3. For Ada
5. The Woodcocks
6. I Loves You Porgy
7. Everybody's Song But My Own
8. In the Bleak Midwinter
John Taylor- Piano
Palle Danielsson - Bass
Martin France - Drums
have admired John Taylor ever since I saw
him give a solo piano recital which could
rival Keith Jarrett for invention and unexpectedness.
So I am rather surprised (and somewhat disappointed)
to feel lukewarm about this new album. It
was actually recorded in October 2005 at Bauer
studios in Ludwigsburg and contains three
compositions by Kenny Wheeler and three originals
by Taylor, plus In the Bleak Midwinter
and Gershwin's I Loves You Porgy. The
trouble with all these tunes except the last
two is that they are very thin on melody.
album opens almost inconsequentially with
Consolation - sparse notes spun out
of the air and soon taken up by Palle Danielsson's
bass. The resemblance to the classic Bill
Evans Trio is unmistakeable: a similar delicacy
of touch, an introverted atmosphere, and the
equality of piano and double bass. Yet there
is little of Evans's melodic sense, so that
this track seems to float insubstantially.
The same applies to several other tracks,
where it feels as if there is little to grasp
hold of. It is all very thoughtful - even
cerebral - but its inward-facing approach
somehow shuts out the listener unless he or
she is content with a series of evanescent
tunes which are predominantly slow ballads.
Martin France is a brilliant drummer but he
has little to do except add delicate shading
to some numbers.
most accessible tracks are the two not written
by Taylor or Wheeler. The familiar melodies
of I Loves You Porgy and In the
Bleak Midwinter are given slow, pensive
consideration but the latter, when it starts,
sounds as if it is going to be a different
tune (Too Late Now?). In a way this
typifies what I feel about the album's lack
of melodic focus: it is beautifully and tastefully
played, but where's the tune?