Jazz review: Martin Taylor
ANYONE seeking a definition of rapture could do worse than watch Martin Taylor's face when he plays. Blissfully lost in a blizzard of notes and arpeggios you get the feeling the apocalypse could be taking place around him and he'd be none the wiser.
Helping Taylor to get lost last night were two excellent musicians, Jermaine Landberger on piano and on bass the exceptionally talented David Petrocca from Calabria.
The trio, despite a touch of jet-lag and a severe lack of rehearsal time, remained tighter than a whalebone corset as they played through a set list that skilfully balanced swing and sway.
There was plenty of the former with the distinct hint of the campfire and 1920s Paris with tunes such as Stompin At The Savoy, Swing 42 and the splendidly joyous Tipsy Gypsy and there's no doubt the trio could have played these all night but Taylor also had a fine line in heartstring tuggers like the self-penned True and a particularly moving version of the Piaf classic L'hymne l'amour.
Taylor began the second half of the show slowly and solo with silky versions of I Fell in Love Too Easily and They Can't Take That Away From Me before being joined on stage by his fellow performers for the Reinhart composed Blues for Ike which set the gypsy swing tone for the rest of the night.
These were the tunes Taylor's guitar was made for, sassy, jangling and with a hint of rebellion, this is music for musical outsiders and even in the mock medieval splendour of The Hub you could feel its exuberance straining to be contained. Ending the evening with a rousing rendition of Minor Swing the audience on this dreich Edinburgh evening were transported to warmer climes by the Hot Club sound.
Undoubtedly there are flashier performers on show at this year's Jazz Festival and there are certainly bigger sounds to be found out there, but it's unlikely that for the sheer transmission of pleasure there will be much to beat Martin Taylor and his gypsy soul.