Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers 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!

132

Tom Taylor: The Crossing

Ed Kopp By

Sign in to view read count
Summit Records recently re-released Tom Taylor's 1986 CD The Crossing, a sophisticated fusion effort that should please fans of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Jean Luc Ponty and the Pat Metheny Group.

Taylor is a guitarist and composer who blends classical styles with jazz and hints of bluegrass. Many similar attempts at fusing jazz with classical music have seemed pretentious, but The Crossing works on the strength of the leader's original compositions and his players' vituosity. The CD features Taylor's old band (guitar, vibes, bass, drums) along with some talented guests, including peerless mandolin picker Dave Grisman and the Kronos Quartet.

Colorado native Taylor earned Musician Magazine's Best Unsigned Band Award of 1997 for the opening track here, "Audade." This piece is a tricky but catchy creation with Grisman on mandolin, Taylor on classical and electric guitars, and Joe Caploe on vibes. The album's centerpiece is "Big Basin Breakdown," a knee-slapping blend of baroque counterpoint, bluegrass and jazz. It features the Kronos Quartet, the unconventional string ensemble, and it's all the more compelling because it doesn't take itself too seriously.

Other high points include "Pasque March," a composition with a baroque feel that showcases some jazzy interplay — sort of Vivaldi meets the Flecktones. "Swamp Fox" starts out like a pulsing Phillip Glass piece, but gives way to a twisting jazz-rock melody that creates a vaguely martial mood.

I especially like the way the composer uses vibes and marimba to establish different tempos, an approach he shares with Frank Zappa. Equal credit goes to Joe Caploe, the man who actually plays the vibes and marimbas here. And Taylor is one guitarist who doesn't hog the spotlight — violinist Erik Golub actually solos more often.

Taylor's intricate music is the rare jazz-classical amalgam that really works. I'd like to hear more of the same, but I understand Taylor's been focusing on symphonic pieces of late. Maybe if The Crossing sells a few copies he'll revisit this format.


Personnel:

Tom Taylor, composer, electric and acoustic guitar; Joe Caploe, vibes, marimba, percussion; Rick Steffens, electric and acoustic bass; Curt Moore, drums, percussion. With help from Ian Dogole, percussion (3, 5, 8); Erik Golub, violin (4

Title: The Crossing | Year Released: 2000


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Acknowledgement CD/LP/Track Review Acknowledgement
by Don Phipps
Published: November 23, 2017
Read Lessons And Fairytales CD/LP/Track Review Lessons And Fairytales
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 23, 2017
Read The Child in Me CD/LP/Track Review The Child in Me
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: November 23, 2017
Read The Way Home CD/LP/Track Review The Way Home
by Joe Gatto
Published: November 23, 2017
Read Shadow Work CD/LP/Track Review Shadow Work
by Phil Barnes
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Veterans of Jazz CD/LP/Track Review Veterans of Jazz
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read "Persuasion" CD/LP/Track Review Persuasion
by Jeff Winbush
Published: December 24, 2016
Read "All Through the Night" CD/LP/Track Review All Through the Night
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: June 17, 2017
Read "Central Line" CD/LP/Track Review Central Line
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 2, 2017
Read "What's Wrong" CD/LP/Track Review What's Wrong
by John Sharpe
Published: December 2, 2016
Read "Liquid Melodies" CD/LP/Track Review Liquid Melodies
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 1, 2017
Read "Atlantic Bridge" CD/LP/Track Review Atlantic Bridge
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 12, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Please support out sponsor