Well-known and highly regarded in the northwest part of the States, guitarist Ed Taylor explodes on the smooth jazz scene here with Songs From A Taylor, a tasteful array of originals and covers complemented by guest artist and smooth jazz icon Peter White. This is actually a very good production and showcases Taylor’s skills along the fretboard quite sharply.
A well-rounded artist, Taylor has played genres from polka to rock and everything in between. He even opened for the legendary rockers The Bachman-Turner Overdrive at the height of their popularity. That just had to have been one heck of an experience and that audience must have been quite the mix of tastes. Sort of like the Monterey Pop Festival when Jimi Hendrix and Otis Redding shared billing.
Now to this CD that seems bloated with talent and substance. It’s a CD bloated with talent and substance. Now that we’ve established that, let me elaborate by stating that for one who is debuting his handle on smooth jazz, and he must have demonstrated it well in order to entice Peter White to join him here, Taylor digs in his heels on each cut and sports much flair. He covers a lot within the genre, from the smooth and gliding title cut with its rich melody and neat hook to his driving cover of Earth, Wind & Fire’s "Let’s Groove," to the moderate bluesy Booker T/Jimmy Smith-style "Ronny’s Daily Flash." He also does a very cool, clever and bluesy version of the classic Bacharach/Davis tune "I’ll Never Fall In Love Again." In fact, evidence of his affinity for the blues can be heard in various places on this album. A nice blend, indeed.
This album is just one pure smooth jazz pleasurable experience. Taylor’s debut should mark him as one to watch and should convince him that this is where he can do well among smooth jazzers everywhere, not just in the Northwest.