While somewhat overshadowed by his more famous brother James, Livingston Taylor is a fine singer-songwriter in his own right–superficially, his voice recalls that of his sibling, but Liv is less moody, more folk-like. INK is a "tribute" album of sorts–instead of paying homage to a particular artist, Taylor interprets hit songs by various writers from several eras, leaning a bit toward classic R&B/soul hits. Songs made famous by Ray Charles, the Jackson Five, and Stevie Wonder are re-imagined via the gentle, genial imagination of Livingston Taylor.
A solo programme of Taylor performing all his own music virtually guarantees something out of the ordinary. So it proves here. In a beautiful exposition of sweepingly romantic piano playing, he creates a series of moods, by turns sad, nostalgic, joyful, dancing and playful, which have a suggestive capacity as varied as their emotional climate, though his titles don't always give a clue; Wych Hazel is more like the memory of a past love, for example. He's also a great melodist; both In Cologne and the very different In February are stunningly beautiful examples of his ability to come up with charming themes and match them with equally beguiling solos. And three short, free pieces show, paradoxically, how disciplined and imaginative, in terms of line and harmony, he is in a context like this. Lovely
Straight digital reissue of Taylor's debut Chess album from 1969. Produced by Willie Dixon (who can intermittently be heard as a duet partner), the set is one of the strongest representations of the belter's Chess days available, with her immortal smash "Wang Dang Doodle," and the chunky "Twenty-Nine Ways," "I'm a Little Mixed Up," and "Don't Mess with the Messer." Top-flight session musicians on Taylor's 1965-1969 output included guitarists Buddy Guy, Matt Murphy, and Johnny Shines and saxman Gene "Daddy G" Barge.
Allan Taylor says: "This recording began as a bonus CD to accompany Colour to the Moon in the special box edition, released in the year 2000. Colour to the Moon has remained in production, but the bonus CD, Behind the Mix was discontinued when the box edition sold out. We have decided to re-release this Behind the Mix CD because so many people have asked us to make it available again."