Taylor's Universe — Evidence
(Marvel of Beauty MOBCD024, 2013, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-12-07This latest offering by Robin Taylor’s band is a bit different than the previous two releases, perhaps more introspective and contemplative. The brooding and pensive fifteen minute opener “Buildings” builds up slowly over a relatively simple, but memorable repeating figure with periodic solo sax, guitar and keyboard embellishments, interrupted occasionally by alternating melodic changes and ambient interludes. The overall compositional approach on this tune reminds somewhat of Pekka Pohjola’s excellent 80s soundtrack work Everyman; I know that I have made comparisons between the two composers before, but I think it’s a fair one given the scope of their work and similar attack. “Red Afternoon” follows a similar approach, perhaps with more colorful melodies and heavy, intensive guitar and keyboard soloing throughout its twelve minute duration. If there is a ‘standout’ track on the album, this will certainly be it. There is a voice credit on this cut as well, but it must be buried under all the blistering guitars or heavily processed, because after numerous close listens, I’m clearly not hearing it. Matters not, though, as this band clearly has the instrumental power behind it to carry it forward without vocals and keep it interesting. The usual suspects are here, including the Secret Oyster contingent of Karsten Vogel (sax and bass clarinet) and Claus Bøhling (guitar solos par excellence), plus regular drummer Klaus Thrane. Thomas Thor Viderø Ulstrup provides some spectacular synthesizer solos, and Taylor does just about everything else (guitars, bass, flute, keyboards, etc.) as well as all the production, compositions and arrangements. Two additional lengthy instrumental workouts round out this excellent disc, which in general offers a bit more of a platform for fiery soloing than most of its predecessors.
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more