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  • Jonathan Widran

LARS TAYLOR, "Electric Night"

In a genre where explosive emerging talents have to compete for chart positions and airplay with the veteran we’ve loved for years, it’s inspiring to see that adventurous, multi-faceted – and highly prolific - Swiss born guitarist/composer Lars Taylor is at last breaking onto the charts. In my glowing review of his fiery smooth jazz meets world fusion jam “Blue Sphere” (released in May 2022), I was pleased to note that his previous single “Smile” had earned spins on the all-important taste-making SiriusXM Watercolors channel.

While receiving over 50,000 streams on Spotify, “Blue Sphere” spent 26 weeks total on various radio charts and reached reached the Top 30 on the Groove Jazz Music Chart. He capped the year releasing a holiday track, the solo guitar tune “The Waltz (Acoustic)” which showcased the gentler, romantic side of his artistry, and the fiery jazz/rocker “Flying (To Another Place),” whose optimistic title truly captures his current career trajectory.

Now that he’s blazing into 2023 with another perfectly titled gem, the lighthearted, funky and whimsical, then full throttle rockin’ “Electric Night,” it’s clear that Taylor’s trademark is creating fascinating tracks that evolve from one vibe to another – a freewheeling concept that defies traditional wisdom that dictates that artists stick to one vibe, a single instrumental voice and a melodic chorus that repeats over and over. On “Blue Sphere,” he segued from summery energy to world fusion territory (complete with an oriental gypsy guitar and dabuka!).

Now on “Electric Night,” the guitarist achieves this same mind-blowing shift, starting with a breezy, soulful acoustic melody (and infectious killer hook) over trippy electronic synth textures, then showcasing the high octane electric fire the title promises, first with an extended, blazing solo and then a more muscular re-iteration of the hook on the electric. Taylor’s electric playing is so intoxicating that you’ll stay with him even on the lengthy outro before flipping to the next track on your playlist.

While Taylor composed, arranged and produced “Electric Night,” it’s testament to his rising presence in the smooth jazz world that genre mega-hitmaker Michael Broening signed on to create the perfect mix for a track that will surely be lighting up and rising higher on the radio charts throughout the coming months.

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