CD Reviews: "Fantasizing About Being Black" - Otis Taylor

Saturday, February 25, 2017


This is a concept album in that a theme links the stories in the songs together, facing obstacles of injustice that exist for one man and not another. Otis provides, in the liner notes, a brief description of each song’s story. Otis’ contribution to the world of music, trance blues, are an interesting amalgamation of musical styles. You can find roots, blues, americana, spirituals, jazz, old world, etc. Otis wrote all of tracks here. Dobro playing virtuoso Jerry Douglas plays on a few of these songs. The songs that feature a coronet have a jazz feel to them. Its familiar but challenging at the same time. You know how old Jazz does things, you’ve got to come to him, he’s not going to come to you. The music has hypnotic elements certainly, repetitious building blocks that hold their position in front.  Otis isn’t anything if he isn’t real, for example “ Just want to live with you, don’t want no pets”. There’s space in the music for the notes not played, signs of wisdom and experience in a musician. To me, at times, the music sounds like the mixing of different types of the world’s music, and it is so fresh and evolving in the moment. I also had that feeling sometimes at live Dead shows. Maybe I’ll tell you  some of my Dead show stories, but not today.  In my own observations of life, you can’t move forward with a closed mind, so open that sonofabitch up! This stuff isn’t Chicago, (although track 6 takes you there) it ties to blues at the roots, couple of chords and the truth. I would have written a different review had I done so after my first listen, so I’m thankful something made me give it another spin. I’m 4 listens in at this time, writing it up. Don’t let Otis’ “So you’re here to date my daughter” glare on the cover scare you away from some old music with a fresh twist.




4 notes  11 tracks  42 minutes  Hear for yourself




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