Recommended: Taylor Haskins & Green Empire – “The Point”


The first impression delivered by a Taylor Haskins recording is that an entirely new plateau has been achieved.  Everything is different would be a pretty normal reaction.  And that reaction wouldn’t necessarily be wrong.  But then the first impression leads to more considered assessments.  Patterns emerge, and the poetry of the trumpeter’s evolution reveals familiar landmarks.  Everything new with Taylor Haskins is a series of loops, cutbacks and arcs reconnecting with the primary trail of his creative path.  It’s why the astonishing expressionism of his 2017 release The Point isn’t a plateau at all, but simply new ground with roots extending way back.

2002’s Wake Up Call is the echo of stringed melodies and electronic voicings.  The rustic twang and the synthetic bleed of melody from 2010’s American Dream bubbles up to the surface on Haskins’ newest, as does the deep dive into electronics from 2011’s Recombination and its full and complete embrace on his early-2017 release, Gnosis.  It comes out all different, but the lines can be drawn from today to the past.  This quality amplifies the impact of the changes, even at their most subtle.

Haskins goes solely with an EVI for this session.  His sound with the Steiner/Crumar analog EVI isn’t going to get confused with his sound on trumpet, but more than a particular sound is how Haskins goes about expressing it, and there are times on The Point where it becomes easy to forget that the switch was made.  And the lovely way it contrasts with the acoustic guitar and pedal steel of Michael Chorney and Brett Lanier is no less startling than how the EVI synchs up with the hum and chatter of bassist Robinson Morse and drummer Geza Carr.

There isn’t a Taylor Haskins project that doesn’t generate serious intrigue.  His newest is just more of an abundance of evidence to this fact.

Your album personnel:  Taylor Haskins (Steiner/Crumar analog EVI), Brett Lanier (pedal steel), Michael Chorney (acoustic guitar), Robinson Morse (bass) and Geza Carr (drums).

Released on Recombination Records.

Listen to more of the album on the artist’s Bandcamp page.

Music from Westport, NY.

Available at Bandcamp | Amazon