All those of you who thought you could spot an APO recording on first listening will have to think again after hearing Myra Taylor's "My Night To Dream." This is Kansas City blues from the old school, recorded with a small band with a big sound, including the late Sonny Kenner on guitar.
For her return to recording Taylor has revisited several songs from her vast repertoire, starting with "Spider and the Fly" and "Take It Easy Greasy," both of which Taylor recorded in 1946. Anyone unfamiliar with the Kansas City style of blues will soon get the picture. The six piece band are always on the money, with Allan Monroe in particular doing a fine job on piano, and the redoubtable Sonny Kenner showing what a classy guitarist he was.
Taylor has the pipes to take on a wide range of material. At one extreme there is the sultry, smoky balladeering of "Still Blue Water" where she is only backed by piano, whilst at the other end she sings scat on "Lady Be Good" which also features some neat guitar work, and most of the band get a turn in the spotlight. Somewhere in between there is a healthy does of blues and jazz, including a more than passable impression of Satchmo on "Sunny Side of the Street."
There is only one new tune here, "Hey There," which Taylor wrote specially for the recording session. It opens with the horns and piano working in perfect harmony, and pans out to more than hold its own alongside the more well known tunes. These include a classy version of "I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire" which brings the album to a close.
On "My Night To Dream" Taylor, together with an ace band of musicians have come up with a classic example of Kansas City blues. It will appeal to both blues and jazz fans alike, as well as appealing across the generations. Full marks to APO (www.analogueproductions.com) for having the courage to do something a bit different to their normal stock in trade. "My Night To Dream" could well see Taylor figuring in the shake-up for comeback album of the year.
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