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Taylor's Free Universe: 9 Eleven

The latest release from Danish ensemble Taylor's Free Universe is a 2 CD set recorded September 11, 2002, live in concert at the Copenhagen JazzHouse. As always, the band is firing on all cylinders, assaulting the listener with slabs of molten jazz mixed with progressive rock experimentation. There's very few avant-garde acts these days that can keep up with the power that these five musicans can dish out, so if your tastes include bands on the ECM or Cuneiform labels, then please read on.

Jazz purists will love the singing sax work of Karsten Vogel, who solos with reckless abandon on the moody "Free-Bop", a song that pulses and bubbles, with Vogel leading the way while guitarist Robin Taylor's distorted chords simmer underneath. Pierre Tassone adds some neat, effects-laden violin lines to this piece as well, which by the completion of the track becomes an all-out "free for all" of manic sounds by the band. "A Serious Offer" features some rumbling and ominous bass from Johan Segerberg, while "Marion Crane" really grooves, thanks to the tricky drum work of Kalle Mathiesen and the pensive sax of Vogel. Taylor's guitar work is quite masterful throughout this CD, and he has a style that provides more in the way of textures than solos, similar to David Torn yet he has an aggressive edge that is very much like Robert Fripp. His searing, bombastic shrieks battle with Vogel's more melodic lines on "Boom!", and his ominous wailings shatter the mix on the dark "Texas Flangers." This 2 CD set concludes with the excellent 17-minute "In Spirit of...", a moody slice of progressive jazz that sees the band go on an epic journey of moods and textures, with all the soloists rendering artisitc creations of dark beauty that will send chills up and down your spine. Hearing Vogel and Tassone hand off the torch to each other on this one, while Taylor creates a ebbing pulse of electronic noise, is quite stirring.

Taylor's Free Universe are a band that needs to be heard, as their dark, dissonant, and "free" sound is just what the progressive jazz/avant-garde scene needs right now. The music on 9 Eleven is fresh, original, and never meanders or bores. Highly recommended!

Track Listing
CD 1
1) Phantom Power (9:15)
2) A Serious Offer (7:27)
3) Free-Bop (10:12)
4) Marion Crane (9:16)
5) Sindal Mornings (9:00)
CD 2
6) Boom! (6:55)
7) Texas Flangers (10:15)
8) Sub-Language (6:26)
9) Peacock (6:14)
10) In Spirit of... (17:11)

Added: May 16th 2004
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Robin Taylor/Taylor's Free Universe Website
Hits: 4642
Language: english

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