Martin Taylor is one of the world’s greatest living jazz guitarists. He is known for his solo jazz guitar playing and for his numerous collaborations with other musicians. In ‘Martin Taylor: Autobiography Of A Travelling Musician‘, (originally published with the additional title ‘Kiss And Tell’), Taylor documents his life and career so far.
Martin Taylor: Autobiography Of A Travelling Musician Review
In this very readable book, Taylor tells of his musical upbringing, his early career as a gigging musician, his collaborations with Stéphane Grapelli and others, and his continued success as a solo jazz guitarist.
Taylor grew up in the South of England in the sixties. The book begins by detailing his family’s history, and we are told of his connections to the Traveller community. He was naturally drawn to the guitar and began playing at a very early age. Taylor served his musical apprenticeship playing in local venues around his home in Essex, at holiday camps and on cruise liners.
‘It won’t just be musicians who’ll find themselves laughing out loud at many of his stories.’
Unsurprisingly for someone who lived most of his early life on the road, Taylor found himself in many amusing and, at times, surreal situations. It won’t just be musicians who’ll find themselves laughing out loud at many of his stories.
Today, Taylor is a successful musician, and recipient of a great many accolades, not least the MBE, awarded to him for Services to Jazz Music by the Queen. However, his career was not always plain sailing, and at one point Taylor almost gave up music altogether. The account of how he came close to selling his only remaining guitar is one of several poignant moments in the book.
‘… necessary day-jobs, the calamitous gigs, the larger-than-life characters; this book has them all.’
Taylor’s experiences include many that other musicians will be able to relate to: the tiresome but necessary day-jobs, the calamitous gigs, the larger-than-life characters; this book has them all. Taylor’s working and personal relationship with Stéphane Grapelli is fully documented. Some of the book’s funniest (and most touching) moments involve the eccentric Frenchman.
Passion and humanity run deep throughout the pages of this autobiography. Together with co-author David Mead, Taylor gives us a true insight into the life of a gigging musician. This is a memorable and very enjoyable book, and one which will warrant further readings.
Heartfelt, inspiring and entertaining. Highly recommended, and not just for musicians!
Visit Martin Taylor’s official homepage: Martin Taylor.
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