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The Crossing

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The Crossing

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Editorial Reviews

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The Crossing by Tom Taylor

Review

The Crossing Tom Taylor By Ed Kopp - Tom Taylor's CD The Crossing, is a sophisticated fusion effort that should please fans of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Jean Luc Ponty and the Pat Metheny Group. Taylor is a guitarist and composer who blends classical styles with jazz and hints of bluegrass. Many similar attempts at fusing jazz with classical music have seemed pretentious, but The Crossing works on the strength of the leader's original compositions and his players' vituosity. The CD features Taylor's old band (guitar, vibes, bass, drums) along with some talented guests, including peerless mandolin picker Dave Grisman and the Kronos Quartet. Colorado native Taylor earned Musician Magazine's Best Unsigned Band Award of 1997 for the opening track here,Audade. This piece is a tricky but catchy creation with Grisman on mandolin, Taylor on classical and electric guitars, and Joe Caploe on vibes. The album's centerpiece is Big Basin Breakdown, a knee-slapping blend of baroque counterpoint, bluegrass and jazz. It features the Kronos Quartet, the unconventional string ensemble, and it's all the more compelling because it doesn't take itself too seriously. Other high points include Pasque March, a composition with a baroque feel that showcases some jazzy interplay -- sort of Vivaldi meets the Flecktones. Swamp Fox starts out like a pulsing Phillip Glass piece, but gives way to a twisting jazz-rock melody that creates a vaguely martial mood. I especially like the way the composer uses vibes and marimba to establish different tempos, an approach he shares with Frank Zappa. Equal credit goes to Joe Caploe, the man who actually plays the vibes and marimbas here. And Taylor is one guitarist who doesn't hog the spotlight -- violinist Erik Golub actually solos more often. Taylor's intricate music is the rare jazz-classical amalgam that really works. I'd like to hear more of the same, but I understand Taylor's been focusing on symphonic pieces of late. Maybe if The Crossing sells a few copies he'll revisit this format. Rating: *** 1/2 (out of ****) Tracks: Aubade; Pasque March; Swamp Fox; Big Basin Breakdown; D'Alien; Freerun; Greensleeves; The Crossing Players: Tom Taylor(Guitars); The Kronos Quartet (Strings); Ian Dogole (Percussion); Joe Weed (Mandolin, Cello, Mandocello); Eric Golub (Violin); David Grisman (Mandolin); Curt Moore(Percussion, Drums); Joe Caploe (Percussion, Marimbas, Vibraphone); Rick Steffens (Basses); Jon Ward (Bass); John Ward (Acoustic Bass) --Allaboutjazz.com

The Crossing Tom Taylor By Jim Santella - Remember the impact Mason Williams instrumental hit Classical Gas had on 1960s audiences? Elegant, early classical timbres mixed with the rock generation's beat, and produced something we all appreciated. Tom Taylor's tone poems come out of a 17th-century baroque style, but with electric bass, a drummer, guitars, and a natural sound from vibraharp. Without the motor, Joe Caploe's vibes has no lingering vibrato, a lighter, quicker sound, and considerable agility. The Crossing features several guests working with Taylor's quartet. Swamp Fox features Erik Golub's viola with a sweeping, storytelling adventure. It's light, but with a varied melody and an obvious sense of majesty that stems from the snare drum's crisp cadence. Golub, whose violin graces half the album, is featured with energetic melodies and some improvisation. Big Basin Breakdown begins with a two-minute introduction from the Kronos Quartet and evolves into an up-tempo foot-stomping bluegrass romp that features Golub and David Grisman. On several other pieces Taylor, Caloe, Rick Steffens and Curt Moore offer music suited for film; mood music that tells a story. Taylor stretches out with electric guitar on Freerun. Recommended, Taylor's album combines a classical tinge with natural folk idioms and an enjoyable modern day sensibility. Track Listing: Aubade; Pasque March; Swamp Fox; Big Basin Breakdown; D Alien; Freerun; Greensleeves; The Crossing. Collective Personnel: Tom Taylor- electric guitar, acoustic guitar; Joe Caploe- vibraphone, marimba, percussion; Rick Steffens- electric bass, acoustic bass; Curt Moore- drums, percussion; Ian Dogole- percussion; Erik Golub- violin, viola; David Grisman- mandolin; Jon Ward- acoustic bass guitar on The Crossing; Joe Weed- mandolin, mando-cello; Kronos Quartet- strings on Big Bash Breakdown and The Crossing. --Allaboutjazz.com

Tom Taylor The Crossing by Bill Milkowski - Walking bass lines, Baroque counterpoint, Celtic lilt, bluegrass licks, and rock backbeats converge on guitarist Tom Taylor's ambitious fusion of jazz, rock, classical, and world music. Such varied influences as Frank Zappa, Virgil Thomson, Al Di Meola, Steve Morse, and Bela Fleck can be heard in Taylor's writing. He blends electric and acoustic guitars with Joe Caploe's vibes on pieces like D'Alien, Freerun, and the title track and overdubs acoustic guitars into a luminous latticework pattern on a lovely rendition of Greensleeves. Mandolin virtuoso David Grisman guests on Aubade and Big Basin Breakdown, which also features the Kronos Quartet. --Acoustic Guitar Magazine

The Crossing

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