1AM – Alison Burns and Martin Taylor

When multi-award winning guitarist Martin Taylor, who has collaborated with great singers including Peggy Lee, Jamie Cullum, Dionne Warwick and Bryn Terfel, chose to record a special duo album with a vocalist he chose the UK’s fastest rising jazz singer Alison Burns.  Produced by legendary record producer Tony Platt (Bob Marley, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Buddy Guy),  The album takes inspiration from the Grammy award winning collaboration between Joe Pass & Ella Fitzgerald, mixing repertoire from The Great American Songbook and contemporary material from Stevie Wonder and James Taylor.

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Award winning guitarist Martin Taylor has established a unique musical career and his inimitable style has seen him recognised as the world’s foremost exponent of solo jazz guitar playing. He recently received the prestigious BBC Radio 2 ‘Heart of Jazz’ Award, presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the North Wales Jazz Guitar Festival and voted Best Guitarist in the British Jazz Awards for a record eleventh time. Surrounded by the surfeit of little girl voices prevalent in jazz today, it’s almost a relief to encounter a mature but flexible voice like Alison Burns.  Declared high profile fans include Michael Parkinson and Sir Terence Conran while her debut album ‘Kissing Bug’ was met with rave reviews.  From festival and theatre stages to small, intimate venues, Alison Burns never fails to touch the audience with her soul-stirring performances. Details:

1. Again
2. Because of You
3. He’s a Tramp
4. Sophisticated Lady
5. The Man That Got Away
6. Do You Love Me?
7. I Haven’t Got Anything Better To Do
8. Drop Me A Line
9. True 
10. How Long Has This Been Going On?
11. If I Keep My Heart Out Of Sight
12. If It’s Magic
13. No One Ever Tells You
14. I’m Confessin
Credits: Alison Burns (vocals), Martin Taylor (guitar)

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“With a canny selection of songs, mainly standards plus one of their own, this is a sparkling set.” – The Observer

“Having received plaudits for his lyrical lead work over the years (not to mention a gong presented to him by Her Majesty for services rendered in 2002) Martin Taylor’s silky, accessible tones are often employed as consummate accompanist. Here the clean, clear lines of his formidable technique are harnessed behind the voice of daughter-in-law, Alison Burns, in a slow mooch through a set of late-night standards.  As befits the wee small hours evoked in the album’s title, nothing here gets remotely noisome or likely to stop the next door neighbours from getting their beauty sleep. Taylor and Burns elegantly rummage through a songbook that includes many of the usual sepulchral suspects singled out by the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne, Peggy Lee and Julie London. The intimacy of the production suits Burns’ languorous vocals which seem to be aimed at blending in with a low-lit lounge rather than standing out from the crowd.  Because Of You, The Man That Got Away, Sophisticated Lady, He’s A Tramp all have an agreeable well-worn, cosiness to them.  Perhaps the best in terms of performance is her own composition, True. Written about her brother who died a quarter of a century ago in the Falklands conflict, it’s one of those bitter-sweet melodies that you’d swear has been around forever. Burns has said it took her a long time to write it and even longer before she could perform it. In a simple arrangement, Taylor’s sure-handed picking graciously supports a heartfelt vocal.” – BBC

“I was completely blown away by how beautiful this album is. At first I thought that just a voice and guitar would not be enough to keep me interested in the entire album, but I put it on and before i knew it I had reached the last track. It is a really elegant and delicate record that blends some standards I knew already and some I was not aware of. There is also a song called “True” written by Martin and Alison that is just as good as any standard. Martin is a World class guitarist and to match him with a vocal can not be easy, but this album is a real duet in every sense, each track carefully allowing space for the vocals yet never falling into bland support. I love this record and highly recommend it.” – David Roberts (Amazon Review)

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