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CD Review – Tommy Emmanuel and Martin Taylor “The Colonel & The General”

January 27, 2013

Confession One: I had never heard of either Tommy Emmanuel or Martin Taylor before being sent this CD for review. This despite the fact that the former, an Australian,  was named as “Best Acoustic Guitarist” in a Guitar Player  readers’ poll. Confession Two: I am no a great fan of Django Reinhardt -style jazz guitar. I appreciate it, but a little goes a long way.

Having said that, I have found myself listening rather avidly to this “The Colonel & The Governor” album, due to be released in Britain on March (no idea about anywhere else). It is a collection of songs the two men both like and will soon tour with.

Aficionados of the style out there will love it.  A lot of its sounds like the late great John Fahey, which is not faint praise. And the guitar work is mesmerising. But on a personal level, I would have liked a bit more grit and a little less swing.

The standout track for me is Taylor’s “Down at Cocomo’s”, a calypso that sounds as if it has steel drums but doesn’t – it’s guitar. I could have this one looping for quite some time. Here’s a taste (although with two of them the CD version is much better)


Another grabber is “Lullaby of Birdland”, which you can see Emmanuel jamming on below. (Again, the CD version is the greater.)

Reviewing this  CD turned out to be fairly straightforward. If you are a Djangoist and like  acoustic jazz-guitar, this is for you. If you are not, though, you could listen to a lot worse.


From → Music, Music Review

One Comment
  1. Andrew Dobbie permalink

    Martin Taylor is a a great unsung hero of British guitar jazz. Saw him years ago when he was in Stéphane Grappelli’s band, then again as a solo act about three years ago. He has the most astonishing technique. Plays regularly with Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings.

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