A Story for Scheherazade
So wildly varied is the recording output of Milwaukee poet, singer, trumpeter and activist Harvey Taylor that one never knows where he will go from one album to the next. Inspired by last year's Middle Eastern uprisings, Taylor and various local musicians of diverse backgrounds created A Story for Scheherazade, a sonically eccentric mix of regional folk music, appropriate variations of ethno-techno and generous portions of horn from Taylor. He recites three poems, and his political anger and bent for the mystical dovetail into the inspiration at hand. It makes for a hilly journey from the discotheque (or rave chill-out room) to the Sufi meditation chamber and back to the belly dance studio, with what sounds like a brief layover somewhere between Hawaii and Brazil. Time will tell, and likely soon, how just the fruits of the "Arab Spring" will taste, but Taylor and his friends have crafted a sincere and engagingly tuneful piece of modern exotica by way of the overthrow of dictators.