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In a career spanning more than thirty years, guitarist Martin Taylor has collaborated with a wide range of artists including Stephane Grappelli, Chet Atkins and Jeff Beck, as well as recording extensively under his own name. Double Standards finds the Scottish guitar virtuoso in a duo performance with none other than himself. By recording two separate tracks, Taylor pulls off a set of familiar standards as though he were playing alongside the likes of Joe Pass, Herb Ellis or Barney Kesselall guitarists with whom Taylor has previously performed with in a duo setting.
Utilizing his custom-made, arch-top guitar, Taylor showcases his virtuoso technique on swinging versions of Toots Thielman's "Bluesette" and Count Basie's "Jive at Five," picking lightning-fast single-note runs, thumping bass lines and big band-style chords. Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Triste" and Burt Bacharach's "Alfie" have a mellower, pop-oriented vibe, with stripped-down accompaniment tracks. Taylor digs into a bluesier, string-bending tangent on "Estate" and "When I Take My Sugar to Tea," revealing a Django Reinhardt influence.
The production value of the recording is second-to-none; sound engineer Stuart Hamilton uses four microphones on Taylor's guitar and four on his amplifier, capturing every nuance in the guitarist's dynamic approach.
Taylor is playing at the top of his game on Double Standards, bringing freshness to overdone material and having a ball doing it.
Track Listing: Triste; Bluesette; Young and Foolish; Drop Me Off At Harlem; Alfie; Jive at Five; Someone To Watch Over Me; Alice in Wonderland; Estate; When I Take My Sugar to Tea; I Fall in Love Too Easily; Just Friends.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.