Review: Gene Taylor with CC Jerome’s Jet Setters – Let Me Ride In Your Automobile

Posted on: Friday, Dec 3, 2010

GENE TAYLOR with CC Jerome’s Jet Setters
“Let Me Ride In Your Automobile”
(El Toro Records – ETCD6046)

Here’s another winner from the great Spanish label, El Toro Records, based in Pineda, near Barcelona – boogie piano master Gene Taylor in the company of the Dutch-based CC Jerome’s Jet Setters, featuring Jeroen Van Gasteren (Jerome, guitar), Deon Buck (bass) and Coen Molenschot (drums), and the incendiary guitar of Nick Curran on two tracks, who was gigging in Europe at the time of recording. The 12 tracks on offer feature just four covers, the rest being Taylor originals, mixing up lots of styles.

Los Angeles-born Taylor has had a colourful life in music, from backing legends such as Lowell Fulson on home turf, being a member of such influential bands as Canned Heat, The Blasters and The Fabulous Thunderbirds, as well as playing on most of James Harman’s great albums. He sounds to be having a ball here, kicking off with the rocking “Evangeline Stomp”, an instrumental that sees his piano sparring with the saxophone of guest Martijn “Tinez” Van Toor; the following “Rockin’ Little Honey” is another full-tilt rocker with Taylor fairly tearing it up on piano.

The pace is taken down on the rumba of “Just A Midnight Girl”, with a sweet harmonica solo from Jeffrey Thielen, which leads into the first appearance of Nick Curran on the boogie of “The Golden Rule”, with him and Jerome both taking killer solos. His other appearance is on the fabulous “The Walkout”, with him handling the lead guitar chores, Jerome on rhythm and the driving combination of Coen Molenschot’s drums and the upright bass of Deon Buck.

The hillbilly classic “Seven Nights To Rock” fairly rattles along, as does a superb cover of Johnny Guitar Watson’s “Motorhead Baby”, delivered as a swinging, jump blues, with fine guitar from Jerome and more saxophone fireworks from Van Toor, and Gene Taylor himself again pounding the keys. “Never Took The Time” rides on a funky groove with glorious back-up vocal chorus from Birgit Wijdemans. Another gem is the soulful and gospel-influenced “The Blues To Me” – with more top sax and some Memphis-flavoured licks and solo from Jerome.

The title cut, the cool swing of Lowell Fulson’s “Let Me Ride In Your Automobile” stays loyal to the original, with the closing “Flying With Whitey”, is a breakneck boogie-woogie with piano, guitar and saxophone all impressing – the instrumental being a tribute to the Air Force squadron commander of a friend of Gene Taylor’s in the USA – like all before it, a great track from a thoroughly recommended album.


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