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Martins 4

MARTIN CARTHY, MARTIN SIMPSON, MARTIN TAYLOR AND JUAN MARTIN - Martins4
P3 Music P3M012

This is a live recording from a performance at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. The CD booklet contains little but a track listing and a photo or two and rightly so. This music speaks for itself. The individual and collaborative performances are as full of superlatives as you might expect from the coming together of four world class guitarists who are each at the forefront of their respective guitar 'genres'.

To compare one performance against another (or one player against another) is a little like saying that Ellen MacArthur is better than David Beckham, but listen to 'Vuelo' which comprises six minutes of virtuosity during which you can feel the air crackle and hear the wide grins of the four Martins. 'Barrack Street Stroll' is Boogie-Woogie for the guitar like you never heard (Oh to be a fly on the wall at the rehearsals!).

It would have been all too easy for this grouping to have turned into a 'Gunfight at the OK Corral', with each player trying to outdo the other. Happily this does not seem to have happened. The only winner in this 'Gunfight' is the Guitar! I hope they find continuing inspiration in their music making and continue to play together in the future.

Phil Thomas

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This album was reviewed in Issue 61 of The Living Tradition magazine.