Scottish guitarist Martin Taylor is a self-taught virtuoso whose nimble fretwork moves easily from straight-ahead bop to Django Reinhardt-inspired solo workouts.

Scottish guitarist Martin Taylor is a self-taught virtuoso whose nimble fretwork moves easily from straight-ahead bop to Django Reinhardt-inspired solo workouts. His melodic sensibilities have also made him a natural at contemporary jazz, and in co-producer/saxophonist Whalum, he has an equally melodic sparring partner. But the use of Euro-style, programmed grooves often detracts from the gorgeous warmth of Taylor's instrument, and most of the album's high points come when Taylor's beautiful, reverb-laced tone is allowed to cut through the mix, either unaccompanied or when trading intricate lines with his band. Still, very few artists can comfortably interpret songs by both Earth Wind & Fire and Edith Piaf, whose "Hymne A L'Amour" is a tour-de-force of romantic charm in Taylor's hands.—SG

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