Paul Taylor

Hypnotic

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    5
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On his fourth album, Paul Taylor calls upon five different producers: Dino Esposito, Kurt Jackson, Mathew Edralin, Jeff Lorber, and Oji Pierce. The function of these musicians for the most part is to create largely synthesized backgrounds for the soprano saxophonist to solo over in his familiar, melodic manner. Esposito handles the title song and "Flight 808," the first two tracks; Jackson does "PT Cruiser" (with Edralin) and "Sunshine" (on which he sings some bland romantic lyrics); Lorber is responsible for "Tuesday Afternoon," "Pendulum," "Come Over," "Free Fall," and "Palisades"; and Pierce is behind the board for "Dream State" and "Summer Park." Real guitars and percussion are included in the mix here and there, but the sound of the background music remains relatively anonymous, its purpose to provide a rhythmic underpinning and a little color. What matters is the saxophone, or rather the sax harmonies and sax arrangements for which Taylor credits himself on each track, which means that he frequently overdubs saxophone parts to create unison effects. His style is virtually indistinguishable from that of Kenny G, George Howard, or other less-well-known soprano sax practitioners, and the compositions, which usually fade out after four-plus minutes without reaching any climaxes or coming to any real conclusions, are just settings for his melodic musings. It's all pleasant enough, and any track will fit unobtrusively into a smooth jazz radio format, but there's nothing memorable here.

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