Although he started playing the sax at age seven, Paul Taylor didn't consider it a true vocational possibility until he joined a local high school garage band called Mixed Company. True to its name, the group played Top 40 and funk but also would delve into the soulful fusion of the time typified by groups like The Crusaders and David Sanborn. Aiming to build his resume beyond the many dues-paying Vegas lounge gigs which marked his early professional life, he commuted often to Los Angeles and hooked up in the late 80s with Dino Esposito. Taylor did one of Esposito's sessions at Jeff Lorber's home studio; a few years later, in 1994, the popular keyboardist remembered Taylor and asked him to play with him at the Catalina Island Jazz Trax Festival. Popular smooth jazz keyboardist Keiko Matsui and her producer/husband Kazu liked Taylor's charismatic performance and later offered him an audition with their band. Taylor recorded and toured with the Matsui's for two years (appearing on Sapphire and Dream Walk), and Kazu Matsui eventually produced the saxman's debut On The Horn, which rose high on Billboard's Contemporary Jazz chart and spawned the #1 radio hit "Till We Meet Again".
Taylor quickly found his own niche in the smooth jazz world, and his quick but well deserved popularity led Pleasure Seeker to the top of the radio charts. The #1 title track was one of Radio & Records most played genre cuts of the year. Although Taylor has since been one of the genre's most popular live attractions as a solo artist, he eagerly accepted Russ Freeman's invitation to tour with The Rippingtons as a special guest artist in 2000 after Jeff Kashiwa left the group.
Taylor continues to tour as a solo artist, and in 2005 went on the road in conjunction with Nightlife, his hit album. He also participated in the "Groovin' For Grover" tour. Being part of "Groovin' For Grover" is more than simply a confirmation of the saxman's status among the movers and shakers of the smooth jazz genre. When he plays the Grover Washington, Jr. classics "Let It Flow" and "Can You Dig It," it's a full circle experience which brings him back to his teen years in Denver, when albums like Washington's Mr. Magic, The Crusaders' Chain Reaction and Quincy Jones' Mellow Madness found him pondering his potential as a professional horn player.
"With every album I make, I feel as though I'm really living my dream and taking my fans on a great new journey," he says. "Nightlife was my sixth record, and the fact that I have the chance to keep exploring new musical territory is something I'm really grateful for. I feel like I'm growing all the time."
Taken from Paul Taylor's Official Biography, courtesy of Paul Taylor
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