If you can imagine the ideal soundtrack to driving through the scented country roads of France on a hot lazy summer’s day then it would be the music of Martin Taylor’s Spirit of Django. To mark the 100th Anniversary of the birth of one of the founders of European jazz Django Reinhardt, Martin Taylor has reformed his award winning group Spirit of Django after a 15 year hiatus for the new album, ‘Last Train to Hauteville’.
Martin Taylor first came to prominence in the 70′s through his work with violinist Stephane Grappelli and as such is able to trace his musical lineage back to Django Reinhardt and the original Quintette du Hot Club de France. In 1994 Martin formed Spirit of Django to re-explore his own Gypsy roots. Their first album reached No.1 in the UK Jazz Charts with their version of Robert Palmer’s ‘Johnny & Mary’ becoming familiar across Europe as the theme the successful ‘Nicole-Papa’ TV adverts for Renault Clio. They were voted Best Small Group & were top of the US Gavin Jazz Charts before Martin retired the group to work on his collaborations with Bill Wyman, Bryn Terfel & Jamie Cullum as well as his solo recordings.
Credits: Martin Taylor (guitar and mandolins), Jack Emblow (accordion), Alan Barnes (clarinet and soprano sax), Alison Burns (vocals), John Goldie (rhythm guitar), Terry Gregory (bass), James Taylor (drums and percussion).
1. Last Train to Hauteville
2. Rue de Dinan
3. Le Jardin Anglais
4. Double Scotch
5. La Mer
6. Madame Haricot
9. La Javanaise
10. Le Touch
12. Monsieur Jacques
13. La Belle Dundee
‘This band, a highly original updating of the classic French jazz idiom, won every award going, and reached the top of the jazz charts, before disbanding at their peak. That was 15 years ago. Now Martin Taylor has reassembled it, with Alan Barnes on clarinet and the formidable Jack Emblow on accordion, and the charm is undiminished. Apart from being a phenomenally good guitarist, Taylor writes the catchiest tunes imaginable. Happy music with the lightest of touches, this could be the jazz hit of the summer, if we get one.’ – The Observer
‘Spirit of Django sheds new light on a rich musical lineage.’ – AllAboutJazz
‘If you like Gypsy Jazz then this is definitely an album worth checking out, Martin is a very talented musician who makes Django style soloing sound effortless, we all know it is incredibly difficult even with 4 fingers!’ – GuitarNoize.com