Otis Taylor: Pentatonic Wars and Love Songs (Telarc)

 |   |  1 min read

Otis Taylor: Lost My Guitar
Otis Taylor: Pentatonic Wars and Love Songs (Telarc)

A copy of this album has been in and out of my player for at least two months and I assumed it had already been released some time back and I'd missed my chance to comment. But the amount of repeat-plays it was getting suggested I write something, and now I find it has only just come out.

Happy to bring it to your attention then because bluesman Taylor is unlike any other: his last album was him on banjo, he has a strong political thread running through his work, his blues are neither jagged nor spare but sit in what he calls "trance blues" territory for the most part, and his songs have a considered and often quiet reflection about them.

Here he has a couple of guests -- guitarist Gary Moore drops by (again) and pianist Jason Moran comes to the sessions too. But it is Taylor's aching voice alongside that of his daughter Cassie (often ethereal) and the arrangements for subtle cornet, cello and violin which elevates this music and takes it into a different realm.

These are love songs but, typically with Taylor, they aren't chipper and upbeat: they are songs of the love of a parent for a child, of children for each other, of a woman who leaves her husband for a woman, of a crime of passion, of a ghost calling for his lover to join him in the world beyond the grave . . .

Interested?

You certainly should be. Taylor writes hypnotic, often metaphorical songs which are atmospheric and engrossing.

This is another excellent album in a long and productive career which has been punctuated by many high points already. 

Share It

Your Comments

Ethel Munoz - Jun 22, 2009

I have never heard of him but based on this i think i should go and check it out. Seems they have great songs.

post a comment

More from this section   Blues at Elsewhere articles index

Son of Dave: '02' (Kartel/Rhythmethod)

Son of Dave: '02' (Kartel/Rhythmethod)

In the last couple of years this UK-based Canadian-born singer-songwriter (aka Ben Darvill, formerly of Crash Test Dummies) has conjured up the spirit and sound of old bluesmen punctuated with raw... > Read more

T-Model Ford and GravelRoad: Taledragger (Alive/Southbound)

T-Model Ford and GravelRoad: Taledragger (Alive/Southbound)

At 90, the great and late-discovered bluesman T-Model Ford still sounds like he is one man who isn't going to let the road of life weary him. Here with his touring band GravelRoad, he delivers... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

ROBERT PLANT; A LIFE by PAUL REES

ROBERT PLANT; A LIFE by PAUL REES

There are many excellent and insightful biographies of musicians around these days -- among them Mark Lewisohn's recent Tune In about the Beatles which at 900 pages only gets you to the start of... > Read more

Various: Sideways (2007)

Various: Sideways (2007)

From Loxene Golden Disc Award albums in the 60s through the Class of 81 and the Dunedin Double (82), and the South Auckland Proud collection of 94, the breadth and texture of Kiwi music has often... > Read more