Martin Taylor

Martin Taylor [1956 - ] is a british solo fingerstyle jazz guitar player and composer voted Best Guitarist in the British Jazz Awards eleventh times. To his mind the guitar should be a complete instrument able to provide bass, harmony and melody.

Martin was appointed MBE for his “services to jazz” in 2002. In 2007 Martin won the The BBC Radio 2's “Heart of Jazz” Award and a Lifetime Achievement Award for his “Contribution to Jazz Guitar Worldwide” from the North Wales International Guitar Festival.

Martin Taylor was born in Harlow, Essex into a family with a musical heritage and a gypsy tradition. At the age of 4, his father, Buck Taylor, gave him a guitar. At the age of 8 it is told, he played in his fathers band. He moved to Scotland in 1982.

Played with Jammed with Count Basie band at age 16, joined the band of Stephane Grappelli, the violinist in Hot Club of France. Formed his own band “Spirit Of Django”, recorded with Chet Atkins. Bluegrass mandolinist David Grisman. Occationally performs with ex-Rolling Stones bass player Bill Wyman. Others: John Patitucci, Brazilian percussionist Paulinho Da Costa, Michel Legrand, Peggy Lee, Yehudi Menuhin, Nelson Riddle.

Inspired by

Inspired initially by the gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt, but what has caught his imagination and set him on the path of developing his own individual style of solo guitar playing is piano players like Art Tatum, and Bill Evans.

Guitarists: Legendary blues singer and guitarist Big Bill Broonzy, jazz guitarists Carl Kress and Eddie Lang (the music created by Eddie Lang and his friend Joe Venuti, “the first jazz violinist”, influenced Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli in France). He mentions several other jazz guitarists: Wes Montgomery, George Van Eps, Barney Kessel, Johnny Smith, Kenny Burrell.

Other influences: Frank Zappa, Edward Elgar, Duke Ellington and Ben Webster, the tenor soloist of Duke Ellington's orchestra, hot club violinist Stephane Grappelli, jazz pianist and composer Bill Evans, Frank Sinatra, Ike Isaacs (introduced Martin Taylor to Stephane Grappelli), Jimi Hendrix, Andre Segovia, Julian Bream, J.S. Bach, Art Tatum, Mozart.