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Reviewers: Don Mather, Tony Augarde, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Robert Gibson, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby

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CamJazz CAMJ 7802-2



1. Consolation
2. Whirlpool
3. For Ada
4. Nicolette
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

I 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.

The 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.

The 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?

Tony Augarde

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