Title: Glenn Taylor Orchestra
Catalogue Number: No catalogue number
Review Format: CD
Release Year: 2008
This album has the promise of the unusual. Glenn Taylor is a bit of a dab hand with the old pedal steel but does not do the country and western thing - "that intriguing and/or irritatingly whiny instrument" referred to in the sleeve notes. Bluesbunny always thought that the pedal steel produced a wondrous sound evoking feelings of pain and heartbreak accompanied by whiskey soaked tears. Then again, we have always secretly wanted a pick up truck.
You get seven instrumental tracks on this album. Opening things up for us is "Driver Take Me Home". More of the ilk of the soundtrack than the popular song , it lacks immediate appeal. Following on is "Turn Up the Love" which uses a Hawaiian slack key guitar sound to make us think of warmer climes. Unfortunately the Kenny G style saxophone and the plastic drums take us away from the beach and dump us right back onboard the cruise ship before we can get comfortable. "BlueJesu" is a rather more interesting and rockier outing even if it does wander off into European prog-rock territory. To our ears, "Running Roughshod" was the most entertaining track on this album displaying a focussed development over its atmospheric yet quirky 8 minutes and 8 seconds runtime. The last track, "Warming Trends" sort of reprised the whole album whilst adding a gypsy dancing round the campfire feel as the tempo increased before dissipating after a wild jazz workout explosion. More of that kind of madness would certainly have been welcome.
Whilst I can admire the musicianship and the alternative expression of the pedal steel sound, I could not really warm to this album. It was just too smooth and unadventurous overall to really get your teeth into. And those plastic drums ended up really annoying me. So, an interesting release in many ways but not an essential purchase.
Available by worldwide mail order from CD Baby.
March 25, 2008
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