Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Martin Taylor combines his strong, engaging stage presence with his signature style on this spirited live album recorded during his 1997 British tour. Originally released in 1998, 'Gypsy' has been re-issued as part of Linn's ECHO series which offers a second chance to enjoy the best of the label's award-winning catalogue. 'Gypsy' finds Martin Taylor and his Spirit of Django band dazzling audiences with a combination of virtuosity, emotion and humor. Together Taylor and the band re-work compositions by Django Reinhardt and tracks the late Gypsy guitarist made famous, such as 'Chicago' and 'Sweet Sue Just You'. 'The Tipsy Gypsy' provides the centrepiece for the engaging opening medley, written by Django collaborator and Bluegrass mandolinist, David Grisman. Taylor has written for many respected jazz performers and for TV and film; the mellow but upbeat 'Chez Fernand' is one of seven original tracks he has contributed to Gypsy. Taylor's acoustic guitar is complemented by strong soloists such as accordion player Jack Emblow and saxophonist Dave O'Higgins. Taylor's inimitable style, honed across five decades, has seen him recognized as the world's foremost exponent of solo jazz guitar. Taylor possesses an easy virtuosity that has earned him global acclaim from fellow musicians, fans and critics alike. Taylor is a multi-award winning guitarist whom Acoustic Guitar magazine calls 'THE acoustic guitarist of his generation'. Taylor has enjoyed a remarkable musical career with more than 100 recordings to his credit and a record 14 British Jazz Awards as a guitarist. He has collaborated Jeff Beck, Bill Wyman, Chet Atkins, Stéphane Grappelli, George Harrison, Hugh Laurie and Jamie Cullum.
JazzTimes (8/00, p.101) - "...A solid, spirited offering that should appeal to both Djangophiles and novices."
Personnel: Martin Taylor (acoustic guitar); Dave O'Higgins (saxophone); Jack Emblow (accordion); John Goldie (acoustic guitar); Terry Gregory (acoustic bass); James Taylor (percussion).
Recorded on tour in England from September to October 1996 and at Anshin Studio, Scotland in July 1997. Includes liner notes by Martin Taylor.
Personnel: Martin Taylor (acoustic guitar); John Goldie (acoustic guitar); Jack Emblow (accordion); Dave O'Higgins (saxophone); Terry Gregory (acoustic bass guitar).
Liner Note Author: Martin Taylor.
Recording information: Anshin Studio, UK (07/1997); Anshin Studio, UK (09/1996-10/1996).
Martin Taylor's first CD of live dates as a leader proves to be very rewarding listening. With his delightful Spirit of Django band, he sticks exclusively to the acoustic guitar throughout the release, giving a new look to pieces either written by Django Reinhardt ("Tears" and "Nuages") or performed by the late Gypsy guitarist ("Chicago" and "Sweet Sue Just You"). But that's not all -- the opening medley centers around David Grisman's engaging "The Tipsy Gypsy," and there are several strong originals by Taylor as well, including the mellow but upbeat "Chez Fernand." Accordion player Jack Emblow and saxophonist Dave O'Higgins (who is especially compelling on soprano) are also strong soloists who complement Taylor's work; hopefully Taylor will keep this group going in addition to his fine work as a solo performer. ~ Ken Dryden