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4.3 out of 5 stars
4
Whirlpool
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£16.27+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 5 February 2008
John Taylor is sometimes named as a great, but under-appreciated stylist of jazz piano and a couple of years ago his 'Angel of the Presence' album with Scandinavian bassist Palle Danielsson and drummer Martin France met with widespread acclaim. That is a fascinating album, yet its cerebral and abstract modernism made it one that was not always easy to love. By contrast I am completely in love with 'Whirlpool', which refuses to allow itself to be removed from my CD player. The difference is that Taylor plays from the heart here. The tracks are by turns reflective, melancholy, playful and witty. It is difficult to name stand-out pieces, they are all so good. 'Consolation' is an aching ballad by Kenny Wheeler, the title track Whirlpool by Taylor himself a rhythmically-complex, free-wheeling piece, there is a beautiful rendition of 'I loves you Porgy'. A real highlight is the final track: a joyous bluesy, a little gospel-tinged track that reveals itself at the close to be based on Gustav Holst's 'In the Bleak Midwinter'. This has just got be heard: there is nothing pretentious, indulgent here: it just... so. The other members of the trio - Danielson and France - deserve a mention too, for this is a real trio performance in which the players listen to and feed one another. The recorded sound is excellent too. It is early days, but if 2008 is to produce a better piano trio album than this it is going to have to be very, very good indeed.
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on 7 April 2015
Great service; no problems
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on 21 November 2008
After the stratospheric highs and innovations of 'Angel of the Presence' (plus all Taylor's consistently wonderful work with Kenny Wheeler amongst others) I have to say I find this new album surprisingly uninspiring. It doesn't help that three or four of the tracks are new renditions of existing material (and no better for it) or that Palle Danielsson's bass seems to drown out the trademark subtlety of Taylor's piano or that Danielsson seems to play within such a limited range. I'm not a musician but it all seems decidedly below par to me.... sorry guys.
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on 21 April 2008
John Taylor is frequently named as a great but underappreciated stylist of jazz piano. His recent output is indeed second to that of no other pianist. His 'Angel of the Presence' CD for Camjazz met with widespread praise, and now comes the excellent 'Whirlpool' for the same label. Taylor's style has roots in the playing of Bill Evans, yet it is more rhythmically and harmonically daring, and draws on a wider range of moods. It is difficult to single out standout tracks here, they are all so good. My favourites include the lush ballad 'Consolation', the more playful 'Whirlpool', and a ruminative 'I loves you Porgy'. Another standout track is the final 'In the Bleak Midwinter' (the Holst setting of the carol), which is given a gospel-tinged and bluesy twist. The theme is stated only at the close and there is none of the pretentiousness one often finds in such reharmonisations as the piece unfolds so naturally. Taylor is admirably supported by Martin France on drums and Palle Danielson on bass (which is beautifully captured on the recording). This disk is just so, perfect: it shows Taylor really playing from the heart and having fun too. It is early days but if 2008 is to produce a better piano trio disc, it is going to have to be very good indeed!
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