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Sam Taylor: Let Go


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Sam Taylor: Let Go
Presenting his third offering from the Cellar Live record label, Harlem-based and Philadelphia native, saxophonist Sam Taylor unleashes an exciting bop-filled package of contemporary jazz covers, making a superb job of interpreting the music of composers such as Benny Golson, Hank Jones, Jule Styne and Jimmy Van Heusen and laying down sturdy new treatments of oft-recorded and ageless classics. The goal of this project is best described by the saxophonist himself in the liner notes when he states: "Fill the room with a warm, big sound. Feel the beat, swing hard with purpose, honoring the spirit of those before. Music is an act of giving. Let Go."

The quintet assembled for this recording is an all-star cast with the inclusion of trumpeter Terrell Stafford, drummer Willie Jones III along with bassist Neal Miner and pianist Jeb Patton, making this group pf players, one of the finest quintets in the business and their play here is definite proof.

The music opens with an explosive version of Barry Harris' "Luminescence" featuring Stafford's howling trumpet, Patton's fine key work and Jones' pounding on the drums alongside the leader's tenor. It's a certain keeper. The title track happens to be the only original from Taylor but still, one deep groove and integral part of the swinging theme of the set.

Though the swing is the meat of the album, Hank Jones' "Angel Face" takes a departure with a warm and gentle treatment of a beautiful ballad that Taylor and the band play to the heart. Golson's "Out of the Past" is another light number with Stafford reaching slightly as Taylor tones it down a bit on a mellow tune with a slight kick to it. Two of the defining pieces of the session have to be the standard "Here's That Rainy Day" and Joe Magnarelli's "Philly New York Junction," arguably, two of the best tracks on the album sure to be played often as they happen to be featured back-to-back

Other notable tunes on the album are "Getting Together," "You're Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile" and the wonderful Styne cover and finale "Bye, Bye Baby." True to his own musical values, Sam Taylor's intent in designing this album, which was to "Surrender the music... interpreting the songs and sharing with others, may well be realized if we follow his lead, embrace the music and simply, Let Go.

Track Listing

Luminescence; Let Go; Angel Face; Getting' Together; Out Of The Past; Prisoner Of Love; Here's That Rainy Day; Philly New York Junction; You're Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile; Bye Bye Baby


Sam Taylor
saxophone, tenor
Neal Miner
bass, acoustic

Album information

Title: Let Go | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Cellar Music Group



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