I've been listening to Paul Taylor since his days with Keiko Matsui, and he just keeps getting better and better. Seductive urban-styled sax melodies define Taylor's music.…
I've been listening to Paul Taylor since his days with Keiko Matsui, and he just keeps getting better and better. Seductive urban-styled sax melodies define Taylor's music.
I can literally say I love every cut on his new CD Hypnotic. Taylor's previous releases, On The Horn (1995), Pleasure Seeker (1997) and Undercover (2000) have all been radio and chart toppers, with the appeal of R & B flavored Smooth Jazz.
Growing up in Denver, Taylor was influenced by listening to the masters of his chosen genre, from Grover Washington and David Sanborn to Ronnie Laws. After receiving a scholarship at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, he started doing more gigs and was soon hooked.
In the mid-nineties Taylor, played with Jeff Lorber at the Catalina Jazz Festival and caught the eye, actually the ear of Kazu, producer/husband of Keiko Matsui. Taylor recorded with the Matsui's for two years (appearing on Sapphire and Dream Walk), and Kazu Matsui eventually produced the saxman's debut "On The Horn" which rose high on Billboard's Contemporary Jazz chart.
The CD's title cut begins with a sense of wonder and a strong beat. The lullaby melody combined with the funky rhythm, is a finely tuned balance of sensuality and romance. Like a floral perfume, with a dash of musky spice thrown in to bring on the excitement. Taylor's sax is like a lover trying the soft approach, while the insistent rhythm of Brian Monroney's guitar twangs the repetitive demand, of a feeling that can't be denied. By mid- cut the sax has joined the guitar's urgency, abandoning subtlety to sweep one over the edge of hesitation.
Cut two "Flight 808," is a pleasing melody, introspective and whimsical with a prancing light percussive rhythm. The Saxophone seems to be singing, and it's an emotional song with clean urban lines and a dramatic cessation after a slow build. The sax is telling and showing.
Cut three, "PT Cruiser," trumpets it's beauty. It's like an auditioning lover, laying out the beauty of the future in the first royal rush of courtship. I'll take you here, I'll show you things and I'll make you feel emotions you've never felt before. It promises and then delivers. The title is curious; the cute little retro-car by Chrysler, but this song is as luxurious as the classic roadster car it copies.
Cut four,"Tuesday Afternoon," is a languorous as a known lover's assignation. The flute-like melody seems to tell a tender love story.Cut five, "Dream State" is just that, a dream of creamy melody flows through your mind while the rhythm quickens your senses.
The remaining cuts, 11 in all, are all wonderful instrumentals with incredibly tender sax melodies. I love every cut on this CD. I highly recommend it.
Over the years Taylor has leaned more towards cool funk and hip-hop music than ever before. He has quickly found his own niche in the smooth jazz world, and is seeking to become the standard to match. This sax is silky smooth, but strong. It's hypnotic!