39

Taylor's Universe: Kind of Red

Dave Wayne By

Sign in to view read count
Taylor's Universe: Kind of Red Danish multi-instrumentalist Robin Taylor is something of a musical polymath who's recorded extensively in a number of disparate musical arenas, including free improvisation (with his group Taylor's Free Universe), hard rock (with Art Cinema), electronic soundscapes, and jazz-rock fusion. With Kind of Red, Taylor's stylistic focus is firmly in the general area of instrumental progressive rock.

Taylor's appealing, evocative, minor-key compositions typically have a somber demeanor that is offset by driving, often odd-metered rhythms. Though he plays all the instruments except for the horns and the drums, Taylor's not one to grandstand. In fact, he solos very little throughout Kind of Red's eight tracks. Instead of stepping out as an improviser, Taylor applies his formidable arranging skills to produce some really memorable musical landscapes and atmospheres by juxtaposing and layering different keyboard and guitar sounds in bizarre and unexpected ways. This approach is most fully realized on "Tortugas," a compositional tour de force that frames a spooky, sludgy rubato section between harder-rocking passages based on at least four distinct, interlocking themes.

Despite the pun inherent in the CD's title, there are no obvious Miles Davis references to be heard on Kind of Red, though veteran trumpeter Hugh Steinmetz—a charter member of the '70s Danish prog rock band Burnin' Red Ivanhoe, and John Tchicai's late '60s free jazz band Nova Cadetia Danica—is the featured soloist on several tracks. Steinmetz is a joy to hear—his distinctive, flowing improvisations are among the Kind of Red's high points.

Saxophonist Jakob Mygind (ss/ts) is the CD's other principal soloist, and another wonderful musical find. He's an expressive player who has a chameleonic approach to the instrument, wailing rock 'n' roll sax like Clarence Clemons on "Salon Bleu," in a David Sanborn-on-tenor bag on "Jakriborg," and blowing eloquent Wayne Shorter-ish soprano on "Firestone," and "Crackpot Men." Versatile drummer Klaus Thrane can definitely flash the high-gloss fusion chops when needed, but stays deep in the pocket throughout much of the CD.

Though Taylor's clearly not trying to recreate the sub-genre's salad days, anyone enamored of the sort of music made by bands such as King Crimson (particularly the Mel Collins/Boz Burrell incarnation), Gentle Giant, and Emerson, Lake & Palmer will definitely enjoy this disc. Unlike a lot of '70s progressive rock, nothing Taylor does seems self-consciously complex or grandiose. There's a cinematic feel to much of Kind of Red. It's almost the musical equivalent of a Hitchcock film—intelligent, approachable, even humorous in places, but vaguely unsettling and a little weird overall.

Track Listing: Firestone; Jakriborg; Crackpot Men; Sunday Imagine; Salon Bleu; Terasso; Tortugas; Lost in Jakriborg.

Personnel: Robin Taylor: guitars, basses, keyboards, percussion, voice; Jakob Mygind: soprano and tenor saxophones; Hugh Steinmetz: trumpet, flugelhorn; Klaus Thrane: drums; Louis Nipper: Ghost Voices (5); Jan Fischer: Ghost Voices (5).

Title: Kind Of Red | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Marvel of Beauty


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Attic CD/LP/Track Review The Attic
by John Sharpe
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Outside The Comfort Zone CD/LP/Track Review Outside The Comfort Zone
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 24, 2017
Read # 1 CD/LP/Track Review # 1
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Tetrawind CD/LP/Track Review Tetrawind
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Triplicate CD/LP/Track Review Triplicate
by Doug Collette
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs CD/LP/Track Review Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 23, 2017
Read "Peninsular" CD/LP/Track Review Peninsular
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: April 16, 2017
Read "Conditions" CD/LP/Track Review Conditions
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 16, 2016
Read "Have Yourself an Alto Madness Christmas" CD/LP/Track Review Have Yourself an Alto Madness Christmas
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 4, 2016
Read "Heaven" CD/LP/Track Review Heaven
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 19, 2017
Read "The Twilight Fall" CD/LP/Track Review The Twilight Fall
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 9, 2017
Read "Daylight Ghosts" CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: July 10, 2017

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!