Joel Taylor

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Joel Taylor is an American drummer. He toured with Allan around year 2000, and appears on the DVD "Live At The Galaxy".

Quotes by Joel on Allan

Modern Drummer, February 2020

In Modern Drummer February 2020, he recounts how he got the gig with Allan:

(capitalized words are italicized in the original)

MD: Describe your Holdsworth Experience.

Joel: That was an amazing experience. I played with Allan on and off for ten years. We recorded something about ten years ago; I don't if it's ever going to see the light of day. For that project Allan had two different rhythm sections play the same five tunes -- Jimmy Johnson and Gary Husband, then bassist Ernest Tibbs and me. It was maybe in 2006. Then Allan shelved it. He'd call me: "Man, you sound amazing on this. But I want to redo my guitar parts." He wanted to release a double album of both rhythm sections playing the same tunes.

MD: Did he complete the project?

Joel: Nobody knows if he ever replaced his guitar parts. I know his rhythm playing is on there. But then he passed away. The tapes are in probate. Nobody knows what's on them. So we've been talking to his daughter, and if there is finished product in there that we could put out, then great. But nobody really knows.

MD: How did you get the gig?

Joel: I was teaching at Musicians Institute in 1994 and playing in [bassist] Jeff Berlin's band. Jeff asked me to play a Holdsworth clinic. Jeff wrote out a couple of Allan's tunes. One was "Water on the Brain," which Chad Wackerman played on the original version of. It had a lot of odd meters. I sight-read the chart, and we just jammed for the rest of it. We went for a drink across the street on Hollywood Boulevard after, and Allan invited me to be in his rhythm section, as Chad was going out of the country. It was that quick. Then I got the Yanni gig, and that was on retainer so I couldn't pass it up. I did that for a couple of years. Then I rejoined Holdsworth, until 2007.

MD: What demands did Allan place on the drummer?

Joel: He was absolutely the nicest leader ever. He would never tell you what to play. The hardest thing was learning the tunes, because the forms were so difficult and they modulate all over the place. It's like a lot of his forms are through-composed. Often you don't solo on the same form as the head, in a traditional jazz sense.

From my years playing trumpet, I can hear the basic notes in his harmonies and melodies. So I transcribed his music not from a drummer's perspective, but from a musical perspective, with the harmonies and the bass parts. I learned more from the chord structures and the forms of his compositions. I certainly can't hear all of those harmonies, but at least I could write down the bass parts and the harmonies I COULD hear. That really helped to understand the forms.

If you're listening to Allan's music as a drummer, you can't tell that there are modulations everywhere. When I started learning the harmonies and especially the bass parts in his music, I realized, IT'S MODULATING HERE. AND THIS IS THE SAME SORT OF PROGRESSION, BUT IN A DIFFERENT KEY. So it really started to open doors for me, just looking inside his music. After that, I checked what all the different drummers had played originally. And then we talked it over. Allan said, "I want you to play like Joel Taylor." He helped me find my voice. That's the best any leader can do.

Quotes by Allan on Joel

A Conversation With Allan Holdsworth (Abstract Logix 2005)

I caught up with Holdsworth following a gig with this current trio (Joel Taylor on drums, Ernest Tibbs on six-string bass) at B.B. King's Bar & Grill in Manhattan. The interview took place on a hot and sunny Saturday afternoon in July on a grassy knoll in Central Park.

Bill: It was great hearing you play older things like ‘Funnels' and ‘Protocosmos' last night at B.B. King's. It reminded me of seeing Wayne Shorter in concert recently playing his older compositions like ‘Footprints' and ‘Masqualero.' These tunes are your standards, part of your legacy.

Allan: Yeah, well, that's because I haven't written much lately. I had a dry spell for the last five years. But I think it's OK to play a couple of old tunes.

Bill: It certainly is for the audience.

Allan: And also, the different musicians interpret them all very differently. So when you play the same tune with new guys, it's always new in a way and I really like that. I did some gigs with Jimmy (Johnson) and Chad (Wackerman) recently and we played some of the same pieces of music that you heard last night, and it was so different.

Bill: This particular rhythm section of Joel Taylor and Ernest Tibbs seems more interactive than others you've played with. Joel in particular has a real loose swing feel that seems to open the music up a bit more than usual.

Allan: Yeah, I really like playing with Joel. I started liking that approach more open approach after working with (bassist) Dave Carpenter and (drummer) Gary Novak. And then I carried on working with Dave and Joel, which was great too. And when I found Ernest, I was lucky. We needed a bass player for a few gigs and Dave Carpenter wasn't available, and it was like the last minute deal. Gary Willis was in town so he ended up doing two of the three gigs and then Ernest came in and did the last one. He got the music from Joel, came to the gig and played really great, and we've been working together since then. I love working with Joel and Ernest. The vibe that they give as a rhythm section is totally different from other rhythm sections that I've played with. Like you say, it's loose. And I like that. What they do together as a rhythm section also really affects what I play as a soloist, which is cool.

Allan Holdsworth interview (Abstract Logix 2004)

AL: You are working on a new record. Your last studio album was the magnificent Sixteen Men of Tain. Is your new album going to be conceptual in nature ?

AH: It's essentially a trio record featuring Joel Taylor and Ernest Tibbs. The working title is Snakes and Ladders. I'm working on recording it at present. No, there's no particular concept as such. I would say its closer in terms of the music to 16 Men than Hard Hat Area. Beyond that, when it's done I guess you can tell me.

Allan Holdsworth interview (Music Maker 2003)

Allan was playing De Boerderij in Zoetermeer with Ernest Tibbs and Joel Taylor. Sony scheduled an interview for me that I was happy to do, but since Allan was late from playing Belgium the night before, the interview got cancelled that same afternoon. I went to the gig with drummer Bas Cornelissen. Surely we found Allan at the bar, we talked a bit and being the English gentleman he is, he suggested to have our conversation anyway, during the break of the gig. Bassie asked some questions here and there too.

How do you prepare for a tour like this?

‘We did a few gigs before. You know, play with Ernest and Joel. And we did a couple of gigs in L.A. before we came on. On this trip. We had about a week or so off before we actually left.

Just gigs or did you also do rehearsals somewhere?

No. These guys don't need to rehearse.

Yeah, it's jazz...!

(Laughs) I'm the one who needs to rehearse, these guys don't need to rehearse!

Your playing with a new bassplayer tonight, Ernest Tibbs. How did you meet him?

Through Joel (Taylor-RH) Because there was something that happened with Dave and...Joel suggested Ernest. And so I hooked with Ernest and we did a gig in San Diëgo. Sounded great to me, so..we kept going.

I heard that you were gonna do an album with Chad Wackerman?


Internet gossip.

Yeah. We did a live album in Japan last year. But that was all. And I haven't got anything else lined up with Chad. At the moment. So we're gonna do something when we get back. With Joel and Ernest.

It's a cool rhythm section. They sound tight.

Yeah, I'm enjoying it. I love playing with these guys.It's great. I have a lot of fun. They push me.

Harnessing momentum (Innerviews 2008)

The first new CD is Snakes and Ladders, coming out on Steve Vai's Favored Nations label. What can you tell me about it?

I signed a deal with Steve around the time I got divorced and he never got his album. He's been unbelievably patient. The reason he hasn't bugged me is because he's a musician and understands that things can go wrong. Usually, a business-oriented record company guy would be beating down my door by this point.

Snakes and Ladders is an interesting record because it has two sets of people on it. Part of the album has Jimmy Johnson on bass and Gary Husband on drums. It also features another rhythm section I was touring with comprised of Ernest Tibbs on bass and Joel Taylor on drums. People have always asked me how different personnel change the music, and Snakes and Ladders really depicts that. There's one tune that appears in two different versions on the album, played by each set of players. It sounds completely different because of the way they interpret it. With Jimmy and Gary, the music is a bit more high energy and rock-oriented, and with Ernest and Joe, it's a little softer and goes into Sixteen Men of Tain territory. The record that comes after Snakes and Ladders will be another trio record, with Chad Wackerman and Jimmy Johnson, who I'm currently touring with.

The Man Who Changed Guitar Forever (Guitar Player 2008)

Tell us about your two upcoming recordings.

I'd started a project with Gary Husband and Jimmy Johnson about five years ago that was supposed to be released on Gnarly Geezer before the label folded. I've got all the recordings from that session, along with additional tracks recorded with drummer Joel Taylor and bassist Ernest Tibbs a couple of years later, and the first album will feature a mixture of those four musicians. One interesting thing about the project is that one of the songs was recorded by both groups, and the versions turned out so differently that I want to include them both just to show how the musicians can radically change the music. I don't tell anyone what to play specifically. I just show them the compositions, and their interpretations are completely up to them. I think that's why some of the guys like to play with me. The second album will mostly be with Jimmy Johnson and Chad Wackerman, and I'll release it myself, possibly also this year.

The Outter Limits - Allan Holdsworth's Out of Bounds Existence ( 1999) Are you still playing with the trio that's on the record?

Allan Holdsworth: Since that recording, Gary Novak started working with Alanis Morrisette, so he's gone doing that. I'm playing with Dave Carpenter still but we've got Joel Taylor on drums. Joel's a really great musician. And it changes it again. Each guys brings something different. I'm also doing a tour of Europe with a different band -- Gary Husband and Jimmy Johnson. So that's going to be pretty different, too.