Sunday, April 17, 2016

Paul Taylor-Undercover (2000)


I decided to smoothen out my Saturday night with the sweet, sexy sounds of the saxophone belted out by smooth jazz extraordinaire Paul Taylor (not to be confused with the gazillions of other Paul Taylors out there, many of which I've never even heard of before) as I've gone dipping back into the 'P' entries of my music collection. With smooth jazz, the music makes me feel free and easy, so for about 45 minutes, my ears and I were coasting along to some mighty marvelous grooves, kick-started by the opener entitled "Aerial". But it's the beautiful instrumental jazz interpretation of "Velvet Rope", the title track from Miss Janet Jackson's 1997 album by the same name, that really gets the jazzy jams on this album started! It occurred to me that I haven't heard that Janet Jackson hit in eons either (among other things from the 80's and 90's), so of course, I had to help by ears to a few minutes of exactly that once my "Undercover" investigation was over. Back to tonight's honorary saxophonist: "Movin' On" is another personal favorite, accented by the cool bounce in the backing rhythm, plus "Code Blue" (because of its exotic, ear-appealing melody that sounds much different than anything else on the album) and the delightful title track itself (loving that suspenseful, underlying melody that sorta 'lurks' beneath the saxophone playing). "Avenue" had been the track that sparked my interest in this album in first place; I surely heard it first through St. Louis' now-defunct 106.5 smooth jazz radio station, and it was surely the swirly, daydreamy ambiance mixed with the uptempo beat that attracted me to it. Always welcomed when these smooth jazz artists invite guest singers to provide the vocals to some of their recordings. Track #5's "My Love" features the soulful voices of the Los Angeles, California-based r&b quartet PORTRAIT on what is by far the nicest of slow grooves. It's good that I 'uncovered' this Paul Taylor treat and took it out for a spin; for providing me with the ultimate chill-out session, it's got me all covered:

1. Aerial
2. Velvet Rope
3. Movin' On
4. Avenue
5. My Love (featuring Porrtrait)
6. Alone With You
7. Code Blue
8. Indigo
9. Under Cover
10. Looking Glass

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