The second release from guitarist Taylor Roberts finds the local jazz heavyweight digging deep into covers and originals. Over the course of 15 tracks, Roberts mainly interprets classic and contemporary pop (or at least well-known) material. The Beatles are given their due on his version of the title track, driven by contrapuntal interplay with Roberts putting the guitar’s low B-string to good use, as a languid bass line is met with octave melodies and chords. Two tracks in particular highlight Roberts’ skills at blending pop-rock with jazz: The Pixies’ “Where is My Mind?” and Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here.” Both performances toe the line between the reverent and improvisational, with Roberts jotting the arrangements with spontaneous staccato, rolling runs; even taps on the guitar body.

Taylor Roberts – Solo Guitar – While My Guitar Gently Weeps from Taylor Roberts on Vimeo.

A Day in the Life also features “Katherine” and “Hunting Season,” two original compositions. On the latter (dedicated to guitarist Charlie Hunter), Roberts takes the straight-up jazz-blues form and turns it wide open, bending licks morphing the rhythm into an elastic, shifting groove that makes it too unorthodox to be bound to one genre. 

This Local Music Spotlight originally appeared in the January 2020 issue of Void Magazine.