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Scottish born Martin Taylor started performing during the 1960's. He got a lucky break in 1979 when Stephane Grappelli's guitarist broke his wrist and Taylor was asked to step in. That alliance brought him to the attention of jazz critics and public alike and was the beginning of a 20-year association with the great jazz violinist. Taylor has done quite well on his own, too. He has many albums as a leader and has recorded and appeared with the creme of jazz society.
Uncluttered clean sound and his intuitive sense of melody put Martin Taylor a significant cut above other jazz guitarists of his generation. His unique technique along with the type of guitar he plays, which combines features of both the electric and acoustic instrument, allows him to emphasize precision and clarity. There's no smarmy strumming with his playing. Respect for melody does not inhibit Taylor's urge to improvise. Listen to the variations on "Taking a Chance on Love" with its shifting harmonies and rhythms. He turns to classical forms with his interpretation of "Stella by Starlight" as it comes across as a sonata for solo guitar recalling the work of Joe Pass. On "I Got Rhythm", Taylor plays melody, chords and bass all at once leaving one convinced that there are either two guitar players or that dubbing has been employed (it has not). One of the highlight tracks is Taylor's poignant offering of Benny Golson's paean to Clifford Brown, "I Remember Clifford".
Taylor manages to keep a large enthusiastic audience in the palm of his hand for over an hour. Purchasers of this album will be just as entertained as they were. Recommended. Visit Taylor on the Internet at www.sonymusic.co.uk/martintaylor/ martintaylor/index. html.
Track Listing: They Can't Take That Away from Me; Why Did I Choose You?; In a Mello Tone; Georgia on My Mind; I Got Rhythm; I'm Old Fashioned; The Dolphin; Sweet Lorraine; Stella by Starlight; Lulu's Back in Town; I Remember Clifford; Taking a Chance on Love
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.