The second album by Canadian songstress Dione Taylor, I Love Being Here With You, finds Taylor in fine form and backed up by an orchestra of top rated, world-class musicians, producers and arrangers. With no end of talent from song to song, there is something for everyone on this recording. Taylor sings from the heart, she has a rhythm and blues base to work from and each and every song swings con-passione. This is an award winning production and highlights Taylor’s intriguing style in a most respectable fashion.
"Little Black Dress," composed by Dione Taylor and Liz Tansey is the first track on the CD and is a song that is very easy to listen to, with homerun written all over it. Taylor is at her most comfortable on these moderato R&B-style tunes. The song is upbeat, has catchy lyrics, a toe- tapping melody and a back up band that is firing on all cylinders. There is some excellent guitar playing by Bernie LaBarge featured in this song. The horn arrangement is very tastefully done; the song comes in at three minutes and seventeen seconds with just under forty five seconds for the horns to blow with some heartfelt passion.
Dione Taylor is a very soulful, bluesy singer who has developed a nice sound that is all her own. At times, I’m reminded of the refined Dianne Reeves, the soulful Abby Lincoln and the blues of a Willie Mae Thorton, a little bit of all that vocal beauty shines through. The song "He’s Funny That Way" a laid-back blues, has a marvellous horn arrangement by Doug Riley. The horns are in fine support of Taylor, creating layers of an exceptional full sound that Taylor feeds off of and answers the horn player’s mournful pleas. The tenor saxophone of Pat Labarbera, trumpet and flugelhorn of Guido Basso, trumpet of Steve McDade, trombone of William Carn and Baritone saxophone of Perry White break through and build the feel to a grand climax. Check this recording out for this song alone, it is a priceless masterpiece of musicality, production and arrangement.
The Taylor composition "I Love Being Here With You," opens with a classical feel, a cello played arco sets the tone and opens with a laid back melancholy feel. Taylor takes the first verse in harmony with the strings, setting the tone for guest vocalist Denzal Sinclaire to provide a sounding board for all this sadness in what is supposed to be a love song. The song is arranged by Dione Taylor, the strings are arranged by Doug Riley. The final chorus has the string section building to some joy but the vocalists have set the course for mesto.
The next Taylor composition is night and day from the previous tune, an emotional roller coaster of a tune that draws you in and makes you start fantasizing: "Fantasy." The song has great lyrics, very appealing when put into context, with its hot bossa rhythm and pulsating horns. The horn arrangement is by Daniel Stone, song arrangement by Taylor, Stone and Sandy Mamane. The song goes out with a nice duo of Taylor and Bill McBirnie on flute. The drumming duties on the session are split between David DiRenzo and Terry Clarke. DiRenzo provides some fine playing in this tune and every number he performs on.
The Cole Porter standard "Just One Of Those Things," a highlight trio number that finds Taylor at her most comfortable and swinging up a storm. The piano solo on this number is superb, performed by Benny Green in triple time, high energy with comping by bassist Jim Vivian and Clarke on drums and at his best.
The recording of "The Angels Share," composed by Don & Jeff Breithaupt is performed with the trio of Jim Vivian (bass), Benny Green (piano) and Terry Clarke (drums.) A melancholy ballad that pours forth emotion, the final track on the record and a tune that makes you want more of that angelic purity of voice that is Dione Taylor.