John Taylor / Marc Johnson / Joey Baron


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Oddly enough, this outing signifies British pianist John Taylor's first "ECM Records" issued solo effort, especially when considering the artist's twenty-five year tenure with this notable record label. Here, Taylor employs one-time Bill Evans trio bassist Marc Johnson, and New York City based drummer Joey Baron for a set consisting of Taylor originals, such as the mood evoking, "The Bowl Song," and others. A seminal "ECM" session ace, Taylor has graced recordings by drummer Peter Erskine and trumpeter Kenny Wheeler throughout his distinguished career. However, widespread fame has eluded this superior musician, who -- like many of his peers -- derives inspiration from the so-called, Bill Evans School. With this release, Taylor and associates pursue a spacious format, featuring the leader's penchant for melding a sense of optimism with joy and sadness throughout the body of his works. He often hints at themes, or perhaps uses the power of suggestion via his musical vernacular and delicately executed chord voicings. Whereas Johnson's gorgeous acoustic bass tone and nimble lines complement Baron's soft accompaniment on many of these works, marked by breezy swing vamps and soft balladry. Taylor reconstructs Wheeler's "Ma Bel," guitarist Ralph Towner's "Tramonto," and Irving Berlin's standard "How Deep Is The Ocean," to round out this rather introspectively enacted venture.

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