Ed Taylor and the Smooth Jazz Artists of The Smooth Operators
While flying back from a headlining appearance at a Smooth Jazz concert in Springfield, Massachusetts Gibson Guitars recording star Ed Taylor had an epiphany. With an extensive background as a Los Angeles session player in rock and roll, blues, funk, jazz, and now as an emerging star in smooth jazz, Ed told his buddy, Don Doman of PNW Video Productions that he would like to perform with other certain smooth jazz stars, who could blend their personalities and approaches into a consistant and exciting sound that offered quality and style. Don said, "Sure. You could call yourselves The Smooth Operators." They looked at each other and they knew the name was gold.
Ed said, "Like the Three Tenors. The name says it all. I have a number of friends who would love to join me on stage, and I would love to work with them in a live venue." Ed has already recorded with friend Peter White on Ed's CD Songs From A Taylor. Peter is on Ed's Smooth Operators list. Also, on Ed's list are Greg Adams, Paul Brown, and Jeff Kashiwa. Great names, great sounds, and great concerts to dream about. Ideal performances involve musicians that perform together regularly. They develop an close working relationship, and the interaction that occurs during performance is instinctive and cohesive . . . and magic.
Marketing doesn't get much easier than this. The idea should sell immediately. We will announce concerts dates as they are signed.
Smooth jazz icon Peter White has never been slow in recognizing the emergence of new talent within the genre. His collaborations with the likes of Roger Smith and Allon Sams perfectly exemplify the significant support that he generously provides and now, with another standout guest appearance, he is back to add weight to the brand new release from jazz guitarist Ed Taylor. Although ‘Songs From A Taylor’ is his first smooth jazz CD, and only his third in all, Ed Taylor is no newcomer to the scene. From Motown session guitarist to opening act for Bachman Turner Overdrive and with more club appearances in the last forty years than even he can remember Taylor is the consummate professional. Growing up in Los Angeles he was influenced by the Rolling Stones, the Beatles and by George Benson who inspired him to take up the guitar at age 13. Equally comfortable when playing funk, soul music or jazz this new foray into contemporary jazz seems a natural progression and the eight original tunes plus three choice covers that ‘Songs From A Taylor’ provide have enough going on to really get him noticed.
-- Denis Poole, Smooth Jazz Therapy (www.smoothjazztherapy.com)
Like his inspirations, Taylor lays down a bevy of notes on his electric guitar in an organic production that refreshingly sounds like it comes straight from a basement studio into your living room. Credit Taylor for giving ample room for his Ed Taylor Band— Dennis Blackmon on keys, Kevin England on trumpet and flugelhorn, Willy Fisher on drums and John Roberts on bass—to spread their wings. Relaxed, funky, bluesy and ’60s cool, TaylorMade is an ode to talented guitarists playing in small clubs everywhere.
-- Brian Soergel - Jazz Times Magazine
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It's easy to have faith for Don and Ed. Ed played at Don's huge wedding anniversary party. Of the five performing musical acts, Ed's group won the hearts of the majority of the well-wishers and was voted the best of the event.
As always problems with schedules make bookings difficult, but Ed's approach (to pull key players into different concert venues) should work well. For the first concert The Smooth Operators will feature Ed with friends Greg Adams, and Paul Brown at The Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, WA on the 22nd of November.
"Greg Adams is an American trumpet/flugelhorn player and music arranger, probably best known for his work with the band Tower of Power.
Adams grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and while attending Westmoor High School in Daly City he had already established a reputation as a musical prodigy. He had made plans to attend the Berklee School of Music in Boston, but instead accepted an invitation to join Tower of Power for their first album, East Bay Grease (1970). He remained with the band for 25 years and was responsible for many of their distinctive horn arrangements, including "What Is Hip?" (1973) which earned him a Grammy Award nomination.
In 1995 Adams recorded his first solo album, Hidden Agenda (Epic), which reached #1 on the U.S. smooth jazz charts. His subsequent albums include Midnight Morning (Ripa, Blue Note) (2002), Firefly (215) (2004), and Cool To The Touch (Ripa) (2006).
Adams has recorded with and/or arranged for numerous other artists, including Chicago, Heart, Elton John, Huey Lewis & the News, Little Feat, Bonnie Raitt, and Carlos Santana. In 1989 he was nominated (with Paul Shaffer) for an Emmy Award for his arrangements for the Late Night with David Letterman 7th anniversary special."
Greg Adams' career has included success as an arranger, composer, conductor, and performer and earned him both Grammy and Emmy nominations and an International Broadcasting Award from The Hollywood Radio and Television Society. It has been a musical travelogue that has spanned nearly four decades, taking him on worldwide tours and contributing to some of the most important recordings in pop culture.
Paul Brown, besides bringing another Gibson Guitar into the mix, offers shared ideas and a sense of wonder.
From Paul's website: According to Brown, one of the great advantages to having composed, arranged, engineered and produced for nearly every top smooth jazz artist since the early 1990s is being able to invite them into the studio to create the kind of spontaneous and energetic ensemble action that happens on White Sand. “The thing I loved about my first album Up Front was that it was as much about the overall vibe as it was about my guitar,” he says. “I thought it would be cool to make another real vibe record this time, featuring myself as the lead voice but also taking an ‘and friends’ approach so that I could include a lot of the artists I had worked with who have inspired me over the years.
“I liked the idea of creating more of a production oriented record and taking more of the classic Quincy Jones approach,” Brown adds. “The key to his success was being so seamless that you don’t pick up what he’s doing because you’re more focused on the performances. Because of my past experiences with everyone, I could just take for granted that a certain high level of performance would be built in, and I could feature my guitar lines over that. It’s kind of like making a lot of mini-records within the context of a single project. It was also exciting for me to have the album mastered by the legendary Lee Hershberg, who was one of my top musical mentors.”
Add Ed Taylor, Greg Adams, and Paul Brown together and you have some very, very, very Smooth Operators, indeed.
The Smooth Operators - Coming Soon to a Venue Near You!
The Smooth Operators are available through TayEd Productions (Don Doman Principal). Call 253-759-6639 to book a performance or a tour or write firstname.lastname@example.org for details.