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Pentatonic Wars and Love Songs

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iTunes Review

Otis Taylor keeps the grit on his records and this 2009 release is one dark album of love songs. There’s an extra menace behind these affairs of the heart and Taylor serves them up with a deep burr in his voice that suggests he isn’t quite the innocent bystander. Adding guitarist Gary Moore, jazz pianist Jason Moran, cornet player Ron Miles, and his daughter Cassie on bass and some purred vocals, Taylor finds himself playing in what sounds like the last nightclub on earth as fate makes a mess of Cupid’s designs. The album’s opener, “Looking for Some Heat,” broods to a bad end. “Sunday Morning” evaporates into a misty fog of slurred vocals and gentle guitars that encircle the haunted aura. “Lost My Guitar” takes the loss of a musical accomplice to a melodramatic conclusion. “Dagger By My Side” features a man who kills his mistress. “I’m Not Mysterious” sings about love over racial lines. Taylor continues to mine the overlooked corners of the room to come up with compelling evidence few others would have discovered.

Customer Reviews

the blues needs artists like otis taylor!

otis is an artist. he's in touch with a spiritual swampy blues past. he's soulful and gets right to your soul. i'm also listening to shemekia copeland, ruthie foster and eddie skuller. new cool blues and i'm thrilled to be a fan of modern day blues

New Fan of Otis....

Otis Taylor is an amazing artist. I recently saw him at a small venue and can honestly say that it was one of the top 5 concerts I have ever seen. His bluesy heartfelt style rocks.


I first listened to this album on a trip back from Pittsburgh while my lovley bride drove, allowing me to sleep off the effects of a few too many drinks involving blue agave juice. I drifted off as the magic of Otis's music lulled me in and out of sleep. I awoke as the CD was being played for a second time through and my wife was tapping along frantically on the steering wheel. She asked me who this was and said that she LOVED it. It has dominated all of our drives since.

Time just flies by...grooving on a Sunday afterrnoon!


Born: 1948 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '70s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Bluesman Otis Taylor never skirted tough subject matter in a career that took him from the Folklore Center in Denver to a brief stay in London, England, to retirement from music in 1977, to being a successful antiques broker and, since 1995, back again to the blues. Taylor's 2001 CD White African (Northern Blues Music), featuring Kenny Passarelli (bass, keyboards) and Eddie Turner (lead guitar), became his most direct and personal statement about the experiences of African-Americans. He addressed...
Full Bio
Pentatonic Wars and Love Songs, Otis Taylor
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