11 Songs, 49 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

A well-known player in the smooth jazz scene, saxophonist Paul Taylor made his debut in 1995 after a few years with Keiko Matsui. Here, on his 10th album, Tenacity (get it?), he returns with melodic playing and crowd-pleasing grooves. Many artists in this genre get accused of being redundant, but Taylor and longtime producer/programmer Dino Esposito offer a well-rounded effort. Those looking for shimmying R&B can turn to “Open Road” or “Empire.” Those seeking something more moody can dig into “More to Come” and “Awakening.” And things get downright funky on the title track, which also includes the saxophonist’s strongest playing on the album. Taylor also gets a little help from his friends—pianist Jonathan Fritzen pushes him along on the opener, “Supernova,” keyboardist Paul Hardcastle joins him on “Peace of Mind,” and Jeff Lorber adds tasteful touches of guitar and keyboard to “Luxe.” It’s a nice return that should please many of Taylor’s longtime fans.

EDITORS’ NOTES

A well-known player in the smooth jazz scene, saxophonist Paul Taylor made his debut in 1995 after a few years with Keiko Matsui. Here, on his 10th album, Tenacity (get it?), he returns with melodic playing and crowd-pleasing grooves. Many artists in this genre get accused of being redundant, but Taylor and longtime producer/programmer Dino Esposito offer a well-rounded effort. Those looking for shimmying R&B can turn to “Open Road” or “Empire.” Those seeking something more moody can dig into “More to Come” and “Awakening.” And things get downright funky on the title track, which also includes the saxophonist’s strongest playing on the album. Taylor also gets a little help from his friends—pianist Jonathan Fritzen pushes him along on the opener, “Supernova,” keyboardist Paul Hardcastle joins him on “Peace of Mind,” and Jeff Lorber adds tasteful touches of guitar and keyboard to “Luxe.” It’s a nice return that should please many of Taylor’s longtime fans.

TITLE TIME
5:12
5:03
4:40
4:07
5:03
4:24
4:31
4:05
3:57
4:49
3:26

About Paul Taylor

Paul Taylor grew up in Denver, where he took up the saxophone at the age of seven. He played in school bands, and in high school joined a Top 40 band called Mixed Company. Jazz keyboardist Keiko Matsui and her husband, producer Kazu Matsui, discovered him playing at the Catalina Island Jazz Festival and hired him to play in their band. He spent two years with them, and then Kazu Matsui produced his 1995 debut album, On the Horn, which reached the jazz charts and spawned a radio hit in "Til We Meet Again." Pleasure Seeker, his second album, followed in 1997 and was equally successful. Taylor released his third album, Undercover, on Peak/N-Coded Music in February 2000. Also in 2000, he toured as a special guest artist with the Rippingtons. Subsequent albums Hypnotic (2001), Steppin' Out (2003), Nightlife (2005), and Ladies' Choice (2007), all issued by Peak Records, figured high in the contemporary jazz charts, with Ladies' Choice going all the way to number one. Peak released Taylor's eighth album, Burnin', in 2009. Two years later, Taylor returned with the album Prime Time. In 2014, Taylor released Tenacity, which featured guest appearances from Jeff Lorber and Jonathan Fritzen. The album was produced by Dino Esposito, who was also at the controls for Taylor's 2016 release Countdown, which cracked the Top Ten of the jazz album charts. ~ William Ruhlmann

  • ORIGIN
    Denver, CO
  • BORN
    April 30, 1960

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