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Dennis Taylor: Steppin’ Up

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Robust-toned tenor sax player Dennis Taylor meets up with B3 organist Kevin McKendree and various drummers on this earthy outing that harkens back to honkin’ bar-walkin’ times. From start to finish, Taylor and McKendree form a potent partnership patterned after the soulful team of Hank Crawford and Jack McDuff: There’s the opening second-line stroll “Lee’s Lick,” the swinging “Special K,” the blues-soaked “Back at the Teddy Bear Lounge” and the hard-boppish title track, along with spirited covers of Dr. John’s “I Walk on Guilded Splinters,” Ray Charles’ “Hallelujah I Love Her So” and Percy Mayfield’s “The River’s Invitation.” Special guest Delbert McClinton offers soulful vocals on the Buddy Johnson ballad “Since I Fell for You.”

Originally Published