Thursday 26th November 2009
By Trudie Squires
SUCH is the reputation of this truly wonderful guitarist ensured that this concert was a sell out many weeks in advance. And Taylor let no-one down in a virtuoso performance. Playing an acoustic guitar he launched into a medley of three evergreen songs; Like Someone In Love, I Fall In Love Too Easy and Don't Know Why, providing an early indication of his formidable and numerous guitar skills; combining rich bass lines with an incredibly intricate finger style and resonant block chording, all delivered with a seemingly effortless ease. Between numbers Taylor recalled his associations with legendary jazz artists such as the great French violinist Stephan Grappelli. He also described the humorous reactions to his performances in other parts of the world, notably the US of A and Japan. Other highlights of an immaculate evening's music were an electrifying rendition of I Got Rhythm - played at breakneck speed; a gorgeous version of They Can't Take That Away From Me; and a carefully illustrated demonstration of how he built up a tune from five different phrases before combining them all together, while giving a talk on what was happening! Hoagy Carmichael's classic Georgia On My Mind received the Martin Taylor treatment and a session with US guitarist Chet Atkins was recalled with a beautiful version of Sweet Lorraine. He kept his audience guessing with a contemporary introduction to Takin' A Chance On Love, before launching himself into a prodigious swinging improvisation, which sounded like he was accompanied by a full rhythm section. An encore was demanded by our biggest audience of the season and Martin obliged and rounded off a memorable session with Over The Rainbow.