Floyd Taylor

Daddy B. Nice's #39 ranked Southern Soul Artist



Portrait of Floyd Taylor by Daddy B. Nice
 


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"Old School Style"

Floyd Taylor

Composed by Charles Richard Cason


February 21, 2014:

FLOYD TAYLOR DIES.


See Daddy B. Nice's Top 100 21st Century Southern Soul Artist Guide to Floyd Taylor.

***********

February 1, 2014: NEW ARTIST GUIDE ALERT!


Floyd Taylor is now the #16-ranking Southern Soul artist on Daddy B. Nice's new 21st Century Top 100 Countdown.

Go to Daddy B. Nice's new 21st-Century Artist Guide to Floyd Taylor.

*************

See "Tidbits" below for the latest updates on Floyd Taylor.

To automatically link to Floyd Taylor's charted radio singles, awards, CD's and other references, go to "Taylor, Floyd" in Daddy B. Nice's Comprehensive Index.

****************************

Daddy B. Nice's Original Critique:

If Johnnie Taylor had any contenders for the throne of Southern Soul R&B, his death in 2000 put him completely out of reach, elevating him to "soul heaven" and the status of undisputed Godfather of Southern Soul. His musical dominance extends genetically as well. It's said that as many as a half-dozen young performers have claimed to be Johnnie Taylor's son and musical heir.

Seventeen years after Johnnie Taylor made his first recording with Jackson, Mississippi's Malaco Records, one of Johnnie's sons, Floyd Taylor, debuted on the same label with an album called Legacy (2002). If you weren't listening closely to the deejay's credits, it was easy to believe the songs were one of a steady stream of posthumous Johnnie Taylor reissues. From the arrangements to the choice of material to the voice timbre and vocal inflections, Floyd Taylor's resemblance to his father is uncanny.

"Ain't nothin' wrong
With a little bump and grind.
That's what the young people say.
But to make it last takes time,
Like they did back in the day."

Floyd Taylor's "Old School Style" is one of those tracks you'd swear was a record from the "vault." Perhaps it's more than a coincidence that "Old School Style" and "I Love Being In Love With You," another Johnnie Taylor sound-alike cut from Legacy, were written by the author of the J.T. classic, "Soul Heaven," Charles Richard Cason. If R&B can be said to have a solemn quality, then Cason's songs are the ultimate vehicles for blending romance with reverence.

"Watching you get undressed,
Girl, I've got to confess,
You get better looking each time."

The song unfolds with the kind of care and tenderness we associate with Marvin Gaye or Smoky Robinson or Curtis Mayfield. It's as close to aural gourmet candy as R&B gets.

But whereas in most debut albums, subsequent tracks tend to disappoint and drop off in quality, Floyd Taylor's Legacy serves up one winner after another. When Floyd Taylor branches out into other songwriters' material, such as the refreshingly melodic, Lawrence Harper-penned "She Ain't Mine (Tho' I Call Her My Babe)," he sounds a little less like his famous father and a little more like a completely new artist.

"We got to keep it in the down low,
We can't let nobody know.
It's wrong, but I can't do right.
My baby's got me too weak to fight."

Something is lost, something is gained. But whether you are looking for someone to extend Johnnie Taylor's posthumous influence or an artist new to the scene and deserving of a listen on his own terms, Floyd Taylor will not disappoint. Legacy is one of the most auspicious Southern Soul debuts of the 21st century.

--Daddy B. Nice


About Floyd Taylor

Floyd Taylor was born in Chicago and raised by his mother, Mildred Singletary. He began performing locally while holding day jobs in hospitals. In the seventies, during Johnnie Taylor's "Disco Lady" phase, Floyd began reaping the benefits of being Johnnie's son, accompanying his famous father on tours and Kool Jazz Festival shows.

The exposure to the R&B world continued over the next two decades, with young Floyd watching and absorbing the work of his father and fellow musicians. Along the way, he met and played with a Who's Who of contemporary Southern Soul: Bobby "Blue" Bland, Marvin Sease, Tyrone Davis, Bobby Rush and many others.

Taylor's first release, Legacy, appeared in 2002 and caused a major buzz throughout the chitlin' circuit for a good year afterward, with one radio single after another from the album achieving favor.

Taylor's concerts during this period, according to some fans, displayed a young performer torn between reprising the sound of his famous father and forging his own musical identity.

So the issuing of his second CD, No Doubt, in April of 2005 was cause for celebration. The LP presented a Floyd Taylor whose maturation was continuing unabated. There were still echoes of Johnnie Taylor, but they seemed to be fully integrated into Floyd Taylor's own un-self-conscious style.

The single, "Baby I've Changed," released to radio outlets before the No Doubt CD, immediately climbed into the "top tens" on Southern Soul deejay playlists, and the radio-friendly tracks, "My Bad," "Slipped, Tripped, Stumbled, Fell," and "Step Into My Heart," were only waiting for their time.

(Scroll down to "Tidbits" for Floyd Taylor's latest recording activity.)

Floyd Taylor Discography:

2002 Legacy (Malaco)

2005 No Doubt (Malaco)

2007 You Still Got It (Malaco)

2010 All Of Me (CDS)


Song's Transcendent Moment

"Let's make love tonight,
Old-school style.
Slow and easy.
Let it take awhile."


Tidbits

1. November 20, 2007. Floyd Taylor's new single, "You've Still Got It," has had a good run on chitlin circuit music stations through the summer and autumn of 2007. Now the album (Bargain-Priced You Still Got It CD) has arrived--October 30, 2007, from Malaco Records, the label that nurtured and lived off somebody named Johnnie Taylor for the better part of two decades. Floyd will never be mistaken for his fiercely driven father, and You Still Got It doesn't have the densely-packed quality of Floyd's five-star debut, Legacy, but it's a smooth, well-executed outing.

DBN.

2. Daddy B. Nice update : January 31, 2008

The main thing you need to know about Floyd Taylor's new album, You Still Got It, is that it's no Legacy. If you're a true-blue Floyd Taylor fan--and why wouldn't you be?--you'll want the album. But if you're just getting acquainted with Johnnie Taylor's most talented son, you'll want to go straight to Legacy or even Taylor's second release, No Doubt.

Legacy was just about as close to a "masterpiece" as a Southern Soul debut gets, right up there with first efforts by Sir Charles Jones and, more recently, Reggie P., Nellie"Tiger" Travis and Wendell B.

Floyd Taylor has always shown an unerring ear for the material by the best Southern Soul songwriters: Charles Richard Cason ("Old School Style," "I Love Being In Love With You," "Baby I've Changed," "Slipped, Tripped, Stumbled And Fell," "My Bad," "Step Into My Heart"), Harrison Calloway ("I'm Crazy 'Bout That Woman In Red," "We're Goin' Out On The Town"), Lawrence Harper ("When We Touch," "She Ain't Mine"), George Jackson ("When You Finally Realize," "I'm Hooked On These Blues"), and Isaac Hayes & David Porter ("I've Got To Love Somebody's Baby"), to name only a few. It's an indispensable tool for an artist like Taylor, who is a vocalist/interpreter of the highest order, with no aspirations to be a singer/songwriter.

And the recently deceased Charles Richard Cason (mistakenly listed as "Carson" on All Music Guide's composer summary of the You Still Got It CD), is once again the prominent songwriting force, but with diminished results when compared with his contributions on the first two discs.

I confess I was never attracted to the melody of "You've Still Got It," the Cason-written, showcase single from the new CD. But the song has definitely proven itself on the Stations of the Deep South, where it has been a fixture on deejay playlists since mid-2007--a good half-year run.

The two other cuts I'd recommend are "If You Catch Me Sleepin'," which also possesses a likeable if winsome melody, and "Southern Soul Party," another streamlined Cason vehicle.

But on the whole, Floyd doesn't show the "fire in his belly" that made "Old School Style" from Legacy, for instance, glow with a slow-burning incandescence.

Floyd Taylor isn't the "fire-in-the-belly" type, anyway. While peers like Reggie P. and T. K. Soul revel in "bad boy" grit, Floyd is the kind of smooth stylist you could take home once to your mother and never hear the end of hearing, "Why don't you hook up with that charming, gentlemanly young man?"

Floyd Taylor remains a native of his hometown, Chicago, from which he occasionally travels south to record at Jackson's Malaco Records. Through February and early March of 2008, he'll be appearing as a headliner on the "Blues Is Alright Tour" along with many of his legendary father's famous mates: Bobby "Blue" Bland, Latimore, Mel Waiters, Willie Clayton, Marvin Sease and more.
(See Concert Calendar for tour dates, including Floyd Taylor's hometown of Chicago.)

DBN

3. Daddy B. Nice Update: June 3, 2008

While not "panning" Floyd Taylor's newest CD, You Still Got It, in my Jan. 31 update (See Tidbit #2), your Daddy B. Nice certainly didn't give it a ringing endorsement.

Six months later, the CD seems a lot better: on a level that comes close--if not quite matching--the astonishing "highs" of Legacy.

It's been helped by another couple of singles that everyone on the chitlin' circuit just loves: "I Miss My Daddy" (about Floyd's father Johnnie, but not at all maudlin or sentimental) and "I'm Hooked On These Blues," a surprising uptempo blues that'll remind you of Bobby "Blue" Bland's "Straight From The Shoulder."

Truth is, Floyd Taylor hasn't put out a bad album yet.

DBN.

4. Daddy B. Nice Update: September 4, 2008:

Boy, I was wrong about this one. I never took to "You Still Got It," the first title-cut single from the CD of the same name. It was just a little too vanilla, but since then song after song has pushed its way onto the Stations of the Deep South air waves:
"Southern Soul Party," "I'm Hooked On These Blues," "I Miss My Daddy," "If You Catch Me Sleepin'". . .

You Still Got It is definitely worth your hard-earned money. (Bargain-Priced You Still Got It CD)

DBN

(The above piece ran on Daddy B. Nice's Corner in July & August of 2008 under the title "Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa.")

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5.

April 24, 2010: NEW ALBUM ALERT

Bargain-Priced All Of Me CD

Comparison-Priced All Of Me CD

See "All Of Me, All Of You": Daddy B. Nice's #6 "Breaking" Southern Soul Single, April 2010.

Scroll down to TIDBITS #5 to read Daddy B. Nice's 4-Star Review.

*********

6.

August 15, 2010:

FLOYD TAYLOR: All Of Me (CDS) Four Stars **** Distinguished effort. Should please old fans and gain new.

The CD's have come deliberately, over well-spaced intervals--Legacy (2002), No Doubt (2005), and You Still Got It (2007)--but oh, what an impact they've had. Each one has been a near-masterpiece, spawning a minimum of two or three--and sometimes more--bona fide Southern Soul hits.

The voice is famously (and accurately) known as the reincarnation of Johnnie Taylor, and the material has featured the best songwriters the genre has to offer (Lawrence Harper, Harrison Calloway, George Jackson, etc.), and most notably the recently deceased Charles Richard Cason, whose compositions were perfectly realized in the peerless vocal work of the young artist: "Baby I've Changed," "I Love Being In Love With You," "Old School Style," "Slipped, Tripped, Stumbled And Fell," "You've Still Got It," "My Bad," "Step Into My Heart" and "Sweet Love," to name but a few.

There are more flamboyant young Southern Soul stars, but none of whom one can say they always excelled, they never failed. So the appearance of a new CD by Floyd Taylor on a new label, CDS (the first three were published by Malaco), featuring material written by a new slate of younger-generation songwriters, represents a dramatic departure.

And while the audience may have asssumed that much of Floyd's early success was the result of his access to his famous father's supporting cast and their cumulative knowledge and advisement, the new CD, All Of Me, confirms the conviction of many close watchers of Southern Soul music over the last decade that it's Floyd's talent, painstaking craftsmanship and patience in picking material that has made his music so consistently memorable.

As most soul and blues fans are already aware, All Of Me is anchored by "All Of You, All Of Me," the most vintage-sounding FT song on the CD and the single that has been lighting up Southern Soul radio all summer. The ballad, written by S. E. Powell and Izk Jenkins, is an Earl Powell project. (You may remember Earl Powell from the worthy single, "If You Catch Me Sleeping (Walk On By)" from the You Still Got It album.)

Four of the ten songs on the album are written by the fresh-sounding composing duo of Izk Jenkins and Sidney Jones, the latter also being responsible for the music and production of those tunes. Jones and Jenkins are the creative geniuses behind the amazing "That's My Lady (Me & My Lady)," a super-atmospheric slow jam that should be the next single. Floyd sinks his teeth into the lyrics and doesn't let go. His phrasing and enunciation are a miracle to witness, and the background vocals lend just the right touch of airy sophistication.

"Wanna Make Love" is nearly as good, with a soft, insistent hook that approximates the romantic pulse of foreplay and its accompanying obsessions, and "Baby I Love You" is a little more generic but just as typically well-done.

The big surprise of All Of Me is Floyd's teaming up with southern soul-slash-hiphop firebrand Simeo Overall for both the material and production of no less than five of the ten cuts on the CD. The even bigger surprise is that the tactic works.

The new songs aren't better than the old-school FT songs--that would be nearly impossible given their classic ambience--but neither are they embarrassing by comparison. There is no noticeable drop-off in quality. They sound like first-rate Floyd Taylor songs, which is a pretty amazing feat when you think of all the potential pitfalls (seen daily in the shortcomings of other respected artists) and the high standards imposed on Taylor to match his early work.

Simeo's "Everyone Celebrate," which opens the album, and "Someone To Love You," which closes it, are vivid illustrations. Floyd smooths out Simeo's "edge," and even the Simeo-haters among Southern Soul insiders would have to admit that Simeo knows how to plumb his inner depths for musical inspiration to put into his songs.

Other than Floyd's voice, these new songs do not sound like classic Taylor vehicles, and yet they are undeniably soulful. Even the uptempo "I'm 'Bout It 'Bout It" succeeds not only because it's at its heart a catchy hook but because Floyd engages it with so much enthusiasm

So a kind of magic does happen. Floyd Taylor wraps his voice around the Overall compositions, making them thoroughly his own, even when Simeo sings prominent back-up, which by the way burnishes the songs with yet another soulful dimension. From Simeo's perspective, this album may represent his best work to date.

But it's Floyd vocal magic that transforms the material on the CD, well-written and well-chosen as it is. On "Someone To Love You" Floyd takes what would in Simeo's delivery be a heartfelt but weepy outing and makes it resonate with pure, optimistic love: the sunshine, as it were, to Simeo's shade. With Simeo singing such strong backup, the song blossoms into a beautiful, Simon & Garfunkel-like exercise in harmony, all done with a scintillating precision that doesn't sacrifice any of the real emotion.

All Of Me showcases the one artist in Southern Soul who above all should appeal to the neo-soul crowd--the kind of people who like Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings or Syleena Johnson.

Floyd Taylor's Southern Soul brings a lot more to the table musically, as fans of the genre already know and neo-soul fans have yet to find out, but the commercial crossover potential is intriguing to ponder, nonetheless. It's the sign of an artist coming into his own--an artist becoming big enough to render musical labels meaningless.

--Daddy B. Nice

Bargain-Priced All Of Me CD

Comparison-Priced All Of Me CD

***************


If You Liked. . . You'll Love

If you liked Ben E. King's "Stand By Me," you'll love Floyd Taylor's "Old School Style."




Honorary "B" Side

"I Love Being In Love With You"



5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Old School Style by Floyd  Taylor
Old School Style


CD: Legacy
Label: Malaco

Sample or Buy
Legacy


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy I Love Being In Love With You by Floyd  Taylor
I Love Being In Love With You


CD: Legacy
Label: Malaco

Sample or Buy
Legacy


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Baby I've Changed by Floyd  Taylor
Baby I've Changed


CD: No Doubt
Label: Malaco

Sample or Buy
No Doubt


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy She Ain't Mine (Tho' I Call Her My Babe) by Floyd  Taylor
She Ain't Mine (Tho' I Call Her My Babe)


CD: Legacy
Label: Malaco

Sample or Buy
Legacy


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy All Of Me, All Of You by Floyd  Taylor
All Of Me, All Of You


CD: All Of Me
Label: Music Access

Sample or Buy
All Of Me


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy My Bad by Floyd  Taylor
My Bad


CD: No Doubt
Label: Malaco

Sample or Buy
No Doubt


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy When We Touch by Floyd  Taylor
When We Touch


CD: Legacy
Label: Malaco

Sample or Buy
Legacy


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy You've Still Got It by Floyd  Taylor
You've Still Got It


CD: You Still Got It
Label: Malaco

Sample or Buy
You Still Got It


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy I Can't Stand To Be Away From You by Floyd  Taylor
I Can't Stand To Be Away From You


CD: No Doubt
Label: Malaco

Sample or Buy
No Doubt


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy If You Catch Me Sleepin' by Floyd  Taylor
If You Catch Me Sleepin'


CD: You Still Got It
Label: Malaco

Sample or Buy
You Still Got It


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Part Time Lover by Floyd  Taylor
Part Time Lover


CD: Legacy
Label: Mardi Gras

Sample or Buy
Legacy


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Slipped, Tripped, Stumbled, Fell by Floyd  Taylor
Slipped, Tripped, Stumbled, Fell


CD: No Doubt
Label: Malaco

Sample or Buy
No Doubt


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Southern Soul Party by Floyd  Taylor
Southern Soul Party


CD: You Still Got It
Label: Malaco

Sample or Buy
You Still Got It


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Step Into My Heart by Floyd  Taylor
Step Into My Heart


CD: No Doubt
Label: Malaco

Sample or Buy
No Doubt


2 Stars 2 Stars 
Sample or Buy I'm Crazy About That Woman In Red by Floyd  Taylor
I'm Crazy About That Woman In Red


CD: Legacy
Label: Malaco

Sample or Buy
Legacy


2 Stars 2 Stars 
Sample or Buy We're Goin' Out On The Town by Floyd  Taylor
We're Goin' Out On The Town


CD: No Doubt
Label: Malaco

Sample or Buy
No Doubt


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