And Now This
Before I started working at The Wave, I thought that all saxophones sounded pretty much alike. Ha! Was I ever wrong. And now, after 21 years, I'm finding it easier to tell all the players apart. Paul Taylor certainly has one one of the most unique sounds going, and his latest album "And Now This" is a most welcome return for this singular sax sensation.
The album is another "pandemic masterpiece" created via the exchange of digital files between the Las Vegas based Taylor and his longtime collaborator, co-writer and producer Dino Esposito. A combination of danceable grooves and pop/electronica vibes, the ten tracks fully reflect Paul's belief that “we’re coming out of the pandemic, this is what I’ve been creating, we’re kicking it back into high gear and we are more open-minded in our approach to music than ever.”
Getting "Straight To The Point" with the leadoff single, Paul treats us to a funky, uptempo bop that keeps the toes tapping. The atmospheric soul of the title track (featuring the guitar of Brian Monroney) sets the groove-bar high while "Friday@5" puts us straight into the weekend mood. And if you're looking for sultry flow, look no further than the closing track, "Goodnight".
This new record celebrates the decades long friendship and rare musical chemistry between Taylor and Esposito. Their storied history dates back to when they played in the same band as students at the University of Nevada Las Vegas – and includes Taylor touring in Esposito’s band when he was a pop star in the late 80s with New Kids on the Block.
Paul says about some of the album's other stellar tracks, “With Dino’s amazing synth swells, "Seize the Day" is that perspective we’ve all gained this past year about the importance of living in the moment, and for musicians, it’s about always being the best version of ourselves. The vibe of "One Step Closer" reminds me of that cool step music that was coming out of Chicago, but of course thematically it’s about working hard each day to finish the work or fulfill a dream. Those angelic synth voices Dino created throughout are like our special encouragers, reminding us that we can do it and to keep going. Covid happened, and we couldn’t get together to record, but we always "Find a Way" to make things happen. It’s kind of a sweet romantic tune that tells us no matter what obstacles come in our path, we can always figure things out and get past them.”
“What I like most about the new album is its freshness, and the fact that after 25 years, Dino and I still have so many unique avenues to explore,” he says. “It’s a special album created in unusual, highly stressful times. There’s something to be said for all of us artists persevering through the shutdown of 2020 and finding a way to get it done."
Well, get it done they did! "And Now This" is musical proof that where there is a will, a solid friendship, a great partnership and inspiration galore, there will always be a way for fresh and saxy tunes to find their way into the world. Especially when they come from a singular sax sensation.
Vickie van Dyke