YOU'D BE SURPRISED (Smarty Kat)
Though her early forays were more rock and pop, in recent years Atlanta's Kayla Taylor has, in partnership with guitarist Steve Moore, found her musical focus with jazz standards. There's a slight, if persistent, twang to Taylor's voice that reveals her southern roots. But the effect, like an amalgamation of dewy Sophie Milman with fellow Canadian k.d. lang, is thoroughly enticing - pert, yet a wee bit pouty. It serves her well on an opening "Good Morning Heartache," more gently regretful than maudlin, and is equally effective on a bossa-swung "Just One of Those Things" and a flirty "You'd Be Surprised."
Moore and his piano-less band - drummer-percussionist Michael Dana, bassist Justin Owen-Head and saxophonist Will Scruggs - draw on the Flamingo's classic 1959 version to shape "I Only Have Eyes for You," with Taylor ably following their shimmering lead. The lesser-know Gershwin gem "Treat Me Rough" is delivered with showgirl sauciness and, kudos to all four players, a shadowy "Devil May Care" finds her dancing among the undulating flames.
Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, Kayla Taylor is a southern gal who, when it comes to torch songs and jazz standards, can sing with the best and surpass them. Her new CD 'You'd Be Surprised' is the follow up to her 2005 release 'A Night at Pacific & Vine' and features a sophisticated array of classic tunes that she delivers with the warmth of a nightingale and the intimacy of a soul singer. [read more...]
Atlanta native and recipient of the 2010 Ovation Award for Outstanding Vocal Performance Kayla Taylor imprint her personal style to some of the classics of the Great American Songbook on the album You'd be surprised. Even though Taylor tone and phrasing might be similar to other modern jazz female singers, but her approach to songs like "Devil may care" and "You'd be surprised" is refreshing and totally her own.
Will Scruggs lyrical saxophone and Steve Moore vintage sound on guitar are the perfect complement to Taylor playful, sometimes sexy voice on Porter "Just one of those things" and "It's De-Lovely", Gershwin "Our love is here to stay" and Rodgers "Where or When".
Good morning heartache, Just one of those things, You'd be surprised, Our love is here to stay, I only have eyes for you, You're driving me crazy, Treat me rough, Where or when, It's De-Lovely, Devil may care, Blues stay away from me
Kayla Taylor - vocals, Steve Moore - guitar, Michael Dana - drums, percussion, Justin Owen-Head - bass, Will Scruggs - tenor sax, soprano sax
Kayla Taylor Jazz – YOU’D BE SURPRISED: There’s always a “keyword” when I first listen to a new performer… in Kayla’s case, it’s two words… “southern scrumptious”… “southern” because she hails from Hot-lanta, & “scrumptious” because her voice is totally tasty… lol! As I sit here groovin’ to the solid vocals Kayla performs on “Just One Of Those Things“, I know that all fans of sweet vocal jazz standards will want this in their collection. She’s joined by one of the most solid jazz guitarists on the scene today, Steve Moore…. it’s a union made by angels, as you’ll hear when you scope out Steve’s smooth guitar tones on “You’re Driving Me Crazy (What Did I Do)“… if you’re looking for wild/crazy freeform, this won’t be your cup o’ tea, but if you love vocal jazz, you’ll agree when I declare Kayla’s CD to be MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) of 4.96. Get more information at www.kaylataylorjazz.com Rotcod Zzaj
Kayla Taylor - You’d Be Surprised
O's Notes: Kayla is a sassy singer who puts her words together wrapped around the music to make the songs dance. She digs into the American songbooks to breathe her romance into eleven numbers. Taylor gets good support from her band especially with guitarist Steve Moore. Among the best of the set are “Just One Of Those Things”, the bouncy "You're Driving Me Crazy" and a bluesy take on "Devil May Care".
Kayla Taylor Jazz - You'd Be Surprised
(Smarty Kat Records)
Now here is an album and a voice that is going to seduce the pants off any red blooded male - and at a pinch George Clooney will do! Kayla Taylor is the voice and You'd Be Surprised is her new album of Jazz classics from the golden era of nostalgia, the 1930s through to the 1950s. The eleven songs are by some of the finest writers of the period: Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Harry Warren, and Rodgers and Hart. Thanks to the seductiveness of Ms Taylor's vocals and the intimate backing of her musicians this is the album for anyone holding a 'Mad Men' themed dinner party. That is, of course, me being a little flippant - You'd Be Surprised is truly a lovely album of classic romantic songs, in a lightly salted Jazz style. An excellent showcase for a vocalist who knows instinctively how to 'sell' a song. The four musicians providing musical gold behind her voice are: Steve Moore - guitars, Michael Dana - drums/percussion, Justin Owen-Head - upright bass, and Will Scruggs - tenor and soprano sax. And the songs? They are: Good Morning Heartache, Just One Of Those Things, You'd Be Surprised, Our Love Is Here To Stay, I Only Have Eyes For You, You're Driving Me Crazy, Treat Me Rough, Where Or When, It's De-Lovely, Devil May Care, Blues Stay Away From Me. The press sheet suggests that Ms Taylor has a vocal style somewhere between Bette Midler and Diana Krall, but I think Julie London is probably more appropriate than the Divine Ms M. Kayla Taylor's voice is an understated object of beauty, she makes every song hers and creates a new modern benchmark for future generations of singers. Highly recommended and undoubtedly an album of the year here at The Borderland.
For more information about this artist, album and availability visit: www.kaylaytaylorjazz.com
Kayla Taylor - You'd Be Surprised (CD, SMartyKat, Jazz/Female vocalist)
Really smooth and beautiful music that's picture perfect for dining, dancing, or romancing. Atlanta's Kayla Taylor has been described as "Bette Midler meets Diana Krall"...which should give you a good idea of what she sounds like. The wonderfully warm guitar sounds provided by Steve Moore are a perfect match for Kayla's smooth vocals. When artists try to recreate sounds from the past they often fail because they are merely aping others. But while You'd Be Surprised spins like a blast from the past, Taylor, Moore, and their bandmates always manage to inject their songs with their own unique spirit. The result...some sparkling and provocative renditions of classic tunes that sound as fresh as the day they were written. Eleven classy tracks here including "Good Morning Heartache," "You'd Be Surprised," "Treat Me Rough," and "Blues Stay Away From Me."
The duo of vocalist Kayla Taylor and guitarist Steve Moore is an idyllic pair as Moore's dewy chords accentuate the sensual intonations of Taylor's timbres. Their new CD, Jazz from S Marty Kat Records is a selection of classic jazz tunes rejuvenated with modern jazz-pop trimmings.
The candlelight atmospherics infused in Dan Fisher, Ervin Drake, and Irene Higginbotham's signature number "Good Morning Heartache" are buttressed by the elegant swags of Will Scruggs' saxophone which also enhances the penetrative glint of Taylor's vocals in "I Only Have Eyes for You" penned by Al Dubin and Harry Warren. The mambo-tinged rhythm put on Cole Porter's "Just One of Those Things" adds volume to the base supporting Taylor's smooth glides. She sings Irving Berlin's "You'd Be Surprised" with kewpie-doll pizzazz and womanly sophistication in George and Ira Gershwin's "Our Love Is Here to Stay." [read more...]
Kayla Taylor and Band Ready to Jazz Up Barnes Amphitheatre
Kayla Taylor, Steve Moore, and band are back and ready to jazz it up for their show this Saturday at the Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre.
The indie music resonates through the air as the the sound waves bounce off the high ceilings and cement walls all around the coffee shop. This is where the interview will take place, an area surrounded by Mac laptops and college students, who each hold a pen in one hand, coffee in the other. The mood is calm, and the atmosphere very welcoming, a soothing feeling when waiting to meet Kayla Taylor and Steve Moore, the core members of Kayla Taylor Jazz.
As we find our way to a table for three, we begin to make ourselves comfortable. [read more...]
Kayla Taylor Jazz
When I arrived at The Local, a cozy venue inside the Sidelines Sports Bar and Grill on Roswell Road, I couldn’t help but chuckle at the juxtaposition of two seemingly opposite ends of the Marietta scene. Here I was, standing outside the door to The Local, staring out across a sports pub with an entire Budweiser truck reassembled behind the main bar. I just wasn’t sure how a quiet night of jazz entertainment was going to fit into this boisterous atmosphere.
But it fit very well. I walked inside The Local and saw that the usual rock venue had been transformed into a speakeasy of sorts: moody lighting, tables draped with dark cloth, finely attired patrons. The jazz evening featured two major Atlanta bands: CC Booker III and Kayla Taylor Jazz. The latter, made up of singer Kayla Taylor and guitarist Steve Moore, is an impressive duo that performs a dazzling number of jazz and blues standards. Both groups are celebrated veterans of the local music scene, and while I could only stay late enough to catch Kayla Taylor Jazz, saxophonist Will Scruggs and drummer Marlon Patton gave me a taste of CC Booker III by joining Taylor and Moore for their set. Kayla Taylor Jazz was also joined by Randy Hunter on saxophone, Justin Owen-Head on upright bass, and drummer Sebastian DeVuyst, who are all core players for the group. These talents came together to create a fluid, excited energy on stage. They gave a tight, well-rehearsed performance, and played easily toward each other’s whims. Whether it was a velvety saxophone solo from Scruggs or an expressive ramble from Owen-Head on the bass, each player listened to the other with deep appreciation and fascination. Taylor believes that chemistry between players is of the utmost importance, and she and Moore certainly assembled a stunning arrangement of brilliant musicians for this performance. [read more...]