Otis Taylor: Country Boy, Girl


Country Boy, Girl


Otis Taylor (vocals, banjo)


Pentatonic Wars and Love Songs (Telarc 83690)


Otis Taylor (vocals, banjo), Jason Moran (piano), Tarus Mateen (bass),

Jonn Richardson (lead guitar), Fara Tolno (djembe)


Composed by Otis Taylor


Recorded: Boulder, Colorado, no date given (CD released in 2009)


Rating: 94/100 (learn more)

There may be more technically accomplished guitarists than Otis Taylor, but no one—and I mean no one—plays a meaner vamp. Here he moves to the banjo (which he featured prominently on his previous release Recapturing the Banjo) and gets some serious locomotion out of this countrified instrument. But the real question raised by this new CD is: how does Taylor's take-no-prisoners approach to rhythm match up with a jazz contingent headed by Jason Moran and the "World Music" flavor provided by West African percussionist Fara Tolno? With only four beats in each bar, is there enough pulse for everyone to share? Not to worry! As this track makes clear, this band is as well blended as Johnnie Walker Black, with twice the kick. Even if Otis Taylor is already well represented on your iPod, you need to make room for this performance.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia


Comments are closed.