Will Taylor & the Jazz Menagerie

Live From Austin

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Will Taylor and his Jazz Menagerie are an unusual group. Taylor plays viola, rarely heard as a lead instrument (especially in jazz). Taylor proves that it has possibilities, especially during his crisp unison lines with the soprano sax on "Deus Xango" and an adventurous solo on "Cherokee." The jazz standards covered include a soulful version of "Stolen Moments," a hot cover of "Caravan" slightly marred by the electric bassist's cliche-ridden but brief funk line, and an outstanding arrangement of "Pent-Up House," featuring tenor saxophonist Elias Haslanger. Taylor's "Rage" is a dynamic blend of the music of the east and west.

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