All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

419

Chad Taylor: Circle Down

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
In-demand indie rock session player (Sam Prekop, Iron and Wine) and co-founder of the Basil Coetzee with Rob Mazurek, drummer Chad Taylor has quickly become an indispensable part of the New York scene since his relocation from Chicago in 2000. His recurrent collaborations with Cooper-Moore, Jemeel Moondoc, and Marc Ribot feature his talents in a wide variety of settings, but none quite as dynamic as the ensemble documented on Circle Down, the debut of his trio with pianist Angelica Sanchez and bassist Chris Lightcap—sympathetic peers who inspire some of Taylor's most nuanced playing.

Bolstered by astute listening skills and amiable restraint, Taylor, Sanchez, and Lightcap's intimate three-way dialogues unveil subtly inventive interpretations of hallowed traditions, embracing a range of genres and styles across the album. Writing credits are shared by Sanchez and Lightcap on the first half of the record, while the second is attributed to Taylor.

Lightcap contributes an eclectic trio of tunes, veering from the bittersweet folksiness of "Box Step" and the propulsive Latin rhythms of "Specifica" to the oblique contours of "Traipse." A compelling writer and formidable improviser, Sanchez's dazzling virtuosity is showcased on her muscular, yet introspective "Rock" and the vivacious "No Brainer."

The remaining compositions are Taylor's, who embraces a diverse array of styles. A pair of ballads highlights his lyricism—the poetic "Opal" and a romantic tribute to his wife, "Miriam"—while his penchant for experimentation materializes on "Level." A scintillating mosaic of sound woven from Sanchez's knotty filigrees, Lightcap's sinuous bass lines, and Taylor's crisp accents, the tempestuous mantra balances unfettered abstraction with harmonic ingenuity. Fueled by ebullient Afro-Cuban rhythms, the celebratory "Pablo" and infectious "Pascal" conclude the album on a high note.

Providing a cohesive sensibility to the proceedings, the trio offers subtle shifts in approach with each stylistic change. Their congenial rapport informs their intertwining discourse, yielding unconventional arrangements that keep solo orders and accompaniment unpredictable and fresh.

A dynamic and refined session featuring the stellar interplay of an empathetic trio, Circle Down is Taylor's most sophisticated work to date.


Track Listing: Box Step; Specifica; Rock; Traipse; No Brainer; Opal; Level; Miriam; Pablo; Pascal.

Personnel: Chris Lightcap: bass; Angelica Sanchez: piano; Chad Taylor: drums.

Title: Circle Down | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: 482 Music

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Myths and Morals

Myths and Morals

ears&eyes Records
2018

buy
Circle Down

Circle Down

482 Music
2009

buy

Related Articles

Read Royal Family CD/LP/Track Review
Royal Family
by Chris May
Published: November 19, 2018
Read W CD/LP/Track Review
W
by John Eyles
Published: November 19, 2018
Read Igbó Alákọrin CD/LP/Track Review
Igbó Alákọrin
by Jim Trageser
Published: November 19, 2018
Read Hello Human CD/LP/Track Review
Hello Human
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: November 19, 2018
Read Svårmod Och Vemod Är Värdesinnen CD/LP/Track Review
Svårmod Och Vemod Är Värdesinnen
by Vitalijus Gailius
Published: November 19, 2018
Read Ancestros CD/LP/Track Review
Ancestros
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 18, 2018
Read "Audacity" CD/LP/Track Review Audacity
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: June 30, 2018
Read "Book Of Sound" CD/LP/Track Review Book Of Sound
by Gareth Thompson
Published: December 8, 2017
Read "Windows" CD/LP/Track Review Windows
by Chris May
Published: August 25, 2018
Read "Tone Twister" CD/LP/Track Review Tone Twister
by Geannine Reid
Published: December 19, 2017
Read "Cubafrobeat" CD/LP/Track Review Cubafrobeat
by Chris May
Published: August 12, 2018
Read "Closer To Home" CD/LP/Track Review Closer To Home
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 20, 2018