Band: Taylor’s Universe
CD Title: Almost Perfected
Label: Marvel of Beauty Records (2017)
It’s been approximately eighteen months since last we heard from Robin Taylor and that for him is a long time. So it was nice to get an email saying that the wait was over for some new music from Taylor’s Universe was on its way. Now I use the term “new music” somewhat loosely because the forty-six minutes of music Almost Perfected is not entirely new. Instead, as on a previous release Taylor has dug into the vaults and selected four longer instrumental compositions and then reworked, and re-performed them using his current talented band of musicians. As he says in the liner notes, there are times where you write, perform and record a tune and while it sounds finished it hasn’t turned out exactly as you expected. Almost Perfected is a way of taking those tunes and tackling them again only this time with more experience under your belt. The sound as on previous releases falls loosely in to the Canterburian genre given its light and airy jazz flavoured overall feel. This is music that has a lot going on nestled in-between beautiful melodic passages. Songs are longer made up of multiple musical segments that feature plenty of guitar, keyboard and saxophone interplay. These elements are all knitted together in such a way that the music ebbs and flows between dynamic contrasts all performed with an amazing level of instrumental virtuosity. And yet for all its complexity it feels warm and authentic. I think it’s safe to say, having taken all of eighteen months to bring these four tunes to fruition that Taylor is much happier with how they’ve turned out this time although I get the feeling they’re still not quite perfect, hence the album title ALMOST Perfected. Its a set of tunes I really liked, Taylor's Universe at it's best. Fans of Taylor’s Universe will not hesitate to add this new disc to the collection but as always I would urge you first timers who’ve never heard the band before, this would make an excellent introduction to his musical style. Clearly recommended to Prog fans who enjoy the jazzy Canterburian sound.