CD Review of Ladies’ Choice by Paul Taylor

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Ladies’ Choice
starstarno starno starno star Label: Peak
Released: 2007
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Awwww yeah. Ladies, tonight’s your night. You get to pick the restaurant. You get to wear your fancy clothes. You get to splash on that expensive perfume that cost two mortgages just to sniff. Mmmm, yeah. And the soundtrack for your night? Well, it’s none other than saxophonist Paul Taylor’s Ladies’ Choice. With this new collection of 11 romantic and steamy tracks, you’re going to be loving all night long (especially after your man gives you a sip of some “Ultimate Panty Remover”). Let Paul baby set the mood for you. Just relax and groove, mama.

Now, I don’t wanna bug you out or nothin’, but you may notice (that is, if you’re a noticer) that Paul’s playin’ with the fake drums on this album. They’re mixed nice and high so you can’t miss their plastic quality every time they thwack, just like your man’s hand smackin’ that fine behind of yours, ladies. They don’t have a lot of bottom to ‘em, so if you have a little extra of your own, be sure to bring it. Otherwise, you’re gonna be lost, baby, and that’s not good when “Ladies’ Choice” kicks things off and brings the romance to you.

“Play it long….play it so sweet, now” instructs LaToya London as Paul wails away erotically in the background on “I Want To Be Loved (By You).” He’s hoping that his straining horn is piquing your arousal. Is it? Are those notes getting you all steamy? Paul would like to accompany you outside your shower while you get in that bubble bath filled with those little fizzy balls that make you tingle. London’s performance, like Taylor’s, is easy to follow and poses no real depth, so you won’t drown in all that nice warm water, ladies. That’s right…it’s still your choice.

Wah-wah guitars, slapped basses, and an overwhelming sense of “David Sanborn-lite” are what “Here We Go” is all about. Paul Taylor’s got his finger on the pulse of bland smooth jazz with this number. Now ladies, don’t let the slightly more uptempo nature of this one wreck your mood after that fizzy bath. Just hang on for Regina Belle guesting on “How Did You Know.” She dodges a few more wah-wah pedals, giving herself ample room to overdo her own performance just enough to remind you that she is a singer. Emotions are dripping all over the place, getting on the carpet. Oh my!

Time to boogie, ladies! Yeah, do a little shuffle step to “Streamline,” another faceless groover that would sound great being pumped over the P.A. at any local Sears. So while you’re shopping for that new toaster and negligee, you can also get those romantic murmurs in your gut. Luckily, Paul’s following a strict formula here and brings it back down to Kenny G land with “Long Distance Relationship” featuring Terry Dexter. Anyone yearning for a hot love will really feel this one…the needing, the hunger, the pointlessness. Ouch. Sometimes love really does hurt.

Need another slow one with more wah-wah guitars, tranquil keyboards, tinkly percussion and smooth sax? Check. It’s all right here on “Summer’s End.” Completely interchangeable with the other instrumentals on the album, albeit a bit slower. But that’s OK, because if you want a vocal take on that formula, just listen to “A Love of Your Own” with Lauren Evans. It sounds exactly like all the other vocal-led tracks. Man, when Paul Taylor gets in a rut, he really works it into the ground, ladies. Enjoy. Just take your ever-lovin’ time and enjoy. Do right, woman.

Regina Belle returns for one more moan ‘n wail with “Open Your Eyes,” letting you know it’s time to snap out the erotic haze we’ve been tumbling through this whole time. But not before Paul gets the last words in. Well, musical words, that is. Let him treat you to the plain vanilla, yet sumptuous “Overdrive” and “Point of View,” both of which will let you bask in the afterglow of your evening and allow you to realize that Paul Taylor’s music is really only good for acting as a background to your nights of gettin’ busy.

Paul Taylor. “Jazz.” Not even when placed in quotation marks does that word really go with that name. Awwww yeah.

~Jason Thompson