Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Martin Taylor - Last Train to Hauteville - April 13th

For us guitar lovers, this is a great week when it comes to new album releases! There are very promising albums from Slash, Steve Vai, AC/DC and the great Jeff Beck.

But in the middle of this storm, there is a beautiful guitar album by acclaimed guitarist Martin Taylor: Last Train to Hauteville. If you're not familiar with Martin Taylor, Pat Metheny found a great way to describe him: "Martin Taylor is one of the most awesome solo guitar players in the history of the instrument. He's unbelievable"

The promotional description reads "...the ideal soundtrack to driving through the scented country roads of France on a hot lazy summer’s day...", and that's exactly what this album feels like.
I have listened to this album, and it is pure jazz goodness with a touch of gypsy jazz. From the soft opening track "J'Attendrai" listeners get the idea of what this album is about. Besides the great guitar performance by Taylor, I really enjoyed vocalist Alison Burns' work. Then you have tracks like "Roberta" and "Madame Haricot", which could be case studies on guitar phrasing.

About Martin Taylor's phrasing, it really inspires me. The smooth and fluent way in which he delivers his lines disguise their complexity. If just more guitar players (including myself) were better able to deliver on this concept.

And here is a great video: The making of 'Last Train to Hauteville'


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