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Album Review

Martin Taylor's phenomenal technique is best enjoyed on his unaccompanied recordings, such as this studio date recorded in 2002 for P3 Music. Much like the late Joe Pass, this brilliant guitarist excels in his explorations of standards such as "I'm Old Fashioned," "Darn That Dream," and "I Thought About You," alternating frequently between playing the melody, chord changes, and a supporting bassline, while never losing focus of the song itself. His treatment of "Moose the Mooche" starts slow before exploding into an intricate improvisation at a brisk tempo, while also inserting a hilarious excerpt from "A Night in Tunisia" as well. A delicious, low-key rendition of "Li'l Darlin'," the breathtaking "In a Mellow Tone," (long a part of Taylor's repertoire), and his crisp navigation of Clifford Brown's constantly shifting bop classic "Joy Spring" will either amaze or possibly frustrate fledgling jazz guitarists. The bittersweet ballad "Tennessee Waltz" is rarely heard in a jazz setting, but Taylor's warm interpretation is poignant even without hearing its lyrics. If that isn't enough, his original compositions, including the bluesy "Wasabi Greens," and the tender ballad "True" showcase yet another dimension of Martin Taylor's formidable talent. The intimate sound of this session adds to the value of this highly recommended CD.


Born: 1956 in Harlow, Essex, England

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Since the death of Joe Pass in 1994, Martin Taylor has become one of the most highly regarded guitarists in jazz. He was given his first guitar by his father, Buck Taylor. Although he was inspired at first by Django Reinhardt, it was piano players like Art Tatum that drew his attention and helped him practice to develop his phenomenal solo technique. In the late '70s, Stéphane Grappelli invited him to play in a series of concerts in France. The violinist was so impressed that he used Taylor often...
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Solo, Martin Taylor
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