Paul Taylor, the sexy saxman of smooth/urban jazz, is back with his fifth solo recording titled Steppin' Out, his second outing on the Peak Records label. Ripe with old-school moods and pop-oriented flavors, Taylor's accompanists bring out the best of his smooth sax work on soprano and alto, his sax harmonies, and his vocoder on three tracks. Produced by Rex Rideout and Barry J. Eastmond, two of smooth/urban jazz's most acclaimed producers, the set jumps off with the radio-friendly single "On the Move," which immediately sets the tone for the remainder of the all-star project. The lovely, reassuring vocals of Sharon Youngblood are both soothing and captivating on "Someone Watching Over You." She provides an excellent foil for the beautiful soprano sax voice of Taylor, who provides delicate background complements. On "Enchanted Garden," Taylor plays a highly imaginative soprano sax and vocoder and captures the listener's imagination with fragrant flourishes and delicate lines. The smooth program is interspersed with a soulful urban bebop-style composition called "Speakeasy" and ends with a bonus track titled "Get Up." And that's exactly what you'll want to do to express your gratitude for this marvelous set.
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AllMusic Review by Paula Edelstein