Taylor, Mike -trio-
The expressive English pianist Mike Taylor recorded a couple of excellent albums in the mid-1960s, at the request of Denis Preston of Lansdowne Studios, before drug use got the better of him, resulting in a long period of homelessness and a tragically early death from drowning at the age of 30, in 1970. Trio, the only album Taylor cut with the jazz trio he fronted, has strikingly original renditions of jazz standards such as "Stella By Starlight" and "The End Of A Love Affair," as well as his own captivating originals, such as "Guru" and "Abena," which both hinted at exotic foreign elements that would later be used more widely in "World Music" releases. A key member of the trio was bassist Jack Bruce, who would later revive some of Taylors work with Cream; drummer Jon Hiseman, who also played on Taylors debut album, keeps things together rhythmically as Bruce and Taylor pull the melody into disparate directions and Ron Rubin, who also made a name for himself as a jazz pianist, is present on some tracks on double bass. The Cream connection may be a major draw for fans of that group, yet the album is worth exploring in its own right for all fans of jazz, given Taylors undeniable talents, Prestons sterling arrangements, and the unmistakable bass of Jack Bruce.