480

Steve Howe & Martin Taylor: Masterpiece Guitars

Ken Hohman By

Sign in to view read count
Steve Howe & Martin Taylor: Masterpiece Guitars Truly a guitarist's guitar recording, Masterpiece Guitars is a showcase for the vintage guitar collection of curator and collector Scott Chinery, brought to life by the duo of formidable British acoustic guitarist Martin Taylor and Yes lead guitarist Steve Howe.

While you might be expecting to hear an acoustic version of "Roundabout" or "Starship Trooper" more than any jazz songs, Masterpiece Guitars offers just shades of the former and quite a few of the latter. Throughout an eclectic program, a wide variety of textures and tones are heard from such desirable instruments as an original Orville Gibson archtop and a D'Angelico Teardrop.

Martin Taylor's versatility and nimble fretwork are on display in delightful versions of the Django-inspired "Thank Heaven For Little Girls" and Jerome Kern's "All The Things You Are," where he accompanies himself on no less than four different guitars thanks to studio tracking. Even more compelling are the variety of approaches he employs on Kenny Dorham's "Blue Bossa," vacillating from single line melodies to pizzicato passages to chordal exercises with unerring ease.

The presence of Steve Howe, though, is something of a mixed bag throughout the proceedings. While his accompaniment to Taylor is sympathetic in these carefully controlled environs, compositions like "Two Teardrops" and "Ae Fond Kiss/Farewell To Erin" are exactly the kind of treacly mood songs that have bogged down Yes recordings for so many decades. Much more successful are the country swing and folk influenced songs like the Chet Atkins style "Goofus" and, most impressively, Taylor's "No Pedestrians," which features a crackerjack imitation of Speedy West and Jimmy Bryant's high speed honky-tonk.

But the Appalachian folk of Howe's "Tailpiece" might be the best example of the magic that Chinery's rare instruments can create when played by experts. The interplay of the Bigsby Steel and the Gibson Century Mando is as hypnotic and natural as a ribbon of fog around a mountain and sounds entirely of another time. And that might be worth the price of the record in and of itself.


Track Listing: Two Teardrops; No Pedestrians; Smile; La Questa; All the Things You Are; Thought Waves; Thank Heaven for Little Girls; Ginger; Blue Bossa; Tailpiece; Cherokee Ridge; The Sunshine of Your Smile; Goofus; Moon River; Ae Fond Kiss/Farewell to Erin; Somewhere; Harpnosis

Personnel: Steve Howe (guitar), Martin Taylor (guitar)

Title: Masterpiece Guitars | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: P3 Music


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Dream Within A Dream CD/LP/Track Review Dream Within A Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Live At The High Noon CD/LP/Track Review Live At The High Noon
by Doug Collette
Published: June 22, 2017
Read As It Should Be: Ballads 2 CD/LP/Track Review As It Should Be: Ballads 2
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 21, 2017
Read Karoujite CD/LP/Track Review Karoujite
by John Eyles
Published: June 21, 2017
Read "Spacebound Apes" CD/LP/Track Review Spacebound Apes
by Phil Barnes
Published: September 14, 2016
Read "Agartha" CD/LP/Track Review Agartha
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 14, 2016
Read "Nine Thoughts For One Word" CD/LP/Track Review Nine Thoughts For One Word
by John Ephland
Published: October 1, 2016
Read "Lab 2016" CD/LP/Track Review Lab 2016
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 3, 2016
Read "The Duke Box 2" CD/LP/Track Review The Duke Box 2
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 14, 2016
Read "From the Heart" CD/LP/Track Review From the Heart
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 11, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.