Paul Taylor - Burnin' (2009)

Paul Taylor
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Like a funky Swiss watch, for the better part of this decade Paul Taylor has been a model of consistency, one of the most reliable sources of jazzy R&B instrumental music. As much at home on urban adult contemporary as Smooth Jazz radio, he has shown an incredible knack for melodic, mostly upbeat tracks that are tailor made for Summer.  It paid off big time with 2007's Ladies Night, which topped the charts and completed Taylor's ascent to the A-List of modern jazz men.

Like a funky Swiss watch, for the better part of this decade Paul Taylor has been a model of consistency, one of the most reliable sources of jazzy R&B instrumental music. As much at home on urban adult contemporary as Smooth Jazz radio, he has shown an incredible knack for melodic, mostly upbeat tracks that are tailor made for Summer.  It paid off big time with 2007's Ladies Night, which topped the charts and completed Taylor's ascent to the A-List of modern jazz men.

Taylor continues his winning streak on his new Peak Records release, Burnin'.  Working with ubiquitous producers Barry Eastmond and Rex Rideout, he has fashioned another tough-to-put-down collection of original material (save a so-so cover of War's "Me and Baby Brother").  Taylor sets the tone early with the infectious opener, "Back In The Day," and follows it with a basketful of breezy upbeat numbers like "Groove Shack" and the title track.  Just as effective are slower cuts like the bluesy "Revival" and the blue-lights-in-the-basement ballad "Remember the Love."  Kudos to producers Rideout and Eastmond, who provide the near perfect backdrop for Taylor's uber-melodic tunes.

Paul Taylor has earned himself a dedicated fanbase with his consistently pleasing releases, and Burnin' ranks with his best; a solid collection that is both visualized and executed wonderfully. For top down cruising in the Summer of 2009, it'll be tough to do better than Burnin'.

Music: 3.5 stars
Production: 3.5 stars
SoulTracks Call: Highly Recommended

By Chris Rizik

 

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