Martin Taylor - Portraits - Sunday World-Herald
The first of three Honest/Linn label CDs has Scottish tenor and soprano saxist Tommy Smith, another young lion, offering a good mix of mainstream jazz linked to poetry. Abetted by trumpeter Guy Barker, alto saxist-flutist Andy Panayi and rhythm players, Smith is solid on "Beasts of Scotland".
Claire Martin, a British vocalist with a sultry sound incorporating elements of Carmen McRae and Peggy Lee, does nicely on "The Waiting Game". Supported by a quartet with guitarist Jim Mullen and pianist Jonathan Gee, Ms. Martin has loads of promise.
Guitarist Martin Taylor works mostly solo on "Portraits" but slips in a rew duets with guitarist Chet Atkins and does a bit of overdubbing. Taylor, a player whose simultaneous lines are woven into complex textures, says his chief influence is pianist Art Tatum.