Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Curtis Taylor: Taylor Made


Curtis Taylor: Taylor Made


Sign in to view read count
Curtis Taylor: Taylor Made
From the classic Blue Note-inspired cover design to the wide range of bop-based jazz influences found within, trumpeter Curtis Taylor leaves no doubt about the vibe he is aiming for with his debut full-length release, Taylor Made. Taylor has been a frequently used sideman by artists such as Gregory Porter, Billy Childs, and Cyrus Chestnut, so it is a welcome occurrence that he is now able to step out on his own more convincingly. Seven well-designed compositions, and accomplished performances by Taylor and his colleagues, render it an enticing recording.

The opener, "Kham's Dilemma," has the elliptical feel of a Wayne Shorter tune from one of Miles Davis' mid to late- 60s albums. Taylor's melodic instincts are strong, and his trenchant solo is a delight, with fluid lines and a confident attack. Tenor saxophonist Marcus Elliot also shines here, as he does across the album, with incisive jabs and parries which enhance the music's energy, while pianist Theron Brown's robust, muscular sound is highlighted on his own compelling solo. The concentrated firepower of "Heightened Awareness" is just as impressive, taken at a blistering tempo which catalyzes the musicians' most fervid bursts of creativity.

The group is similarly assured on the more subdued tracks. "After the Rain" is a lithesome tune fueled by a gentle, bouncing swing, while "For Her," the album's ballad, has an even deeper poignancy, drawing out the emotional register of Taylor's sound, not to mention the sympathetic support of bassist Jonathon Muir-Cotton and drummer Alex White , who offer steady constancy throughout the album. The understated resilience of "Indomitable" is another triumph, with both Elliot and Taylor finding strength through their soulful, expansive solo statements.

Stylistically speaking, "Hashtagged" may be the album's outlier, with a modern funk sensibility shaped by Brown's Fender Rhodes, and Muir- Cotton moving to electric bass. Even so, the 7/4 meter and assertive solos from Taylor and Brown manage to maintain interest for its duration. The album's closing track, "Journey," returns the group to its sweet spot, bearing a mid-60s Herbie Hancock quality and adding a hint of adventure when it goes into double-time.

While Taylor may at times display his influences a bit too transparently, the skillful musicianship on Taylor Made is evident, and it is an enjoyable and engaging listen.

Track Listing

Kham’s Dilemma; After the Rain; Heightened Awareness; For Her; Indomitable; Hashtagged; Journey.


Marcus Elliot
saxophone, tenor
Jonathon Muir-Cotton
bass, acoustic
Additional Instrumentation

David Castañeda: percussion (2).

Album information

Title: Taylor Made | Year Released: 2024 | Record Label: Self Produced

Next >



For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.


Hills & Valleys
Stick Together
Behn Gillece
Friends & Neighbors
Unknown Rivers
Luke Stewart Silt Trio


Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.