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Many years ago, on an Aebersold improvisation course, tutor Dan Haerle said to me, ‘Sounds like you’re trying to invent jazz’. I took that as a compliment as well as a criticism – I hadn’t bothered to learn any licks, let alone solos, so was forced to try to be original. Maybe this also applies, in a different way, to Paul Taylor’s much more accomplished work. His influences as an improviser seem to be 20th-century composers such as Debussy, Enescu and Vaughan Williams. Taylor’s approach involves ‘classical improvisation’ – a rare phenomenon that rejects jazz models. The results come across like a classicised take on Keith Jarrett’s Köln Concert. Cusps is too meandering and soft-focus for my taste, but if this review piques your interest, try the extensive preview at https://paulstephentaylor. bandcamp.com.

ANDY HAMILTON Read the full review on Agora Classica


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