Paul Taylor – Hypnotic
(Peak – 2001)
by Ricky Miller
As a long-time fan of the Rippingtons, I have indirectly followed Paul Taylor’s career through the years, and so have gotten each of his albums as they came out. I liked them all, and Hypnotic keeps the string going. The title song has been all over the airwaves the last few months, especially on the smooth jazz and R&B stations. My favorite is the entrancing Tuesday Afternoon, co-written and produced by jazz-fusion-legend Jeff Lorber who plays and produces a number of the tracks on this album. Sunshine features vocals and guitar work by Kurt Jackson (he also wrote it). This is a nice tune but it seem just a little bit out of place on this release.
P.T. Cruiser was probably written as a driving song, because it’s got that smooth freeway flow to it. Flight 808 is another killer song featuring longtime associate Dino Esposito and guitarist Brian Monroney. If anything, this release leans even more towards urban styled, cool funk than ever before, although it has definite fusion roots. This CD will get the most play as smooth jazz, I think. Russ Freeman (Mr. Rippingtons Himself) is one of the executive producers, so the tinges of Rippingtons that you hear here and there are inevitable, and enjoyable.