Guitarist Joe Taylor Releases New Album “Westside Chill” | LISTEN!

Guitarist Joe Taylor returns to jazz on “Westside Chill”

His NYC and Lowcountry environs seep into the music on his newly released album

BENNETTS POINT, SC (21 FEBRUARY 2024): Like his sound and style, guitarist Joe Taylor’s inspiration balances big city grit and hustle with gentle and slow downhome charm. His sixth album, “Westside Chill,” captures his ardor and appreciation for both primary influences in his musical muse as well as in his lifestyle. Taylor wrote all ten songs on the new Moonwatcher Music release produced by four-time Grammy winner Steve Rosenthal and the collection marks the guitar slinger’s first contemporary jazz outing in seventeen years. The haunting nocturnal title track is collecting Spotify playlist adds and is moving up the radio singles chart.

For decades, Taylor split his time between living in New York City and escaping to the coast in the South Carolina Lowcountry. Now he spends most of his time nestled in by the water in the Lowcountry, his rural coastal surroundings informing the material he wrote for “Westside Chill.” Equally present is the New York City metropolis’s influence on the setlist. Taylor is joined on the album by jazz pianist Jeff Franzel, bassists Woody Lingle and Brian Stanley (Bryan Adams), drummer Steve Holley (Paul McCartney & Wings), percussionist Blair Shotts, and flutist John Ragusa.

Opening the record with the title cut that he wrote with Franzel, Taylor said, “This melody came to me on a quiet late-night walk home up Broadway on the Westside of New York City, feeling that chill wind blowing off the Hudson, seeing the streetlights in the snow.”

Decades ago, Taylor used to see the late bass legend Jaco Pastorius playing hoops in a Big Apple playground. Written with Lingle, who is featured prominently on “Jaco’s Court,” the track evokes those vivid memories and concludes with the sounds of a present-day basketball game played on that court.

Taylor remembers another late icon, Glen Campbell, on “Mr. Campbell,” a soothing melodic and congenial tribute befitting the singer-songwriter country-pop crossover star.

“Menemsha Fog” showcases Taylor in a jazz trio configuration flanked by Holley and Stanley, playing his cool electric guitar in a dark, misty, tension-riddled soundscape.

Taylor lets his imagination loose on “Twenty-Two Rivers,” a vocal tune featuring Jordan Trotter as the female protagonist on this unnerving straight-ahead jazz prowl.

“She’s The Moon” is an ode capturing the radiantly glowing spirit of Taylor’s wife, Stacey. Taylor played a McGill Resonator guitar, a rare instrument that was made for the late guitar great Chet Atkins.

“Available Light” moves at a relaxing pace, written about a photographer friend who “is always seeking that magic, elusive available light.” Referencing the intro to Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Shining Star” is how Taylor opens the vibey “The Cooper and the Thief.”

Taylor’s instrumental storytelling tells the tale of seeing a bobcat in the wild from his boat on “The Cut.”

Dedicated to his friend, Captain Baldwin, the album closes with “The Waterman,” a soulful, bluesy rhythmic cruise. Taylor explains, “There is a long tradition of shrimpers, oystermen and others who pull a living from the saltwater down here in the Lowcountry where I now live. They’re up before dawn and out on the salt all day.”

“Westside Chill” is Taylor’s first album since 2015’s “Sugardust in the Devil Wind” and his first contemporary jazz project since 2007’s “Accidental Sugar.” In the interim, he’s played, written, produced, recorded and performed in a variety of settings spanning rock, pop, blues, country, classical and Celtic music along with signing and developing artists for his Moonwatcher Music label.

Taylor debuted as a solo artist in 1988 with the ProJazz label release “Mystery Walk,” eventually signing with RCA/Victor to release “Spellbound” in 1995. His contemporary jazz recordings maintained a consistent presence on the Billboard charts. As a session player and producer, Taylor has collaborated with an eclectic list of artists – from Dave Koz and Donna Summer to Nile Rodgers, Al B. Sure! and Andrew Lloyd-Webber. Crafting music for television and film, his credits include “Stephen King’s Golden Years,” Discovery Channel’s “SpyTek” with Roger Moore, ABC Television’s “Turning Point” and A&E’s “Spies.”

Taylor’s “Westside Chill” album contains the following songs:

“Westside Chill”
“Jaco’s Court”
“Mr. Campbell”
“Menemsha Fog”
“Twenty-Two Rivers”
“She’s The Moon”
“Available Light”
“The Cooper and the Thief”
“The Cut”
“The Waterman”

For more information, please visit http://www.joetaylormusic.com.

Great Scott P.R.oductions

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