September 2000

Martin Taylor
Kiss and Tell
Columbia Jazz

British guitarist Martin Taylor offers a beguiling series of musical adventures on Kiss and Tell (Columbia 4953872; 66:35). The longtime Stephane Grappelli sideman blends technical wizardry and emotional nuance, utilizing his entire instrument for fluid, notey sweeps as gentle and cascading as a harp (a resonant solo read of "Mona Lisa"), and detailed, spindly licks spiked with bittersweet blues (the simmering, jazzy "You've Changed"). Taylor's guitar work is both meditative and authoritative, guiding unique arrangements like the lithe Brazilian walk, "Garden of Dreams," which also features Jay Asby's sinewy trombone, and the Scottish-rooted duet "Ginger," which moves seamlessly from meditative to brassy and soaring through Taylor's circling licks and Matt Rollings' rolling, bright piano work. Taylor also uncovers hidden depth and direction in a pair of unlikely Nick-at-Nite classics: the theme from "The Odd Couple," repainted as a creeping, dark blue improvisation noir; and a slow-burning, moody "Five-O," twisted with another haunting trombone line.

Originally published in September 2000

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