Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

174

Paul Taylor: Nightlife

Woodrow Wilkins By

Sign in to view read count
It's easy to pigeonhole Paul Taylor into the class of sax-playing bandleaders that graduated from the Kenny G school of instrumental pop—capitalizing on the melodic soprano sax craze that has prevailed over the last two decades, in terms of radio play and record sales. Perhaps too easy.

Taylor has recorded a number of melodic, soprano sax-led songs over the years, including several with the Rippingtons. However, to presume this is all the man is about would be grossly unfair. For one thing, he also plays the alto sax and clearly belongs in the same class as players like Eric Marienthal, Jeff Kashiwa, and perhaps even David Sanborn. For another, Taylor brings in an element of funk that contradicts the popular image that sugary soprano leads epitomize the genre of smooth jazz.

Taylor brings all these elements together on his newest release, Nightlife, a blend of funky, groove-oriented music that could—and perhaps should—fit into playlists from several genres.

"The key to making a great album is finding the perfect balance every time between cool, straightforward melodies people can quickly latch on to and the desire to play edgier songs and procude cutting-edge tracks," Taylor says. "I wanted to get back in touch with all the things that made my last CD such a great experience, but also make the new one more upbeat and slightly tilted toward alto over soprano sax."

Mission accomplished. The album starts with a heavy dose of soulful funk with the opening title song, followed by "East Bay Bounce" and the super-funky "Around the Corner." Guest vocalist Maxi Priest joins Taylor's ensemble for a slick, reggae-inspired cover of Force MDs' "Tender Love." And while Nightlife makes extensive use of programming technology, it's not the cookie-cutter variety that serves as more of a distraction than a subtle background to the lead and solo instruments. In this case, the programs blend almost seamlessly into the overall soundscape.

Supported by such talents as bassist Alex Al, trombonist Nick Lane, and keyboardist Rex Rideout, Taylor offers a convincing display of musicianship that affirms for some—and reaffirms for others—that he deserves to be counted among the best contemporary/smooth jazz sax players.

Track Listing: Nightlife; East Bay Bounce; Around the Corner; Enjoy the Ride; Tender Love; Anything You Say; Candlelight; Don't Wait Up; After Hours; Things Left Unsaid; Silk 'N' Lace.

Personnel: Paul Taylor, alto sax, soprano sax, sax harmonies; guitars: Dwight Sills, "Jubu" Smith, Brian Monroney, Phil Hamilton; bass: Freddie Washington, Alex Al, Ron Jenkins and Alex Evans; drums/percussion: Michael White; drums: Ricky Lawson; trombone: Nick Lane and Ozzie Melendez; flugelhorn: Walt Fowler; trumpet and flugelhorn: Barry Danielian; keyboards and programming: Rex Rideout, Barry J. Eastmond and Dino Esposito; Maxi Priest, lead and background vocals on "Tender Love"; Sara Devine, background vocals on "Tender Love"; Lauren Evans, background vocals on "Anything You Say."

Title: Nightlife | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Peak Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Roppongi CD/LP/Track Review Roppongi
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Is Life Long? CD/LP/Track Review Is Life Long?
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Contra la indecision CD/LP/Track Review Contra la indecision
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Vessel in Orbit CD/LP/Track Review Vessel in Orbit
by Don Phipps
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Pulse/Quartet CD/LP/Track Review Pulse/Quartet
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: January 19, 2018
Read OR CD/LP/Track Review OR
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2018
Read "History Of The Lisbon Chaplaincy" CD/LP/Track Review History Of The Lisbon Chaplaincy
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 13, 2017
Read "Planets + Persona" CD/LP/Track Review Planets + Persona
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 29, 2017
Read "Marseille" CD/LP/Track Review Marseille
by Ian Patterson
Published: November 26, 2017
Read "Moments Of Fatherhood" CD/LP/Track Review Moments Of Fatherhood
by John Sharpe
Published: April 9, 2017
Read "Straight Forward" CD/LP/Track Review Straight Forward
by Paul Rauch
Published: January 14, 2018
Read "Coalesce" CD/LP/Track Review Coalesce
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 27, 2017