Taylor’s Universe: Almost Perfected (2017)

Written by: Kev Rowland

Looking at my CD shelves I can see nearly thirty albums recorded by Robin Taylor in one of his projects, and after a break of a couple of years, he is back with the latest from Taylor’s Universe. The concept behind this was quite simple, take some old tunes and then re-arrange them with the current line-up in mind, and re-record them. Given that some of the current musicians had never heard the originals they were bound to give them a different interpretation, and the result is an album quite unlike many of Robin’s other works. Robin tends to often approach music from a jazz viewpoint, taking it to more extremes with Taylor’s Free Universe, but what strikes the listener with this album is just how melodic and progressive sounding it is. Yes, there are jazz elements here and there, as well as RIO, but this is fluid, melodic and complex yet always retaining a simplicity within its structure.

There are only four songs on the album, with a total length of forty-six minutes, but one is never sure exactly what is going to happen on the musical journey. “Mean Attack” starts with gentle percussion, held-down chords and a quiet gentility, which is smashed to pieces at about one minute twenty before it resumes again. Jakob Mygind again provides a sterling performance on various saxophones, while the guitars of John Sund and Robin cut through dynamically. For sheer listening pleasure this has to be one of my favorite albums from the Danish master, it’s great to have him back!

Rating: 9/10

Track list:
Mean Attack // Definitely Greek (He Said) // Remembering Johannesburg // Dark Side of Alec


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