Rodney Taylor: Sax, With An Attitude
Recording artist Rodney Taylor is by far one of the most soulful saxophonists to come along in a long time. This fact was just recently recognized by the world famous "Songstress" herself, Anita Baker. Rodney was hand picked by Anita to be her featured Sax Man in her live shows. His solo CD releases on Equity Records entitled "Blow By Blow" and Unwrapped For Christmas are also great examples of the Sax Man's masterful and soulful handy work.
"Every note that I play has to have meaning; as well as the space between the notes. My music has to have attitude. If I can't feel it, I don't play it" says Rodney.
"Unwrapped For Christmas" is a warm light-hearted collection of many traditional Christmas favorites. Rodney's production skills capture the very essence of the holiday season while still giving you grooves you'll want to move to. The warmth of his saxophone is simply captivating. Somehow, Rodney has figured out a way to make the perfect holiday recording; interesting enough to be featured and yet still passive enough to be atmospheric at a holiday mixer. This CD will be a part of holiday celebrations for many years to come.
"Blow By Blow" is a well produced well thought out breath of fresh air making its entrance into the contemporary jazz market. It not only has a major appeal to typical smooth and contemporary jazz audiences, but the average music fan who enjoys Pop and R&B will also have this CD in there collection. Rodney's approach to song writing for "Blow By Blow" incorporates smooth saxophone melodies with R&B and Pop hooks, some of them vocal. This clever approach brings an immediate understanding and appreciation to his music. Rodney also brought the unique talents of Lew Laing, song writer and producer for the group "B2K", and Scott Cannady, song writer, producer, and currently musical director for Gladys Knight, to lend their composing skills to "Blow By Blow".
"Producing these CD's has allowed me to draw from many past experiences in working with many other artists," says Rodney. His resume includes such artists as Brian McKnight, Doc Powell, and Chaka Chan to name a few. Rodney also has an extensive history of working in the gospel music arena with such artists as Phil and Brenda Nicholas, Deniece Williams, and Edwin Hawkins; as well as producing his own very first solo release entitled "Soul 4-1-1", on Command / Epic Records in 1991. He was also a noted choral and musical director at the world famous 1st A.M.E. church in Los Angeles, California. As far as saxophonists go, his musical influences include Grover Washington Jr., Cannonball Adderley, Gerald Albright, and many others. Rodney has even more facets to his musical talent. He also has credits in the Television, Film and Theatre industries. Rodney's saxophone stylings can be heard playing the opening theme song on the sitcom "The Parenthood" which is currently in syndication. His talents as Vocal Arranger can be heard on the "Barney Movie Soundtrack", which featured Take 6, Jeffery Osborne, and the 1st A.M E. Church Choir. However, Rodney's most recent accomplishment that he seems to be rather proud of is receiving a NAACP Award Nomination for Best Musical Director, for the musical "Has Anyone Seen My Rainbow", in 2002.
Rodney started playing at the age of 10 in the school band in Los Angeles. "I was the last person to get in the band" he says. "I wanted to play something, anything. They gave me an old, tarnished silver clarinet, the last instrument they had."
"The school band played the usual student pieces, but while I was learning the basics, I was listening to Stevie Wonder, Grover Washington Jr. and other artists that touched my feelings and roots.
"The first thing I learned to play by ear was Grover Washington's famous masterpiece entitled Mister Magic. I played it over and over until I learned it. I must have seemed to be a strange kid because I liked to practice in the bathroom; I liked the way it sounded. My Grandfather saw my commitment and musical intelligence way back then, and supported me in all of my endeavors and conquests. I continued playing through Jr. High School, in various community and school bands and orchestras. My Mom looked so proud to see me as one of only three children to play in an orchestra full of adults."
Rodney then went on to attend Locke High School in Los Angeles, where he participated in a variety of music groups and classes. It was there he was introduced to the saxophone, and his life long passion began to skyrocket. Two weeks after graduating high school, Rodney began to tour with various groups and began participating in recording sessions.
Currently, Rodney Taylor is living in the Moreno Valley area and performing extensively in the Southern California area. "My performances have something for everybody" Rodney says. "The sax is such a romantic instrument, and by me being a hopeless romantic, I take full advantage of it." Rodney's show incorporates everything that a true saxophone lover could ever ask for. His playing style includes hot funky syncopated rhythms, silky smooth sexy melodies, and everything in between. As a deejay, Rodney shows his love for the music and the Independent Recording Artists that he plays. He provides the listener with a deeper connection to both the artist and the music by discussing his own relationships with them, and even sometimes mentioning all of the supporting musicians that are involved on that particular project. He also often interviews the Artists in a way that makes his audience feel as if they are right in the same room with them. The musical passion, talent, and experience that Rodney Taylor has been armed with are sure to make him an unstoppable force in the contemporary jazz and surrounding music markets.