“Writing different styles requires different tools. In all cases, I need to decide what I want the song to say. Is this a groove tune that’s going to make people shake, or is this a tune that’s going to make the listener think, or smile, or hang on for dear life? I guess the one thing I always want to do, no matter what style, is make the listener feel comfortable enough to trust me. So if I dip and swoop, they’ll follow along because I’ve already shown them that we’re going home again.” – LT (Linda Taylor) in her Guitar Noise interview
I have to say that if you want to take a magical, musical tour into a funky, jazzy wonderland, you couldn’t have a better guide than LT. Pulse, her first CD as a solo performer, draws you in and dazzles you with its power.
Linda Taylor (or “LT” as she seems to prefer) has long been a performer in LA’s R&B scene. Her love of funky dance grooves and solid yet seductive rhythms lays the groundwork for the CD’s nine songs, all instrumentals, on which LT’s guitar takes the spotlight.
NY Garden literally opens the gate, granting you access to LT’s vision. In her world the guitar is your guide, springing up and blossoming in all the colors you expect to find in a well-tended garden. And if funk and R&B are the roots, jazz is the bloom. It is a bright, vivid fusion of music. You do indeed find yourself shaking and grooving to the title track, then thinking, smiling and occasionally hanging on for dear life in the wildly unpredictable Kanji To Me.
One of the fascinating aspects of Pulse, to me at least, is that LT uses a single distinctive tone for the “lead” guitar throughout most of the CD. It gives the listener the impression that the guitar is the singer. As such, the listener does come to trust this “singer” or narrator, and is more than willing to follow her anywhere, from the lazy, lyrical lines of No Smoking to the abrupt, climbing modulations of That Ain’t So Nice.
Another thing I admire a lot about Pulse is that the trip is well arranged. You don’t get the feeling, as you do with so many CDs, that all the “good songs” are in the front and all the “filler” is in the back. Each song seems to follow in a logical and emotional manner. After experiencing a tour de force as Baby Blue, you get to relax and ease up a bit with the calming Can’t Complain and the thoughtful Right Back Atcha.
If you want a listening experience that will satisfy all of you – body, mind and soul – I highly recommend putting Pulse on your CD player.