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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I loved Sam (The Man). Each school night, I'd listen to the Alan Freed Rock 'n Roll show on my old Philco and hang in there through all the vocals, doo wop and novelty numbers til the top of the hour when Freed would play an instrumental - usually by Taylor, Red Prysock, Rusty Bryant, Gator Jackson, Bill Doggett, Al Sears, Mickey Guitar Baker or maybe Hal "Cornbread" Singer.
Taylor's signature tune was "Cloudburst" - he was featured tenor player for a group John Hendricks claims was led by Leroy Kirkland under the pseudonym, Claude Cloud (& the Thunderclaps). Name of the LP was "Let's Get Cat-Static." Lambert Hendricks and Ross did the cover and made Cloudburst a popular hit.
I loved Sam (The Man) for his energy, drive, lyricism and ability to hit high notes on his axe with ease - without squeaking or squealing.
But creatively note for note - he wasn't in the same league musically as Miles or Bird.
And the closest Sam (The Man)might have gotten musically to Birdland might have been when I saw Jimmy Forrest play there (with Red Garland, Lee Morgan, Wilbur Ware and Philly Joe) and - much to his embarrassment - they made him play "Night Train." No, it's highly unlikely that you'd hear Oo Wee, High Winds or even Cloudburst played at Birdland (unless LHR was the headliner. Then you might get Cloudburst by default). But I loved them all, and I loved Sam (The Man).
This man had an uncanny ability to bend and manipulate the shape of a note into elongated shimmering swirls of pleasure that turned into powerful sexual thrusts of ecstasy. He made you feel as if the horn was actually making love to you! A hugely gifted accompanist, on Gloria Lynne's first album "Miss Gloria Lynne" he played a solo that was so remarkable and visual, it was unmatched anywhere in Jazz history. From the first note he created a stealthily powerful, creeping midnight pitch-black panther, entering into the environment with a presence so powerfully ominous it was as if it exploded into the room ! You actually watched this flawless muscular creature stalking the room with it's deep dark piercing eyes as it slowly paced and menacingly growled with a fearless roar as it exited the room! Good Heavens what an experience. It actually bought about a climatic episode. This is a different kind of saxophone playing, this is really SEXOPHONE! Many were influenced by the brilliant Sam The Man Taylor among them the great Georgie Auld and a whole boat load of others. However none were like him, the man was a genius.