Melvin Taylor is an excellent Jazz guitarist, and he has a new album — Beyond the Burning Guitar — and while his axe is certainly on fire, there’s a lot more going on in his fingers than just flame and ash.  Melvin punctures the living moment of us by reminding us all that we are innately broken, but connected, and wanting, but alone, and, through his music, we can begin to be healed as a people.  Melvin Taylor shows us the joy of life in song and he also warns us against our deeper and more deceptive temptations.

Here’s the official PR blurp for Melvin’s fine album:

Melvin Taylor is a Blues/Jazz/Rock guitar virtuoso. To describe the phenomenal talent of Taylor, one would have to list ‘amazing, exhilarating, skillful and dazzling, at the very least. His explosive and erupting blues based style, mixed with rock and jazz runs, leaves you breathless. He is an absolutely stunning performer, which puts him in a class with such guitar greats as Jimmy Reed, Carlos Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Jimi Hendrix. Critics have written, Melvin Taylor is a volcanic guitarist; he can also rock hard and has enough sensitivity for jazz. His execution of lightening speed runs, infused with jazz embellishments reminiscent of Wes Montgomery, George Benson, Jimi Hendrix and Kenny Burell are mind boggling. The most dynamic aspect of his unique sound is his ability to combine so many styles into well constructed solos.

Here is the track listing for both “Beyond the Burning Guitar” CDs:

CD1
1. DUELING GUITARS OF RIO TERRA (3:44)
2. STEPPERS 1 (3:20)
3. PASSIONATE (3:52)
4. MELVIN MEETS BEETHOVEN’S FIFTH (2:08)
5. STEPPERS 2 (4:08)
6. STROLLIN’ (4:54)
7. NEXT PHASE (3:06)
8. THE HOOK UP (4:08)
9. EARLY RISER (3:53)
10. ROCK IN BLUES (4:05)
11. THE MANN (4:00)
12. FEELIN’ GOOD (4:07)

CD2
1. FOCUSED ON YOU (4:00)
2. MOVIN’ ON (3:28)
3. ESCAPE (3:27)
4. TALKING TO ANNA MAE (3:53)
5. TRIBUTE TO WES (4:00)
6. GROOVIN’ IN PARIS (3:38]
7. LOOK OUT (2:00)
8. SWEET BLUES (3:40)
9. JUST LIKE THAT (3:58)
10. PURE ATTRACTION (4:05)
11. IN THE NIGHT (3:20)
12. STRAIGHT UP (4:09)

Melvin’s music is touching and smooth and comforting.  You can sense the emotion in his music that humanizes us.  My favorite songs are “Feelin’ Good” and “Pure Attraction” for “Straight Up” for their verve and passionate musical composition.

If you are a Jazz guitar fan, finding hot new music can often be frustrating, but Melvin Taylor fires us up with some excellent licks and jams and he burns the house down with a guitar that is otherworldly and on fire!

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