TASHA TAYLOR: Taylor Made (Sing Records)


Tasha Taylor is the daughter of soul legend Johnnie Taylor and this soulful 16 tracker is her debut recording. Produced by Stuart Benjamin, Rob Arbitter and Gary Adante, Tasha says that the album is meant as a heartfelt tribute to her dad who passed in 2000 and, you know, I’m sure he’d be chuffed to bits by it! Recorded in Los Angeles, the album features live instrumentation and a full horn section and together the team get pretty close to re-capturing the spirit of authentic soul… the sound of vintage Stax and prime time Malaco.

Most of the songs are self-penned and they show a real depth and maturity. They range from the plaintive ballad ‘All This Time’ through to the searing old school wailing of ‘Somebody’ and ‘Queen’ (the song chosen as the set’s lead single). ‘I Got Love’ has that lovely country feel that marked some of the best of Southern soul while the best of the up-tempo material is ‘Sexylady’… controlled rather than frantic. Tasha’s even confident enough to write her own Christmas song – ‘Merry Christmas Baby’ and if you want a tortured anthem as an antidote to all the faux snow, jingle bells and merriment peddled by traditional fare you could do worse than investigate this one.

The LP’s big tune though is Tasha’s cover of her dad’s ‘Who’s Making Love’. I can’t quite work out if it samples the original (the notes don’t say either way) but it’s as fierce and passionate as the old Stax classic and listen hard and you’ll hear Johnnie’s famous yell in there. The set’s completed with live intros – one from a Johnny Taylor show and one that brings on Tasha and there’s a great vintage picture of the whole Taylor family in the inner sleeve. Find out more@ www.tashataylor.com

(BB) 4/5