Exposé Online banner

Robin Taylor / Taylor's Free Universe — Two Pack
(Marvel of Beauty MOBCD 021, 2011, 2CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2011-06-01

Two Pack Cover artA brilliant marketing strategy here - two 3-inch mini-CDs in cardboard sleeves are shrink-wrapped back-to-back. The first features three new songs recorded in 2010, featuring Taylor on guitars, bass, keyboards, and percussion, drummer Klaus Thrane, and guests on soprano and tenor sax. Kicking off with an explosive flurry of freewheeling saxes, organ and guitars, it quickly settles into a more familiar progressive rock mode with "Heavy Friends," a piece vaguely reminiscent of Pekka Pohjola's "No Way Out" (from Everyman) but with a lot more jazz intensity and soloing. The voice of Louise Nipper is featured near the end of the second cut "The Ghost of Göran," a more contemplative piece that goes through a number of different sections over its ten minute duration. "Stoned Mushroom" closes the disc nicely in a similar style as the opener though perhaps a bit less frenzied, for a total of about 22 minutes of music. The second disc features two extended twelve-minute workouts by TFU, Taylor's jazz ensemble originally recorded in 2006, featuring Taylor on guitar, regulars Karsten Vogel (saxes) and Pierre Tassone (electric violin), along with bassist Assi Roar and drummer Rasmus Grosell making a mighty formidable rhythm section. Opener "Dark City" flies face first into some wild and blistering interchanges between guitars, sax and violin, while drums and bass pin it all down wonderfully. The second cut "Don't You Miles Me" is especially stunning, with the entire band cutting loose for its duration in some thoroughly funky and satisfying improvisation. Recommended!

Filed under: New releases, Issue 39, 2011 releases

Related artist(s): Robin Taylor, Karsten Vogel

Latest news

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Mathew Shipp Duo with William Parker - DNA – Mathew Shipp has paid his dues in the eastern US jazz circles for the past several years and DNA is his first for Thirsty Ear Records out of New York. Two traditional pieces are included on the disc...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues