Will Taylor and Strings Attached

Will Taylor and Strings Attached

Record Reviews

Will Taylor and Strings Attached

The last few years have seen local strings player/composer Will Taylor engaged in numerous musical collaborations, many jazz-based, some pop-oriented, a few highly curious, and all, in the end, responsible for the creation of some wonderful new music. His new release with Strings Attached brings together these collaborations, linking them into a unified vision of the wider role of classical strings in the scope of popular music. The album starts out on a somber note of warning and truth in the form of Barbara K's "My Name Is Truth" and moves from this droning ambience to the lighter-hearted, Sara Hickman-sung "Sister and Sam," a sentimental reminiscence about the passing of years and family. Ian Moore and Beth Ullman each contribute vocals, with Moore adding guitar to the near-mystic "Retablo de Teresa." Instrumental tracks have Taylor exploring traditional Irish tunes and a reel of his own, as well as a Sting cover and a ragga in two parts. It's a credit to Taylor that an album this eclectic holds so strong at the seams, as well as a reflection on the artists with whom he's chosen to work, that every song works as a piece all its own. Even, or especially, the cello solo on "See You Later." Taylor's core band Strings Attached, with John Fremgen on bass, Shawn Sanders on cello, and Javier Chaparro on violin are also key to the musical continuity. But it's Austin's Taylor who made this happen, and his inspired creativity and often amazing use of the violin make this album transcend the experimental to become art.

***.5

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