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Chad Taylor Trio: The Daily Biological (Cuneiform)

A review of the drummer-led trio's debut album

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Chad Taylor Trio: The Daily Biological
The cover of The Daily Biological by the Chad Taylor Trio

The Daily Biological is attributed to the Chad Taylor Trio, but the cover lists tenor saxophonist Brian Settles and pianist Neil Podgurski just beneath the drummer’s name. This implies that, even though Taylor organized the session, it’s a cooperative effort. All three players introduce compositions and take turns acting as musical anchor, freeing the other two to push outward.

Taylor has recorded prolifically in situations ranging from solo percussion to various iterations of the Chicago Underground bands, supporting a wide range of jazz players. Given his expertise at making use of space, the absence of a bassist leaves nothing to be desired on this album. Taylor more than makes up for it on a track like “Prism,” where he accents the Caribbean feel with a groove alternating rims and toms. “Recife” pays tribute to Geri Allen and her fondness for polyrhythms; although the track fades too soon—the trio seems to be just settling in after less than three minutes—sometimes these compositions take precedence over the improvisations they can inspire.

Podgurski (like Settles, a friend from Taylor’s New School days in the ’90s) contributes the brooding “Resistance,” and maintains its melody from start to finish along with Settles as Taylor’s accents and rolls increase the dynamics and tension. After a free opening, “Between Sound and Silence” requires the pianist and Settles to play a slow etude while Taylor again builds up, and their restraint adds to the piece’s beauty. Settles blends exquisitely with his friends in both long tones and freer moments like “Birds, Leaves, Wind, Trees.” One hopes these three won’t be too busy to reconvene for another session in the near future.

Preview or download The Daily Biological on Amazon!

Mike Shanley

Mike Shanley has been a lifelong resident of Pittsburgh and gladly welcomes any visitors to the city, most likely with a cup of coffee in one hand. Over the years, he has written for several alternative weekly papers and played bass guitar in several indie rock bands. He currently writes for the bi-weekly paper Pittsburgh Current and maintains a blog at shanleyonmusic.blogspot.com.