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A Morning Glory by Dotti Anita Taylor

Flutist, pianist, vocalist, composer, Dotti Anita Taylor has been well known in the New York area for many years, although this is her first recording under her own name. While pursuing a 30-year career as a math and music teacher for the NYC Board of Education, Dotti has also managed to build an impressive resume of independent musical activity, in both jazz and classical fields. As a performer, she has appeared with Ted Dunbar, Mickey Tucker, Stanley Cowell, Ray Drummond, Antonio Hart, Wycliffe Gordon, among many others, appearing at the Blue Note, Birdland and Sweet Basil's as well as Body and Soul in Tokyo, Japan. She has recorded with the Ted Dunbar Quartet, Jason Lindner Big Band, Keisha St. Joan Quartet and Wendee Glick Sextet. At the same time, she has been very active in supporting other musicians through her activities with the National Association for Negro Musicians, the International Association for Jazz Education and the National Flute Association. After serving as board member and treasurer of International Women in Jazz, she is now the President of this growing organization.

With all this, Dotti has been a little negligent in promoting her own work; it took friends and fellow musicians to coax her into finally putting together a recording of her own. We should thank them for this as Taylor's warm-toned flute and carefully crafted arrangements are a pleasure. It is also good to hear some of the fine, but under-recorded New York musicians that Dotti works with in her various projects, such as trumpeter Eddie Allen, guitarist Dave Tunnell and saxophonist Patience Higgins, whose soprano is heard to advantage on "It's Misterios," along with his tenor on "The Cat Walk." The rhythm section of veteran pianist Bertha Hope (formerly married to Elmo Hope), bassist Miriam Sullivan, and drummer Bernice Brooks is fine throughout. I won't refer to them as the 'all-female' rhythm section; their playing is such that this is quite irrelevant.

Many of the finest jazz arrangers have, or had, a knack of taking familiar tunes and revamping them in their own image. Dotti is no exception. In her hands, for example,"Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" becomes a gentle bossa nova that pairs well with her reading of Jobim's "Gentle Rain." Thad Jones' lovely ballad "A Child is Born" works well as a duet with Dotti and guitarist Tunnell, "I Thought About You" hits a nice medium-tempo groove, while "It's Misterios" and "The Cat's Walk" have a contrasting 'little big-band' sound. Dotti's vocal on "Here Comes the Sun" has the same qualities as her flute work: warm sound, sure intonation, understated swing.

With the flood of often premature recordings on the market it is always welcome to find one by a mature artist who has taken time to develop her craft. I hope Dotti Anita Taylor will not wait as long to produce another.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Dotti Anita Taylor
  • CD Title: A Morning Glory
  • Genre: Straight-Ahead / Classic
  • Year Released: 2007
  • Record Label: Datnotes
  • Tracks: 1. Gentle Rain 2. Its Misterios 3. A Morning Glory 4. Time After Time 5. Au Latin 6. Here Comes The Sun 7. Herkimer 8. Bewitched
  • Musicians: Bothered and Bewildered 9. I Thought About You 10. A Child Is Born 11. The Cat's Walk'
  • Rating: Four Stars
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