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Fitting somewhere between the classical tributes to prog-rock, the Us3/Guru’s Jazzmatazz borrowings and Producer Tim Weston’s previous tribute to Brian Wilson, this collection of ten interpretations celebrates one of the most beloved songwriters of our time. Sketches of Jazz flies all over the greater jazz spectrum while keeping its Taylor-ed center. Kickin’ it open is Tower of Power, whose "Steamroller" is a hot and smooth crusher indeed.
Les McCann’s "Nobody But You" and Robben Ford’s "You Make It Easy" swim more on the blues side of the Delta, but Gerald Albright’s Sanborn-y sax shot through "Your Smiling Face" snaps firmly back into the smooth jazz range. While in the elevator, stay and enjoy Mitchel Forman’s gentle and fluid "Something in the Way She Moves," Pancho Sanchez’s hot and cool "Fire and Rain" and Oscar Castro Neves’ reedy "New Tune." While Flora Punim’s reading of "Only a Dream in Rio" seems transliterated at times, there is no denying that Shirley Horn knows "The Secret of Life."
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.