Labels > Cam Jazz > John Taylor > Whirlpool

John Taylor

Whirlpool

Cam Jazz CJGG003-2

Item: full_album_8024709780225_CD

Artists :
Martin France ( Drums )
Palle Danielsson ( Double Bass )
John Taylor ( Piano )
Release date
Nov 4, 2016
Duration
0:54:09

RE-MASTERED AUDIO and NEW PACKAGING !
This album, originally released in 2008, was re-mastered and repackaged in Digifile cardboard format. It includes the original full-color booklet.


John Taylor's classy trio delivers another great album, following the trio's acclaimed Angel of the Presence.


"Whirlpool makes me think of the first time I heard Portrait In Jazz by Bill Evans. It was many years ago, but I remember that Evans' very first piano notes, isolated and provisional on the air, set a mood that turned me inward. And I remember how startling it was when Evans so quickly relinquished that mood to the bassist, who not only continued the rapt atmosphere, but deepened it. In those days, it wasn't done. Bass players stayed in the background..." (T. Conrad)


"...another stellar release." (J. Kelman)
"Splendid!" (M. Gladu)
"...we are in the hands of master musicians. " (K. Mathieson)


Originally released in 2008


Recorded in Ludwigsburg on 21, 22 October 2005 at Bauer Studios Recording engineer Johannes Wohlleben


Liner notes by Thomas Conrad

Reviews

Mancunian magic

He’s a Mancunian and a wonder pianist, born in 1942 and largely self-taught.
…It has been a slow-burning life in jazz for John Taylor, but it has found a kind of apex over the last few years playing in the marvellous Kenny Wheeler Sextet, and with the series of meridian albums for the CAM JAZZ label.
Whirlpool was recorded in 2007 with the Kentish drummer Martin France and the Stockholm-born veteran bassist Palle Danielsson, who between 1974 and 1979 was the pulse of Keith Jarrett’s European quartet.
Kenny Wheeler’s tune Consolation begins the session firstly with Taylor’s sad notes then with the Scandinavian twang of Danielsson’s wooden throb. A trio of equals here, with France’s rhythmic voice spinning everywhere and every note of Taylor echoing tenderness. Two of his own tunes follow, firstly the mercurial changes of Whirlpool, hard-struck and mesmeric, and the For Ada, prefaced by a delving solo from Danielsson before Taylor unleashes the gentleness of the theme. There are two more Wheeler tunes. Nicolette is almost gossamer, like a praise-song to a sleeping child, with Taylor’s piano releasing a complex balm. Taylor makes Everybody’s song But My Own his own too, with an assured and empowered performance of a friend’s masterpiece. I Loves You Porgy is as moving a melodic rendition of the Gershwin tune that you will hear, following in the wake of The Woodcocks, full of turning corners, pauses, accelerations and sublimely thoughtful moments. Then suddenly from the Ludwigsburg studio comes the melody of the much-loved carol In The Bleak Midwinter. Its climax and the notes to the summative line “…give my heart…” radiate and endearing and unexpected jazz beauty.

10/6/2014Morning StarChris Searle
JOHN TAYLOR Whirlpool

Il pianista inglese incontra il contrabbassista Palle Danielsson e il batterista Martin France in un album basato su composizioni proprie, di Kenny Wheeler e su un paio di evergreen. Il tocco variegato e morbido, l’evoluta concezione armonica, un senso melodico prettamente europeo sono gli elementi cardine del linguaggio di Taylor, che trova due partner con cui riesce a costruire un dialogo rilassato, nel quale si evitano cliché e formule scontate, mentre emerge chiaramente il coté europeo del suo jazz.

16/6/2008Musica & DischiMaurizio Franco
JOHN TAYLOR Whirlpool

Dopo il bellissimo “Angel Of The Presence” del 2006, il trio Taylor-Danielsson-France torna in sala per riprendere il discorso là dove s’era interrotto; e anche stavolta i risultati sono eccellenti. Il pianista britannico riesce a ricreare un mondo affascinante e personale a ogni armonizzazione; l’esposizione dei temi e gli sviluppi seguenti lasciano sempre nell’ascoltatore la piacevole sensazione che ogni nota sia esattamente là dove deve essere: piccole architetture musicali improvvisate sugli schemi armonici, perfette per tocco, brillantezza di idee, timing, interazione tra i musicisti. E Danielsson e France sono eccezionali in questo continuo dialogare, arricchire e svuotare.
La vicinanza allo spirito dei trii di Bill Evans, da sempre un tratto distintivo del pianismo di Taylor, culmina nella bellissima rilettura di “I Loves You Porgy”, tanto amata dal maestro statunitense. La bellezza dei temi (tre dei quali di Kenny Wheeler, storico collaboratore di Taylor) contribuisce al raggiungimento di quel mirabile equilibrio tra composizione e improvvisazione che rende questo disco così seducente e conferma (non che ce ne fosse bisogno) il posto di assoluto rilievo occupato da Taylor tra i grandi pianisti jazz contemporanei.

3/6/2008Musica JazzAntonio Iammarino
Whirpool

Vorticoso? Non lo è nelle premesse, né nel carattere dei personaggi, e l’immagine di accompagnamento è piuttosto quella del rimescolarsi di una spuma fertile e dai colori decisi e puliti. Con contenuta stizza, qualche estimatore ha fatto notare come una simile incisione abbia “tutte le carte in regola per passare inosservata”: non mancano certo le cure da parte della CAM Jazz, accreditata non solo per gli artisti di scuderia; è però evidente che questa tipologia d’incisione poco ambisce a spiccare in un mercato dallo standard medio fortunatamente non scontato. Il low-profile è questione di classe? Oltre a tre composizioni del pianista inglese, e altrettante di Kenny Wheeler (vecchio compagno nel trio Azimuth), l’incisione comprende anche la gershwiniana I Loves You Porgy e un In the Bleak Midwinter del compositore Gustav Holst: oltre alla preziosa e privata rilettura dell’aria da Porgy and Bess, è soprattutto il saper dare libero flusso al caldo potenziale melodico del carol anglicano di quell’altro visionario inglese, che attesta la mano sicura di John Taylor nel colmare le tessere di questo puzzle armonico ed emozionale, e che scandisce la grande e coerente evoluzione del dettato evansiano. Terso, senza cupezze, l’apporto ritmico e solistico di Palle Danielsson è quello di un vecchio amico e di un campione modesto; il giovane batterista Martin France, metallo haynesiano su punteggiatura erskiniana (e alleggerito simulacro di entrambi) completa il trio come in Angel Of the Presence, sempre per la CAM, e catalizzando le componenti più ariose delle esperienze dei tre Whirlpool fa molto ricordare le felici uscite del trio Erskine-Taylor-Danielsson in un interplay composto, fluido – e privo di “vortici” di sorta.

Voto artistico: 8.5
Voto tecnico: 8.5

1/5/2008SuonoRomualdo Del Noce
JOHN TAYLOR Whirlpool

Voici un disque qui a tout pour passer inaperçu : pas de vedettes, une formation hyperrebattue, et des climats qui peuvent paraître uniformes lors d’une écoute-zapping. Le propos du leader n’est pas de renouveler le langage du jazz puisqu’il n’en a nul besoin. Car forts de leurs expériences respectives, le jeu raffiné de ces artistes semble couleur de source avec un naturel confondant. Ni esbroufe, ni tape-à-l’oeil, seul compte le plaisir de faire ensemble. L’expression, sans refuser une certaine innocence, ne se veut pas légère et se tourne davantage vers une allégresse sérieuse. Loin du bavardage futile, chaque inflexion semble remonter du plus profond de leur psyché. Ici, ce supplément d’âme intraduisible par de simples mots ne trouvera son écho véritable qu’auprès de ceux qui prennent le temps d’écouter. Dès lors, cette sensation agira sitôt le premier accord plaqué, le pianiste possédant un toucher d’une subtilité mille fois variée à la dynamique volontairement restreinte. Dans le répertoire proposé, trois reprises de Kenny Wheeler (relecture moins tragique de “Nicolette” tiré de “Angel Song”) : trois compositions du pianiste et un standard (“I Love You Porgy”) où l’Anglais peut largement prétendre rivaliser avec Jarrett dans ce style d’exercice (réécouter “How Deep Is The Ocean” sur “Rosslyn” pour ceux qui auraient oublié) ou avec Mehldau (une partie de l’improvisation se fait à deux voix réelles) ; enfin, une reprise de Holst, l’auteur des “Planètes”. Le jeu de Martin France, qui se situe entre Erskine et Roy Hanes (limpide introduction sur “For Ada”), se complète parfaitement avec la sonorité ronde et boisée de Palle Danielsson dont les solos directs et francs sont toujours aussi admirables (sublime chorus sur “Consolation”). Deuxième album de ce trio pour CamJazz, il se situe dans la continuité de la participation du pianiste au trio de Erskine pour ECM.

10/3/2008Jazz magazineLudovic Florin
WHIRLPOOL – three stars

Issued in time for the trio’s recent UK tour, this follow-up to “Angel of the Presence” is the latest in a brilliant extended run of Taylor releases and, by including three originals each by John and Kenny Wheeler, it also honours one of his most significant collaborators and inspirations. To be sure, there’s a lot of the classic Bill Evans trio about this performance, and a new up-tempo version of Wheeler’s “Everybody’s Song” alternates between ¾ and 4/4 recalling Evans’ Montreux take on “Someday My Prince Will Come”. But let’s not forget also that Taylor’s increasingly profound mining of the trio format really took off on record with Peter Erskine’s ECM albums, and the work of Danielsson and Martin France continues that exploration seamlessly. Several tracks here begin with absorbing solo piano sections, such as Taylor’s “The Woodcocks” (no relation to “The Peacocks”) which grows into an involved and involving trio outing. There’s a single standard associated with Evans, “I Loves You Porgy”, done in a different key and a more sombre vein but, with the exception of a short and (to my mind) less effective “In The Bleak Midwinter”, the whole programme is absorbing and moving.

1/3/2008JazzwiseBrian Priestley
WHIRLPOOL – three stars

As the piano trio spotlight veers between the eminently marketable talents of Esbjörn, Svensson and Brad Mehldau, let’s salute one of Britain’s small band of authentically international jazz stars, the Manchester-born John Taylor. Here’s another album of fine wrought trio music with an A-list rhythm section of bassist Palle Danielsson and Martin France, drums. The mood is mostly contemplative – a yearning “I Loves You Porgy”, a bluesy take on the unlikely choice of “In The Bleak Midwinter” but there is also satisfyingly knotty invention from all three players on “The Woodcocks”. After the fine “Angel of the Presence” album in 2006, Taylor, 65, is busy enjoying a renaissance.

10/2/2008The TimesJohn Bungey
WHIRLPOOL

In recent years piano trios have achieved a return to favour, usually with some kind of gimmick to satisfy the market. The only gimmick, Taylor’s outfit uses is impeccable playing.
The programme incorporates three pieces – “Consolation”, “Nicolette” and “Everybody’s Song” – by Kenny Wheeler, Taylor’s friend and colleague of four decades, together with a Gershwin classic and Holst’s lovely setting of Christina Rossetti’s vivid and beautiful “In The Bleak Midwinter.” The other three numbers are by Taylor and stand comparison with pretty much anything he has ever written for grace and atmosphere. When I interviewed him for “JR75” (April/May 2006) he said that compositing was “very much to do with the people I’m working with and it’s going to be played by … with their characteristics in mind.” All eight tracks sounds as if they had been created on his basis. The interplay of the three men constantly achieves wonders of concordance, yet never overwhelms their individual personalities.
“I Loves You Porgy” has suffered innumerable tasteless and inappropriate performances as well as a handful of great ones. This interpretation, rich in gorgeous re-harmonisations, makes it sound exceptionally honest, intimate and personal and features a superb melodic solo by Danielsson. “Midwinter” undergoes a transformation as magical as those evoked in the poem, and brings the album to a perfect close with a plagal cadence.
In the article I opined that, whilst I’m not convinced of its merits for all kinds of music, digital technology has revealed Taylor’s rich sound, crisp articulation and harmonic denseness to greater effect. This applies with knobs (or sliders) on to this album. The sound is deep, broad and detailed: each instrument is clearly differentiated but also perfectly absorbed and placed in the perspective of the trio as a unit. The precision of Danielsson’s articulation is captured as fully as his tone. So is the detail of France’s drumming, restrained and attentive to texture yet still deftly urging the music forward. It’s not surprising to discover that these recordings were made at the Bauer studios in Ludwigsburg, for years the favoured location of ECM.

8/2/2008Jazz ReviewBarry Witherden
JOHN TAYLOR Whirlpool - three stars

John Taylor ne se presse pas, mais se plaît à effleurer ses notes pour les rendre légères et aériennes. Évitant les couleurs vives, son piano éclaire d’une lumière tamisée les paysages sonores qu’il décline. Ses improvisations ne manquent pourtant pas de swing, John se montrant aussi loquace que dans “Angel of the Presence” enregistré un an plus tôt avec le même trio. “Whirlpool” confirme l’aspect extraverti de son jeu. Elégante et raffinée, sa musique conserve un côté impressionniste, notamment dans l’inoubliable “I Loves You Porgy”. De là à évoquer le trio de Bill Evans comme le fait Thomas Conrad dans son texte de pochette, des réserves s’imposent: malgré une complicité évidente, la contrebasse de Palle Danielsson n’est pas celle de Scott LaFaro et martin France, batteur puissant et carré, ne cultive point l’ellipse comme la fait Paul Motian. Moins introspectif que “Rosslyn”, enregistré pour ECM en 2002 avec Marc Johnson et Joey Baron, John Taylor donne rythme et poids à son piano funambulesque. Outre une nouvelle version de “The Woodcocks”, thème précédemment enregistré en trio en 2001, ce nouvel album renferme tris compositions de Kenny Wheeler. “Consolation” avait été gravé en 1990 par le big band du trompettiste, John étant le pianiste de cette “Music for Large Ensemble”. Placée en ouverture, une mélodie sublime se révèle sous un flux harmonique inattendu et met l’eau à la bouche.

7/2/2008JazzmanPierre de Chocqueuse
Taylor made - JOHN TAYLOR Whirlpool – five stars

John Taylor has been a pianist of international stature for a long time, but in recent years he has reached a creative level remarkable even by his standards. Angel of the Presence, Taylor's 2005 CamJazz trio album with bassist Palle Danielsson and drummer Martin France, was just one example among many of his brilliance; it was also evidence of the outstanding nature of the trio he formed with them. Now, with the same players, he's done it again.
While the late Bill Evans trio is a model for the kind of group democracy over which Taylor presides, Evans is largely a spectral presence (occasionally glimpsed in the gorgeous approach to I Loves You, Porgy, for example) on Taylor's own piano. But Taylor is now emphatically his own man, with perhaps an even greater debt to his classical training than to Evans. There's a greater joie de vivre about him, too, to go with the poet's sensibility and the almost sensual pleasure of his sound, superbly captured in the opulent brightness of this recording.
Still, despite the sheer joy in playing that suffuses Whirlpool, there's a mainly reflective cast to the trio's work. It's supported by the choice of material, which includes three pieces by Kenny Wheeler, three by Taylor, and Holst's Christmas carol, In the Bleak Midwinter.
In a beautifully chosen programme, there are gems everywhere; in the relaxed mastery of the unbuttoned treatment of Wheeler's Everybody's Song But.
My Own and the trio's supple dance through the rhythmic asymmetries of Taylor's Whirlpool, the meditative poise of Consolation and the lovely For Ada, which offers perhaps the best touches of the influence of classical music on his harmonic sense.
The trio reach a kind of summit with Taylor's The Woodcocks, where their pliant interaction is so potently woven that the performance seems completeness itself. Not a bad summation of something that is an early candidate for one of the CDs of the year.

6/2/2008The Irish Times (Ireland.com)Ray Comiskey
WHIRLPOOL – five stars

Pianist John Taylor’s trio with Palle Danielsson on bass and Martin France on drums first rocked this set of ears with “Angel of the Presence” back in 2006, and I am delighted to report that this second outing is every bit as good and, who knows, in time may even become more favoured.
A few originals, a few Kenny Wheeler tunes, a bit of Gershwin and a traditional song provide the material for Taylor and friends to work their magic.
If you want to hear what Taylor gets from his great hero Bill Evans – and just how he has re-formed those ideas – try “I Loves You Porgy”. Taylor shares Evans’ penchant for digging deep into the melodic seam to draw out something fresh and original and also brings a lovely gentle bounce to the rhythm, but he uses a more sharply focused musical lens (if that is not too strange a metaphor for music).
While Evans can sometimes appear dreamy, Taylor is more searching.
Every track deserves an essay to itself, and all three musicians play their socks off.
While it is in the nature of jazz for musicians to come together and then dissolve their partnerships with regularity, there are some bands for which one wishes a long life, and this is certainly one. It has every bit as much character and potential as Keith Jarrett’s Standards Trio.
Long, long, may Taylor, Danielsson and France be a unit.

14/1/2008Birmingham Posteditorial
John Taylor Whirlpool

Pianist John Taylor’s trio with bassist Palle Danielsson and drummer Martin France is becoming one of the marvels of the age, fulfilling Rilke’s concept of music as “audible landscape” in swinging meanders through a melancholy Pennines of the soul.
Listen to the arrangement of “In the Bleak Midwinter” to get the drift, or “I Loves You Porgy”, with Danielsson’s big bass fiddle singing the melody like Jimmy Blanton.
There’s also a version of Kenny Wheeler’s “Everybody’s Song But My Own”, and “The Woodcocks”, a slow burning response to Jimmy Rowles’ “The Peacocks”.
Danielsson is on spellbinding form.

13/1/2008The IndependentPhil JohnsonWHIRLPOOL - 4 stars

The world-class British jazz pianist John Taylor made one of the most acclaimed albums of 2006 (Angel of the Presence) with this trio featuring Swedish bassist Palle Danielsson and former Loose Tubes drummer Martin France, and as 2008 gets rolling the same group looks likely to do it all over again…accounts of I Loves You Porgy, an unexpected In the Bleak Midwinter, and Kenny Wheeler's classic Everybody's Song But My Own are masterpieces of spontaneous ensemble composition.

11/1/2008The Guardianeditorial
WHIRLPOOL - 5 stars

Another gem of jazz creation from this English pianist. Right from the opening bars of Kenny Wheeler's poignant Consolation it is clear we are in the hands of master musicians. Taylor's standing among cognoscenti has always been sky-high, and his playing seems to grow more profound with each year. His gloriously clean touch and original melodic and harmonic thinking are beautifully captured in pristine sound in this meticulous recording.”

11/1/2008The ScotsmanKenny Mathieson
Whirlpool John Taylor

For his follow-up to the remarkable Angel of the Presence (Cam Jazz, 2006), John Taylor continues to mine the strong chemistry between himself, bassist Palle Danielsson and drummer Martin France. It's a more balanced set this time around, with three of the pianist's own compositions alongside three by longtime musical compatriot Kenny Wheeler, one jazz standard and a surprising reinvention of a classical piece by Gustav Holst.
Quietly, and without much fuss, Taylor has gradually emerged as one of the most important pianists of the past forty years. His lineage may include the romanticism and impressionism of Bill Evans, but his densely layered harmonies and disposition towards orbiting around freer terrain without actually touching firmly down on it have resulted in a voice evolved far beyond seminal influences.
Danielsson may not be as active, on an international scale, as in earlier years when he was the de facto house bassist for ECM, but he remains a powerful force. His ability to be both conversational partner and unshakable anchor, and his expansion of the jazz vernacular beyond traditional boundaries, makes him the perfect foil for Taylor.
France's reach is the broadest, possessing the ability to form-fit into any context. Much like Norwegian drummer Jarle Vespestad, who is as comfortable with the near-whisper economy of pianist Tord Gustavsen's trio as he is greater extremes with noise improv pioneer Supersilent, France can fit just as easily into his own electronica-tinged Spin Marvel (Babel, 2007) as he does Taylor's all-acoustic setting, with his particular attention to detail and nuance joining together all his work, regardless of context.
Taylor has never been a prolific writer, and both the free-flowing title track and “The Woodcocks”—the latter featuring a delicately ethereal intro by the pianist before moving into its more complex and contrapuntal core—have been covered before. Taylor remains, however, an astute interpreter, with an ability to make extant material sound as if it were just written. He brings spare elegance to Kenny Wheeler's characteristically melancholy “Consolation,” first heard on the trumpeter's Music for Large & Small Ensembles (ECM, 1990), while Danielsson and France lend a softly swinging gait to “Nicolette,” from Angel Song (ECM, 1997).
On “In the Bleak Midwinter,” with its rich and very unclassical changes, gentle, brush-driven pulse and definitive solo from Danielsson, Taylor turns Holst's adaptation of a religious poem into a thing of secular beauty. It's a fitting closer to an album that, while steeped in lyricism, never resorts to tired cliche.
Other pianists may receive more press, but there are few who can approach Taylor's selfless yet unmistakable style. Whirlpool is another stellar release and, with another recording already in the can, it's good to know there's more to come from a trio that never sacrifices substance for style, and for whom sophistication and accessibility are uniquely linked.

7/1/2008AllAboutJazzJohn Kelman
Whirlpool John Taylor

John Taylor is the pianist of weightlessness. Although overly simple, this aphoristic description of the English virtuoso’s dense yet liberated musical discourse renders justice not only to its inherent quality, but to the effect it imparts to listeners. Suspended above an evanescent pulse, swift, jolted rhythms loose their grip; upwardly clouting modulating, mellifluous aural jaunts of texturally multifarious phrases and voicings. Tones, pristine and silvery, jump out like garish colors on a De Kooning canvas. Projects featuring his playing have a certain touch of sophistication and class, which he brings steadfastly. A plum listening experience, indeed, for fellow musicians and congregational jazz audiences worldwide alike.
While certain writers’ affirmation of Taylor’s continuation of the Bill Evans lineage does not call for any substantiated opposition, especially considering Whirlpool’s overall sound, the proposition invariably reduces the man’s profound knowledge of his instrument’s many possibilities and history. A close listen reveals traces of different interlarding pianistic styles: from jazz masters like Richie Beirach and Bobo Stenson, but also the greats of classical keyboard music such as Schubert, Webern and the Impressionists.
In addition to these various aesthetics he has absorbed and molded to his compositional and improvisational sensibilities, his early partaking in the free jazz continuum left a clear imprint on his music. Now in his late sixties, and at the zenith of his overlooked yet meritorious career, Taylor counts amongst the top-level jazz artists to have an impact on the genre.
Consisting in an equal mix of three of his own compositions and those of trumpeter/flügelhornist friend Kenny Wheeler (as well as a Gershwin’s “I Loves You Porgy” and Gustav Holst’s “In The Bleak Midwinter”), Whirlpool—released on the Italian CamJazz label that has salvaged the two former ECM artists’ prospects of a steady recording agenda—leans more towards straight-ahead, blowing sessions such as Blue Glass (Jazz House, 1991) in its classicism, than more open affairs like Overnight (Sketch, 2002), Angel Of The Presence (CamJazz, 2006) or Rosslyn (ECM, 2003), his first and only outing on ECM as a leader.
That said, not only for the endemic Wheeler gems but also for its stellar musicianship and colloidal interaction, Whirlpool offers a good taste of contemporary jazz’s most brilliant musical minds. One can loose oneself in Swede bassist Palle Danielsson’s firm and fatherly yet sensitive embrace, and drummer Martin France’s entrancing trap work admirably supports this superior trio. Splendid!

1/1/2008www.allaboutjazz.comMartin Gladu
John Taylor Trio To Tour New Album

Pianist John Taylor (pictured) releases a new album on the Italian Camjazz label. Titled “Whirlpool” it features the pianist with bassist Palle Danielsson and drummer Martin France. The trio made its critically acclaimed debut “Angel of The Presence”, recording it in October 2004.The distinguished Manchester-born player and professor of jazz piano, who is now 65, is best known for his work with Azimuth in the 1970s, a forward thinking chamber jazz group that also featured singer Norma Winstone and trumpeter Kenny Wheeler. Taylor has also worked with a wide range of leading players including Jan Garbarek, Enrico Rava, Gil Evans, Lee Konitz, Charlie Mariano and John Surman. The current trio features Swedish bassist Palle Danielsson best known for his work with Keith Jarrett and Charles Lloyd and drummer Martin France who was heavily associated with pianist Django Bates and saxophonist Iain Ballamy in the 1990s and is an influence for a new generation of young UK drummers. The tour dates are: Crucible, Sheffield (18 January); CBSO, Birmingham (19 January); Vortex, London (20-21 January); University of York, York (23 January); St George’s, Bristol (24 January) and Turner Sims, Southampton (26 January).

12/12/2007jazzwise.comeditorial