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Gary Taylor – Retro Blackness

Gary Taylor – Retro Blackness


Gary Taylor @ SOUL-PATROL

Right after I published the review of Gary Taylor – "Retro Blackness", I had a long telephone conversation with Gary Taylor. I learned quite a bit about him during that conversation. However the most important thing that I learned about Gary Taylor is that he is completely and totally out of step with the music industry at large. After I talked with Gary I got the feeling that at the end of the day the most important thing is for Black Americans to reclaim their own culture. He said the "etro lackness" is the new R&B, and I believe him….

–Bob Davis

CD Review: Gary Taylor – "Retro Blackness"

(Soul/Jazz/Mind Expanding Afrocentric Kozmic Funk)

Gary Taylor - Retro BlacknessThis is what I call a "record store album". Yall know what I mean??? It’s the kind of an album that when you hear it being played in the background as you are "browsing" in a record store you find yourself "bopping your head" as you flipping thru the stacks.

As you move around the store and the album moves from song to song, changing colors and moods, you "feel" your own mood shifting with the music in a subliminal way. You find yourself starting to not only "move and groove" as you make your ways thru the aisles of the record store, but you find yourself starting to pay attention to the lyrics. And then finally you stop browsing, you stand there, close your eyes and immerse yourself totally in the music, the lyrics and the vibe. At this point you have now heard 5-6 of these songs and your curiosity must be satisfied. You begin to walk towards the front of the store, where they have the antiquated in store stereo system playing and as you make your way over you are asking yourself questions like…."Is that Luther?, Is that the Isleys?, Is that Miles?, Is that Prince? Is it some lost classic? Is that Someone I’ve Never Heard of Before? You arrive at the front of the store and you ask the person behind the counter the magic question……"WHO IN THE HELL IS THAT PLAYING????" And they tell you…."It’s something new, just came into the store, let me find the case it came in". (it ALWAYS turns out to be someone you never heard of… You inspect the back cover, and the front cover very carefully to see if you recognize any of the musicians, record label, etc (ANYTHING THAT WILL GIVE YOU A CLUE… You give up, you turn and ask the person behind the desk…."HOW MUCH FOR THIS" (as if at this point the price makes any difference whatsoever… And of course they ALWAYS say something like "Uhmmmmm It’s $12.98 same as all of the other CD’s in the store, and we only have 5 copies of it…" And before they finish their sentence you say…."I’LL TAKE IT".

You take it home, pour yourself a glass of "iced tea", crank up your system, look for your headphones and see if you can recapture the "magic of the record store" at home and by the time you get to song #5 not only have you already completely consumed every word in the liner notes that you didn’t want to stand there reading while you were in the store for fear of looking like an idiot, but you have already pressed the repeat button!!!

So what’s this album sound like? It’s kinda like Donnie’s album of a few years ago, but it’s more "mature". It’s kinda like Gil Scott Heron, but it’s all singing without the spoken word or the humor and it’s more romantic. It’s kinda like Norman Connors + Marvin + CTI. It’s kinda like Frank McComb on steroids. If Billy Stewart were alive today he might make an album like this. I could go on, but the reality is that it doesn’t really matter what I have to say about it. You have to hear it for yourself…

Bob Davis:

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