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Doc City is the project of Cleveland musician Clarence Taylor, MD, and his latest album Welcome to Doc City was recently released earlier this year with a deluxe, expanded edition. By day Taylor is a doctor, practicing at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, but Doc City is no mere indulgent hobby for the artist either. Taylor has been in bands since he was a teenager, playing anything from R&B to funk, and the skill and natural talent is undeniable on Welcome to Doc City. Mixing pop, jazz, and the aforementioned R&B, the album is deeply rooted in soulful grooves as Taylor explores universal and personal themes of love and grief.
Taylor is largely a traditionalist in his style and sound. He keeps things sound exciting and fresh throughout without compromising his vision, from the tender ballad “No Goodbyes,” which sounds like an uncovered standard, to the subtle, understated psychedelic bossa nova flourishes of “Did You Choose?” A key highlight here is a cover of Sade’s “Sweetest Taboo”, and although Sade is one of those artists whose originals can never be topped, Doc City adds a fantastic extra dimension with a rap breakdown about halfway through that magically fits in perfectly. Welcome to Doc City is an exquisitely executed album, augmented by a cast of top session players, and the result is a listening experience that was clearly a labor of love for all involved.
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