Perhaps the busiest man in progressive music, multi-instrumentalist/composer Robin Taylor is back with another release from his outfit Taylor's Universe, this one titled Evidence. Joined by longtime bandmate Karsten Vogel (sax, clarinet), the group also features Klaus Thrane (drums), Claus BÝhling ( guitars), and Thomas Thor ViderÝ Ulstrup (synthesizer), with Taylor contributing guitars, keyboards, bass, flute, and percussion, and guest vocalist Louise Nipper on one track. Though there are only four songs here on Evidence , you get over 40-minutes of material, so that's a lot of bang for your buck. The music is squarely in the instrumental prog-rock/jazz-fusion mold, the songs lengthy and expansive, allowing for plenty of atmosphere as well as dazzling solos, especially from Vogel, Bohling, and Ulstrup.
Opener "Buildings" is a lovely piece, with stunning sax & organ melodies throughout and punctuated by scorching electric guitar and synth solos. "Red Afternoon" starts off almost like a mid-'70s Tangerine Dream track, but then quickly morphs into a bluesy, jazzy affair littered with tasty organ and blistering lead guitar. Vogel's lead sax lines on this one are also quite engaging. The quirky "Marie Marolle" is heavy & majestic jazz-fusion piece, with Bohling's searing lead guitar work leading the charge. This guy has some serious chops, and his tone is killer. Both Vogel & Ulstrup also contribute some stellar solos on this piece. Closing number "Forever and a Day" starts out as a lovely jazz tune with haunting melodies from Vogel, before Bohling unleashes a torrid heavy metal styled volley of notes, eventually giving way to Taylor's lovely piano and Ulstrop's blazing progressive rock synth blasts.
Though Evidence seems more an excuse for delivering jaw-dropping virtuosity rather than creating memorable melodies, there's no denying the spectacular musicality that's on display here. Taylor's Universe are one of the most unknown and underrated instrumental acts on the prog/jazz-fusion scene, so if you want to find out what you are missing, check this one out.
1. Buildings (14:55)
2. Red Afternoon (11:52)
3. Marie Marolle (9:22)
4. Forever and a Day (7:48)