Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...


Sam Taylor: My Future Just Passed

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
In jazz, whether right or wrong, instrumentation carries associations. If you put saxophone, trumpet, bass, and drums together, a portion of jazz fans will automatically think of Ornette Coleman before they hear a note; if you bring together clarinet, vibraphone, piano, and drums, many listeners will immediately move toward Benny Goodman; and if you build a brass ensemble bolstered by drums, you're bound to get thoughts of Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy. Those artists who got there first, did it best, and/or broke new ground with a less-than-commonplace lineup are, logically, the ones that we often recall or go back to.

In the case of a tenor saxophone-fronted trio with bass and drums, Sonny Rollins is usually the go-to reference point. With the release of A Night At The Village Vanguard (Blue Note, 1958), Rollins proved that a brave and musically astute soul could beat the odds, successfully establishing and navigating harmonic parameters while swinging away and duking it out with bass and drums. After that, every other tenor who took to that format was doomed to be compared to Rollins. Enter Sam Taylor. For this, his first record, Taylor chose to present a working trio, featuring bassist Aidan O'Donnell and drummer Taro Okamoto. The music this band delivers—not unlike Rollins' work in this type of setting—alternately swings, prances, and sighs. And Taylor even tackles Rollins' "Why Don't I," further inviting comparison to the Saxophone Colossus. But let's stop there. For as common and understandable as these comparison acts may be, they remain odious and, at least in this case, a bit misguided. Nobody should have to bear the weight of comparison against Rollins, and when it comes to tone quality, improvisational tactics, and musical comportment, Taylor is his own man, built firmly in the tradition yet speaking with his own sense of purpose.

With My Future Just Passed, Taylor demonstrates that presence need not be associated with excess, patience and space have their place, and every strong player, regardless of the instrument in their hand, is a rhythm man at heart. Across these nine tracks he shows himself to be a mature musician who's wise beyond his years. Instead of trying to find the "new thing," working a progressive agenda, or throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks, he makes his mark by doing what he does best: swinging along, singing ballads through his horn, batting it around with Okamoto, and selling the songs with a straight pitch.

The first two numbers on the album—the lively "Love Me Or Leave Me" and the beautifully direct "My Future Just Passed"—mark Taylor as an old soul, and everything that follows just helps to confirm that initial impression. He charms with the gently coasting "She's Funny That Way," cheerily glides along over his band mates as they embark on "Eronel," visits "You Are Too Beautiful" all by his lonesome, and focuses in on his rapport with Okamoto on a duo performance of "T.O.'s Blues." There's no insane reharmonization here, no blisteringly fast tempos, no knotty compositions, and no maze-like metric games. Taylor just dishes it out straight and honest, and in this case, that's enough to do the job.

Track Listing: Love Me Or Leave Me; My Future Just Passed; Do Something; She's Funny That Way; Why Don't I; Mean To Me; Eronel; You Are Too Beautiful; T.O.'s Blues.

Personnel: Sam Taylor: tenor saxophone; Aidan O'Donnell: bass; Taro Okamoto: drums.

Title: My Future Just Passed | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Cellar Live


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.

Related Articles

Read Everything's OK CD/LP/Track Review
Everything's OK
by Doug Collette
Published: December 16, 2018
Read Making Bones, Taking Draughts, Bearing Unstable Millstones Pridefully, Idiotically, Prosaically CD/LP/Track Review
Making Bones, Taking Draughts, Bearing Unstable Millstones...
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 16, 2018
Read Legacy CD/LP/Track Review
by Doug Collette
Published: December 16, 2018
Read Other Life Forms CD/LP/Track Review
Other Life Forms
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 16, 2018
Read Live At Moods CD/LP/Track Review
Live At Moods
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 16, 2018
Read Runner in the Rain CD/LP/Track Review
Runner in the Rain
by Troy Dostert
Published: December 15, 2018
Read "The Brave" CD/LP/Track Review The Brave
by Geannine Reid
Published: December 11, 2018
Read "La Terza Via" CD/LP/Track Review La Terza Via
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 9, 2018
Read "Music For David Mossman / Live At Vortex London" CD/LP/Track Review Music For David Mossman / Live At Vortex London
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 7, 2018
Read "Cabin In The Sky" CD/LP/Track Review Cabin In The Sky
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 30, 2018
Read "Oriental Orbit" CD/LP/Track Review Oriental Orbit
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 19, 2018
Read "Live in Miami @ the WDNA Jazz Gallery" CD/LP/Track Review Live in Miami @ the WDNA Jazz Gallery
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 5, 2018