Taylor's Universe — Worn Out
(Marvel of Beauty MOBCD 023, 2013, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-07-06Worn out? Anything but! For years Robin Taylor has been leading his bands to new vistas, be they of the more traditional symphonic and melodic prog variety (Taylor’s Universe), or the more challenging and jazz oriented Taylor’s Free Universe. Taylor is primarily a guitarist, though here he covers bass and keys as well; but as the composer of five of the six tracks here, and arranger of all, it’s worth mentioning that he doesn’t write like a guitarist – that is to say he doesn’t write in a way that puts his guitar front and center in every song. More of a consummate composer in every sense, along the lines of Pekka Pohjola or similar artists who have a wider vision than simply showcasing their playing with other musicians supporting; that’s not his way. The powerful and heavy eight-minute opener “Floating Rats” should be ample evidence, but every cut here revels in advanced symphonic rock styles informed by jazz and a touch of folk as well, all instrumental save some wordless vocals on one track. “Jens in Afghanistan” is the oddball, with its military drum cadence and happy-go-lucky melody, along with what sounds like a dozen conversations going on in the background; the sax and keyboard duel that ensues is a pretty wild ride. Closer “Sergeant Pepperoni” is another standout, a more introspective piece with some powerful fiery soloing that closes the disc nicely. This time out Taylor’s collaborators include regulars Karsten Vogel (alto and soprano sax), trumpeter Hugh Steinmetz, and drummer Klaus Thrane, plus Jakob Mygind (tenor and soprano sax), and guitar soloist Jon Hemmersam. This is a disc that continues to satisfy long after most others have found a permanent home on the shelf.
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more