All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

480

Steve Howe & Martin Taylor: Masterpiece Guitars

Ken Hohman By

Sign in to view read count
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

Related Articles

Read Lab 2018, The Rhythm of the Road CD/LP/Track Review
Lab 2018, The Rhythm of the Road
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 25, 2018
Read Live CD/LP/Track Review
Live
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 25, 2018
Read 8 Songs CD/LP/Track Review
8 Songs
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 25, 2018
Read Facing Dragons CD/LP/Track Review
Facing Dragons
by Chris Mosey
Published: September 25, 2018
Read Brothers CD/LP/Track Review
Brothers
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 24, 2018
Read The Fearless Flyers CD/LP/Track Review
The Fearless Flyers
by John Bricker
Published: September 24, 2018
Read "Travelers" CD/LP/Track Review Travelers
by John Kelman
Published: May 18, 2018
Read "Art Zoyd - 44 1⁄2 At A Glance: Selections from the Art Zoyd Box Set" CD/LP/Track Review Art Zoyd - 44 1⁄2 At A Glance: Selections from the...
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 14, 2018
Read "Live At The  Century City Playhouse – Los Angeles, 1979" CD/LP/Track Review Live At The Century City Playhouse – Los Angeles,...
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 27, 2018
Read "Dirt...And More Dirt" CD/LP/Track Review Dirt...And More Dirt
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 26, 2018
Read "Circumstances" CD/LP/Track Review Circumstances
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 5, 2018
Read "Magnetism(s)" CD/LP/Track Review Magnetism(s)
by John Sharpe
Published: December 21, 2017