Taylor, Robin - Isle Of Black,
This was Robin’s 26th album, following on from the Art Cinema project and the Taylor’s Universe release “Soundwall”. In fact this has the same musicians as that, apart from Michael Denner who wasn’t involved with this one. It never ceases to amaze me that it is possible to play Taylor album and find it so very different to any of his other releases. One would imagine that when an artist is extremely prolific that there would be a tendency to go back over the same old ground, but just like Jeremy Morris (who has released well in excess of 50 albums now) it is more a case of just having so much music inside his head he just has to get it out. The album starts with electronically treated vocals and fairly simplistic chords that immediately makes one feel that this is going to have far more in common with classic Tangerine Dream than with the jazz that Robin is normally known for, but soon the vocals and chords have a small amount of dissonance that gives it a more threatening and frightening edge. There is a depth here that is way more than the simple chords and vocals imply.
One of my favourites on the album is the third track “Swinger” which after a quirky introduction melds into a sax and piano led jazz number that belongs in a small smoky jazz club. That these guys have played together for a while is more than evident, with a feel that they are playing off each other and having fun – no mean feat given that this is not a truly live affair as Robin is playing various instruments on this track. It moves away into chaos and freeform before coming back to the previous melody which now feels warm and even more welcoming than before due to the short diversion it took earlier. This is a song that is only four minutes long, but one that I feel I could put on repeat all day.
This isn’t the longest album in the world, even with the 11 minutes bonus of “Izmit” it is only just over 40 minutes long, but yet again it is sheer class. Definitely worth investigating. For more details visit http://www.progressor.net/robin-taylor.