Martin Taylor - Gypsy - Cadence USA
Martin Taylor and his Spirit Of Django group are playing flat-out crowd pleasing Gypsy swing, and when the performances are filled with such gusto from the ensemble and Taylor's superb chops, it's nearly impossible to resist. you might even find yourself at home applauding along with the audiences on the live tracks.
Naturally, a lot of the repertoire comes from the book of the Quintet of the Hot Club of France, with the Django original "Nuages" only one of the many highlights. Even a Taylor original like "Kushti" sounds old-fashioned. In truth, a few of these tunes really ought to be retired, although Taylor can even redeem an oldie like "Chicago" with another tremendous display of his solo technique. Accordionist Jack Emblow and saxophonist Dave O'Higgins are the other soloists, and although their work is pleasant and appropriate to the context, Taylor manages to be more interesting and inventive in back-up than most of the solo he supports.
The music's overall momentum and the disc's sonic coherence are upset somewhat by scattering a trio of close-mike studio recordings amidst concert tapes that present a broader soundstage. But that's a small quibble in a generally pleasing recital, and easily programmed around. Taylor is great fun to listen to and marvel at, and it would be too much to expect his sidemen to be at his high level of inspiration and sheer virtuosity.