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Paul Taylor — Prime Time

May 14, 2011

It’s obvious that, when hearing a Paul Taylor tune, the master saxman places a tremendous amount of attention and emphasis on melody.  Good, definitive melody.  Not just something to throw on top of some chords.  I have always dubbed him one of the truest masters of the sweet melody because, when I hear that alto soar into the stratosphere and grasp a piece of heaven, I am reminded of why the wonderful keyboardist Keiko Matsui chose him in the first place to complement her magical sound and why Kazu Matsui chose to help propel to fame as a solo artist this wonderful saxophonist with such an ear for what touches.

Since those early days and that debut release, On the Horn, Taylor has captivated, sexed up, revved up, and turned out more jazzers than one cares to count. Like a pied piper of smooth jazz, he strolls along the music-lined avenues of contemporary jazz, fans in tow, and once again delivers, this time with co-writer Dino Esposito, on Prime Time, due on the streets June 14.

Powering in with that PT sway and swagger on the lead track, “Push to Start,” the melody and rhythm begins and never ends. You will undoubtedly find more than one fave here, as most always do. Mine starts with the opening track, picks up the sweet and harmonious 2nd track, “Moment of Truth,” and never misses stride as he rolls into with track 3’s “Don’t Wanna Let You Go,” with Taylor on vocals, by the way.  Then, there’s the interesting R&Bish track 4, “Can’t Nobody,” featuring All-4-One vocalist Jamie Jones. Nice change-up.  Sunny guitarist/vocalist Steve Oliver provides his sparkle on track 5’s “Horizon,” which again possesses that magnetic hook and melody that is so Paul Taylor.

Stepping it up a bit, Taylor, with lots of vocal and instrumental help from Jones, “Laronda” grabs the listener by the aural sense on track 6 and just holds on. He quickly follows with more sexy sweetness on “Say No More” (despite the title, what the man can do with a melody simply cannot be overstated).

In a nutshell, Paul Taylor wears melody and charm like a second skin, and it has managed to catapult him into the powerhouse lineup of who’s who in contemporary jazz.  Prime Time just further shows that the man is still right there…and always in prime time.  – Ronald Jackson

At the time of the posting, no Amazon MP3 sampler was available. When it becomes available, we will post it here as quickly as possible.