Otis Taylor delivers blues from the soul on his new long player, Pentatonic Wars and Love Songs.
Taylor mixes his gruff, grainy vocal performance with inspired lead guitar riffing on the moving, "Mama’s Best Friend" and the torrid tale of murder, "Dagger By My Side." Taylor’s backing band of Jason Moran on piano, Tarus Mateen on bass, and Nasheet Waits on drums lifts up the smooth rhythm-based tracks "Looking For Some Heat" and "Sunday Morning." Mostly, Taylor reaches back to lend biographical significance to "Silver Dollar on My Head" and "Lost My Guitar."
Written and arranged by Otis Taylor, Pentatonic Wars and Love Songs is an inviting, cerebral approach to stripped down blues originals.
Pentatonic Wars and Love Songs is out now on Telarc.