One of the knocks on smooth jazz has been that it's too commercial. Being commercial isn't necessarily a bad thing. There's nothing wrong with creating a product with the primary objective being to appeal to as many potential customers as possible. However, when it comes to music, too often the drive for sales, radio play and that elusive hit single" leads to a bland product. Like food in a school cafeteria, it's sustenance without seasoning.
With Burnin' (Peak, 2009), saxophonist Paul Taylor escapes the confines of the play-it-safe model that has come to define the format. This 10-song set features mostly original music. The lone cover song is War's Me and Baby Brother." The others were written by Taylor, in collaboration with either of his producers, Rex Rideout or Barry Eastmond. The album has a classic, instrumental soul feel--similar to 1960s and '70s outfits like Junior Walker and the All-Stars.
AAJ Contributor Woodrow Wilkins spoke with Taylor about recording Burnin', broken saxophones and the unexpected.
Check out Paul Taylor: Creating a Signature at AAJ today!
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