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Mel Bay Taylor, Martin: Guitar Method Book/CD Set Paperback – December 11, 2002
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About the Author
The virtuoso guitarist Martin Taylor first came to prominence in the late 1970's through his collaborations with the jazz violin legend Stephane Grappelli, and now tours the world's concert halls with his dazzling live performances. He began playing at the age of four when his father, jazz bassist Buck Taylor, gave him a small acoustic guitar as a present. A totally self taught guitarist, he learned to play by listening to his father's records and trying to imitate what he heard. Seven years later he was playing in local bands and gained the respect and admiration of professional musicians who were amazed by the young boy they called The Guitar Wizard. Although inspired initially by the Gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt, it was to be piano players, most notably Art Tatum, that caught his imagination and set him on the path of developing his own individual style of solo playing. In 1978 he made his debut album Taylor Made for Wave Records and the following year received a call from Stephane Grappelli inviting him to play on a series of concerts in France. Shortly after those concerts he joined Stephane on a coast-to-coast tour of the U. S., including New York's Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. It was the beginning of an eleven year collaboration which took in numerous world tours, and over 20 albums including recordings with Michel Legrand, Peggy Lee, Yehudi Menuhin, Nelson Riddle and several film soundtracks including the Louis Matle movie Milou en Mai and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels starring Steve Martin and Michael Caine. David Mead has played on radio and TV, and in bars and clubs all across the UK. A private teacher for longer than he cares to remember, he embarked upon a career in journalism around 1992 when he joined the staff of UK's prestigious Guitarist magazine, working his way up to the post of editor three years later. From there, he joined Guitar Techniques magazine as editor, a position he held for six and a half years before leaving to pursue a successful career as a writer and musician. He remains fully active in the field of guitar education, holding the post of trustee on the board of the International Guitar Festival in Bath, UK, taking part in seminars all over the country and writing columns for Guitar Techniques and Acoustic magazines. David has written many guitar tutors, among them the best-selling Ten Minute Guitar Workout, 100 Guitar Tips and 100 Acoustic Guitar Tips. He has also co-written Martin Taylor's autobiography, Kiss and Tell, available from Music Sales, London, UK. An accomplished acoustic guitarist, in 2006, David released his first solo CD 'Nocturnal' which was produced for him by guitar legend Martin Taylor, who features on the album duetting with David on Bill Evans' 'Waltz For Debby'. A follow-up album entitled 'Arboretum' was released in 2010 on the UK's prestigious Guitar Label.
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Taylor does present a deceptively simple approach to learning fingerstyle jazz arranging (as opposed to books that emphasize soloing inside or outside the changes). But this is what makes it so appealing--you WANT to learn this stuff so you can express yourself musically using the principles that Taylor lays out simply because it is so simple (and therefore understandable and "safe") and because it is the way Taylor himself approaches his own fingerstyle arranging and performance. Another benefit is that you can also get started right away--as soon as you get a fake book or lead sheet--anything with the song's melody and chord changes. There are plenty of websites that give the changes (but not the melodies) to classic jazz tunes, so your first applications of Taylor's methods are a mouse click and a browse away.
As for the comment about Taylor's online academy, I would diasagree with the reviewer. If you go to the website [...] you will see that taking lessons with Martin via video is just like having him sit next to you and talk the talk so you can walk the walk. Go to the website and decide for yourself.
Also, for readers of what is and has always been the world's best guitar tuition magazine, Guitar Techniques (I am not affiliated with them except as a subscriber), the numerous columns that Taylor wrote for them in the late 90s, and early 2000s are an excellent complement to this book. In fact, Taylor's method book fits snugly into the approximately seven-year long string of articles he write for GT (each issue has an audio CD). I don't mean to suggest that Taylor is simply rehashing some of what he did in the GT columns for this book (though he did devote one or more columns to Danny Boy). I think the book represents another segment in his continuing development as a guitar/music teacher, some of which was chronicled in the GT columns that preceded and followed the publication of this book and in his decision to start his own academy with its online stable of teachers in different styles.