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Paul Taylor — Whirl and Magnet
(Discus Music 167CD, 2024, CD / DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2024-02-25

Whirl and Magnet Cover art

A deep bass  tone introduces the proceedings, and suddenly a magical kaleidoscope of psychedelic color surrounds the listener, the swirling sound of Leslie speakers encircles and follows the listener through the next portal, the first of many as part one of Whirl and Magnet proceeds forward. Taylor is known best as an improvising solo pianist, but for the two lengthy tracks at hand, a Hammond C3 organ at the Sage Gateshead Music Centre presented itself to Taylor, tucked away in the corner of the basement labyrinth of practice rooms. As soon as Taylor was able to uncover the old keyboard and get its motor running, a rapid learning process began — conceptually the piano and C3 are similar, in that they both employ a keyboard, but with the Hammond there are additional pedals, switches, and drawbars that the player needs to deal with to set the tonewheels and produce something worthy of being enjoyed by a listener. All of the subtle nuances and colorful scintillations of the instrument come to the fore when handled by a masterful player, which Taylor was able to become in short order, and bring out the best in the machine. An important factor when considering the two parts of Whirl and Magnet is that each half — roughly the length of an LP side each — is a pure improvisation that can go anywhere at any time, and rarely repeats the same theme twice, instead turning and twisting through varying sonic panoramas, sometimes gentle, sometimes slightly chaotic, but always interesting. By once taking on the mighty C3, hopefully Taylor has opened the door to further organ improvisations in the future.

Filed under: New releases, 2024 releases

Related artist(s): Paul Taylor

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