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Circling by Fred Taylor Trio

Drummer Fred Taylor, a longtime veteran of the Seattle-area music scene, has been recording as a leader and sideman for more than thirty years. Currently residing in New Jersey, Taylor presents his first east coast production with Circling, a straight-ahead session featuring woodwind player Bob Ackerman and bassist Rick Crane. The disc consists of two standards ("Dear Old Stockholm," "Moon and Sand"), a handful of Ackerman originals and the collaborative improvised effort "Inventions I and II."

Ackerman's composing, lyrical and swinging, is a highlight of the disc. The bouncy and somewhat angular opening track serves as a clear-cut introduction to the piano-less trio's concept: wide open space, highlighting intuitive group interplay. Crane's up-in-the-mix bass lines and Taylor's subtle percussive pulse compliment the melodic and improvised turns of Ackerman, who is equally effective on alto, flute and clarinet.

The bossa-to-swing groove of "Dexter's Thing" and easy flow of "LTD's Ballad" feature Ackerman's rich clarinet tone and Crane's lucid, perhaps Ron Carter-inspired, bass flourishes. "My Response (K.G.)" and "Inventions I and II" present a more free form approach while maintaining an accessible aesthetic. Taylor's patient, yet always present approach allows the leader to express himself while letting his trio-mates shine--a quality sorely missed from so many drummer-led recordings.

Ackerman's "Lauren’s Waltz," a soft musical cushion featuring light brushwork and flowing bebop lines, closes a satisfying disc worthy of repeated listening.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Fred Taylor Trio
  • CD Title: Circling
  • Genre: Progressive
  • Year Released: 2008
  • Record Label: Independent Release
  • Musicians: Fred Taylor (drums), Bob Ackerman (alto saxophone, flute, clarinet), Rick Crane (double bass)
  • Rating: Four Stars
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