In 2003, Paul Taylor released Steppin’ Out to major accolades. This year he intends to surpass that with Nightlife, his release on Peak Records. This CD exudes a different feel right from the beginning. It’s like Paul Taylor is refreshing his attitude and his playing.
The opening title track sets the mood. Upbeat and lively, Paul takes on the alto sax and just lets it fly. The alto gives him a totally different, richer tone on this and other tracks. It’s the type of song to get you moving and stay with you long after the music ends . The groove continues right into the radio friendly “East Bay Bounce,” a song that showcase’s Paul’s talent on the alto sax. This is my personal favorite. Slowing down the tempo, but getting you into the mood is “Around the Corner.” This tune makes you feel like you are cruising city streets late at night. That dark groove is also felt on “Enjoy the Ride.”
“Tender Love,” a wonderful vocal performed by Maxi Priest, is a perfect fit to the rest of this instrumental gem. The feel of this song just meshes with the melodies found throughout the CD and is a terrific choice to cover. The Latin-flavored “Anything You Say” is another upbeat tune that really gets you up and dancing. Laced with some vocals by Lauren Evans, but not overpowered by them, Paul handles the sax masterfully. It’s another fun track, which truly seems to be the theme in this CD. You can just feel Paul Taylor enjoying himself in these songs.
Going back to Paul’s signature soprano sax, “Candlelight” is a more romantic song, but the movement is still felt. It’s an easy flowing melody and leads into the beat driven “Don’t Wait Up.” Again on the soprano, it gets your heart pumping and your feet tapping. You just can’t stop yourself! “After Hours” is another dark, more smoldering track. The alto sax gives it its rich flavor and feels right. Paul seems to really get into the deeper sound of that sax, aided by a terrific guitar solo by Dwight Sills. “Things Left Unsaid” is a lively song with some really great keyboards and drum beat s. It is the kind of song that gives you a sense of urgency. It keeps moving and taking you along with it. The final track, “Silk ‘N’ Lace,” is a wonderful ending to a CD that you wish would never end. The guitar work of Phil Hamilton alongside Paul’s soprano sax, is a gentle, but alluring tune.
Listening to this CD, I discovered that the feel of the songs, and the titles of each, really do represent Nightlife. This is definitely a different road for Paul Taylor and one that seems to fit his musical personality. Don’t miss out on adding this to your CD collection.
- Bonnie Schendell