hand, the cause of music in general might be better served if such sentiments were left unspoken. And if one chooses to inveigh against those genres, perhaps he shouldn’t quote Mahler or offer as laudable musical examplars Mozart, Stravinsky, Schoenberg or Ellington. He is, however, entitled to his opinion. Our opinion of Taylor’s music is that it is tasteful and well–crafted but rarely as seminal as he may presume. Taylor says he is optimistic about the future, as are we, although for different reasons. He awaits the arrival of fresh new musical forms destined to revolutionize musical concepts, much as Beethoven did in the early 19th century and Stravinsky the 20th, whereas we look forward to a time when the music Taylor reproves — Jazz and classical — will undergo a resurgence in strength and acceptance unlike anything seen before. Either way, souls would be refreshed and the human race enriched, so we’ll plead for Taylor’s dream as well as our own.
Track listing: Aubade; Pasque March; Swamp Fox; Big Basin Breakdown; D’Alien; Freerun; Greensleeves; The Crossing (42:31).
Tom Taylor, composer, electric and acoustic guitar; Joe Caploe, vibes, marimba, percussion; Rick Steffens, electric and acoustic bass; Curt Moore, drums, percussion. With help from Ian Dogole, percussion (3, 5, 8); Erik Golub, violin (4