Taylor's Universe - Certain Undiscoveries (English version)

Kev Rowland

ImageRobin Taylor was born in Copenhagen in 1956, and started playing guitar at the age of 12. Although he experimented with recording in the Seventies, it wasn’t until a chance meeting with keyboard player Jan Marsfeldt in 1988 that led him to actually record an album which he released in 1991. Since then he has been making up for lost time and this 2006 album is his 22nd in one form or another. Here Robin shows his skill not only on guitar but also on keyboards and percussion, while he is joined by Karsten Vogel (from famed Danish act Secret Oyster) on saxophones and bass clarinet and Rasmus Grosell on drums. It is fairly hard to categorise the music being played, and from looking through the web I can see that may others have had a similar problem. Robin is sometimes categorised as RIO (which I can understand but don’t necessarily agree with), jazz or progressive, or any combination thereof, but the one thing that everyone concurs with is that here is music that is worthy of investigation.

Although the album is enjoyable on first play, it is only from repeated listenings that one really understands where Robin is coming from. While the music can at times be fairly bombastic and almost undisciplined as the jazz traits shine through, it is the use of space and restraint that really makes this stand out. There is a lightness and deftness of touch that draws the listener in – some progressive bands literally blast out their skills and expect the listener to be stunned into submission by their skill and musical dexterity, here it is far more delicately done. There are times when the music is quiet, with just one or two instruments, and I found myself drawing closer to the speakers – not wanting to turn it up as I was afraid of losing the moment.

This is music that needs to be listened to – if you try and do something else whilst playing it (the first time I played this CD was in the car which is most definitely the wrong idea) then you will not get the most out of it. This needs to be savoured in a peaceful environment, and I found that playing this while looking out over the dark hills with a sky full of stars made it work just fine…Mind you, when he lets rip as he does towards the end of closing number “A Beautiful Garden With A Lot Of Depressed Animals Including Norse Sculpture” then it does give a very different feel to the whole piece.     

For more details then visit http://www.progressor.net/robin-taylor/index.htm - or just search on the web, and you will find that many reviewers rate Robin highly, something I definitely agree with.      
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