Paul Taylor: Pleasure Seeker

Like the myriad of R&B/jazz genre albums now flooding the marketplace, Paul Taylor’s Pleasure Seeker (Unity/Countdown Records 17755-2; 49:43) utilizes urban percussion loops, samples and layers of synthesizer to build seductive ballads and edgy dance pieces. What distinguishes Taylor’s work is the way in which he employs these tools. The saxophonist uses the urban elements economically and without cliche-“Raw Sugar” juxtaposes a gentle piano opening with a springy hip-hop loop, for example, and “Groove Zone” employs otherworldly electronic effects to draw listeners in, Twilight Zone style. In lesser hands, these tunes could easily have been delivered in drippy, bombastic style. The other big plus here is Taylor’s skill as a melodic soloist. He rips off warm melodies like the uptempo “Fadeaway” and ballads like the brightly uplifting “Dry Your Eyes” in an economical, soulful style. Listeners would be well advised to bypass the Gerald Albright clones and Fourplay wannabes in favor of Paul Taylor’s talents.