CURTIS TAYLOR — Taylor Made (review)

CURTIS TAYLOR — Taylor Made album cover Album · 2024 · Post Bop Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
js
Trumpeter Curtis Taylor released two EPs late in the previous decade, but the recent, “Taylor Made”, is his first full length album as a leader. Curtis is hardly a new comer to the jazz world, having already worked with Gregory Porter, Patrice Rushen, Cyrus Chestnut and many others. His new album reflects some modern trends in post bop jazz with its fusion and art rock/pop influences as in what you might get if you mixed pianist Bill Evans with Radiohead or Blur. Curtis has a clean and precise sound on the trumpet and avoids any gimmicks associated with the instrument in a style similar to current players like Marquis Hill and Wynton Marsalis, or going further back, Clifford Brown. Pianist Theron Brown reflects the art pop meets post bop sound of Brad Mehldau with a grounding in Herbie Hancock, and on the ballad material he might display grand loungey flourishes that recall Ahmad Jamal. Saxophonist Marcus Elliot recalls Joshua Redmon, with, once again, an ability to mix post bop and more current pop/rock type flavors.

“Taylor Made” is a fairly eclectic outing, one highlight is the high octane bop of “Heightened Awareness”, it would be nice to hear more tracks like this in the future. “Kham’s Dilemma” is abstract post bop with a fusion drive and “For Her” is the romantic ballad in 3/4 time. The last three tracks on the album get more into their art pop meets post bop blend with the imposing buildup chords of “Indomitable” sounding like an acoustic prog rock number. “Hashtagged” is in 7/4 time that is somewhat disguised as almost in waltz time. “Journey” has a driving snare rim click and sounds like something Miles’ second quintet would have played in the mid 60s. This is a nice start for Curtis, and with his background in jazz, RnB, pop and gspel, its hard to predict where he might head next.
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