Martin Taylor MBE, regarded by many as one of the world’s greatest guitarists, was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at an exuberant Scottish Jazz Awards ceremony in Glasgow on Sunday night. The 62-year-old jazz guitarist, based in Scotland and California, was one of seven recipients at the awards ceremony, staged in the Drygate Brewery venue and hosted by singer Todd Gordon.
Among other musicians honoured was the leader of the evening’s house band, pianist Brian Kellock, who won the Best Instrumentalist category, while another pianist, 21-year-old Fergus McCreadie (winner of last year’s Best Instrumentalist award), scooped Best Album award for his trio recording Turas.
This year’s Rising Star award went to the young Scottish-Canadian singer Marianne McGregor, Glasgow’s Georgia Cécile won the Best Vocalist category, while the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, recently returned from a triumphant Japanese tour, was voted Best Band. Accepting the award, the SNJO’s director, Tommy Smith, paid tribute to the Skye-based trombonist Rick Taylor, who died suddenly on Friday.
A new industry award category – Services to Scottish Jazz – went to the festival promoters Jazz Scotland.
As well as Gordon, performers during the ceremony included previous recipients Rose Room, fronted by singer-violinist Seonaid Aitken, while McCreadie duetted with another previous winner, the young singer Luca Manning, and Taylor closed proceedings with a sparkling guitar showpiece.
The awards shortlist is selected by a panel of press, media and promoters, before the public vote selects the final recipients. Many of this year’s winners will appear at the Glasgow Jazz Festival later this month. - Jim Gilchrist