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Taylor's Universe: Experimental Health

Danish multi-instrumentalist Robin Taylor has many outlets for his musical visions, one being his Taylor's Universe band. This group plays a more melodic and progressive style than his highly avant-garde/free jazz ensemble Taylor's Free Universe. Taylor has been releasing plenty of material from the vaults lately, and Experimental Health is no exception, originally recorded back in 1997 and 1998. With him on this project is sax legend Karsten Vogel, drummer Rasmus Grosell, flute/trombone/sax player Kim Menzer, guitarist Henning Plannthin, Jan Marsfeldt on keyboards, and Jytte Lindgerg on vocals. Taylor himself handles all sorts of instruments, like guitar, bass, keyboards, loops, and percussion.

The opening tune "Man On the Mountain" is a killer piece, part jazz monster and part avant-prog, with crazy chops from all the players. Taylor lays down some beefy guitar riffs, while Plannthin injects some fiery solos and Vogel's soaring sax lines really spice things up. "Elephant Kiss" is a melodic jazz piece that also has moments of swinging reggae and Ian Anderson styled flute blasts from Menzer. Symphonic space rock meets melodic fusion on "Inner Space", a tune that features some intense fuzz guitar solos and nimble bass grooves from Taylor. Other highlights include the almost Mahavishu Orchestra-like slow build of "Milo's Dakdar", complete with a mysterious sax solo from Vogel, the avant-garde sounds of "Kindergarten", the instrumental hard rock & guitar savagery of "Therapy", and the jazz fusion screamer "Charly & Juliet". Of course, it wouldn't be a Robin Tayor album without one song littered with loops and oddball sounds, in this case the nearly 10-minute title track. With droning keys, loops, distorted guitar patterns, tapes from radio and TV broadcasts, and Vogel's free-jazz sax explorations, this one is more akin to the Taylor's Free Universe stuff than the rest of the songs that you will hear on this CD.

Experimental Health contains some very solid material, and in spots you will hear the band rocking out more than normal, yet there is also some very good jazz and fusion material here as well. Overall, this is a very enjoyable release from a batch of musicians that are helping to keep the spirit of avant-garde music alive, and doing a great job of it.

Track list
1) Man On The Mountain (7:39)
2) Elephant Kiss (4:33)
3) Inner Space (6:06)
4) Base Camp (2:14)
5) Notkai (3:25)
6) Milo's Dakdar (2:42)
7) Kindergarten (4:33)
8) Therapy (5:57)
9) Charly & Juliet (4:24)
10) Experimental Health (9:58)

Added: February 18th 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Robin Taylor Website
Hits: 2482
Language: english

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