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Album Review

Although still most famous for his 11-year association with Stéphane Grappelli, guitarist Martin Taylor has had a strong solo career for the past two decades. When playing unaccompanied, he can create on the level of a Joe Pass, and he is also a superior group player, too. On Freternity, Taylor is featured in a variety of settings, from solo to a quintet. While "Stella by Starlight" and Clifford Brown's "Joy Spring" probably did not need to be revived again, Taylor's two originals are excellent, he also plays a couple of excellent tunes by pianist David Newton, and his renditions of "Skylark" and "Lullaby of the Leaves" give new life to the vintage tunes. Singer Alison Burns makes a guest appearance on "Kissing Bug," trumpeter Guy Barker is a welcome addition whenever he appears (he deserves to be much better known), and the rhythm section is excellent. Taylor is generous in featuring his sidemen but still emerges as the main star throughout this highly enjoyable release.


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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Freternity, Martin Taylor
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