Tenacity (Deluxe Edition)
A well-known player in the smooth jazz scene, saxophonist Paul Taylor made his debut in 1995 after a few years with Keiko Matsui. Here, on his 10th album, Tenacity (get it?), he returns with melodic playing and crowd-pleasing grooves. Many artists in this genre get accused of being redundant, but Taylor and longtime producer/programmer Dino Esposito offer a well-rounded effort. Those looking for shimmying R&B can turn to “Open Road” or “Empire.” Those seeking something more moody can dig into “More to Come” and “Awakening.” And things get downright funky on the title track, which also includes the saxophonist’s strongest playing on the album. Taylor also gets a little help from his friends—pianist Jonathan Fritzen pushes him along on the opener, “Supernova,” keyboardist Paul Hardcastle joins him on “Peace of Mind,” and Jeff Lorber adds tasteful touches of guitar and keyboard to “Luxe.” It’s a nice return that should please many of Taylor’s longtime fans.