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The Turning Point

5.0 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 Aug. 1987)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal
  • ASIN: B000001FAK
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 98,811 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Format: Audio CD
Mick Taylor's decision to quit the Bluesbreakers for the Rolling Stones in May 1969 consolidated John Mayall's reputation as a mentor for new talent, but left him without a band. His response was to recruit two experienced session musicians - Jon Mark and Johnny Almond - and to use them, and remaining bassist Steve Thompson, to push his music into new areas of jazz-blues fusion. Dispensing with a drummer, he immediately put this "revolutionary", and in the end short lived line-up on the road, recording "The Turning Point" at the Fillmore East only two months later.

Viewed initially as a gimmick, the lack of drums was in fact key to the clear, intimate sound Mayall was seeking. Structured to allow virtuoso playing, his highly atmospheric songs are driven along by the bass and acoustic guitars, with instrumental solos emerging from and gliding above their intricate backing rhythms. Mayall's vocals, guitar & harmonica underpin some excellent blues and R&B, while Almond's inspired sax & flute breaks lift several numbers into the realms of pure jazz. As the Melody Maker commented at the time, "the range of sounds and moods they obtain is staggering", but the group's most remarkable feature is their seemingly effortless interaction and the drifting, almost distant feel this stimulates.

The ecstatic response of the New York crowd mirrors my own reaction on seeing the band a few weeks earlier in the slightly less exalted surroundings of the Slough Adelphi. Standing in a circle, with simple lighting, low amplification, no drummer and one member (Mark) seated on a canteen chair they seemed small and insignificant. But when they played they just soared, taking the audience with them.
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Format: Audio CD
Mick Taylor's decision to quit the Bluesbreakers for the Rolling Stones in May 1969 consolidated John Mayall's reputation as a mentor for new talent, but left him without a band. His response was to recruit two experienced session musicians - Jon Mark and Johnny Almond - and to use them, and remaining bassist Steve Thompson, to push his music into new areas of jazz-blues fusion. Dispensing with a drummer, he immediately put this "revolutionary", and in the end short lived line-up on the road, recording "The Turning Point" at the Fillmore East only two months later.

Viewed initially as a gimmick, the lack of drums was in fact key to the clear, intimate sound Mayall was seeking. Structured to allow virtuoso playing, his highly atmospheric songs are driven along by the bass and acoustic guitars, with instrumental solos emerging from and gliding above their intricate backing rhythms. Mayall's vocals, guitar & harmonica underpin some excellent blues and R&B, while Almond's inspired sax & flute breaks lift several numbers into the realms of pure jazz. As the Melody Maker commented at the time, "the range of sounds and moods they obtain is staggering", but the group's most remarkable feature is their seemingly effortless interaction and the drifting, almost distant, feel this stimulates.

The ecstatic response of the New York crowd mirrors my own reaction on seeing the band a few weeks earlier in the slightly less exalted surroundings of the Slough Adelphi. Standing in a circle, with simple lighting, low amplification, no drummer and one member (Mark) seated on a canteen chair they seemed small and insignificant. But when they played, they just soared, taking the audience with them. To capture their unique style required a live recording and "The Turning Point" does just that: showcasing them in superb form as they create beautiful, enthusiastic, and often highly introspective music that stands out across time.
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Format: Audio CD
Ground breaking for an established blues artist at the time of the original release, the originality of the band's format and the sheer brilliance of the musicians still mark this album out as an essential for Mayall fans and lovers of the saxophone in particular, with So Hard to Share and California outstanding vehicles for Johnny Almond. Mayall brings out the best in those who play with him: which always is his forte.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Having been a huge admirer of Mr Mayall since he burst on to the Blues scene in the sixties, I admit that this was one of
his albums that I had never actually heard!, I was intrigued about the fact that he had dispensed with the services of a
drummer,so I didn't know what to expect. This album is stupendous, one of the better live albums I've heard, all of the musicians
just seem to slot in, plus it doesn't sound dated whatsoever despite being recorded long ago. This album is a MUST
for anyone remotely interested in the British Blues Scene of years ago, I've heard it said over the years that John Mayall
never did have a great voice, maybe so, but to me he remains one of the true greats of the burgeoning British Blues Scene
as it was. HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!! Don't delay Buy it today !!
I have been waiting for an Autobiography from him for years, what a great book that would be, from someone who has actually lived a blues life and has introduced to the world a veritable wealth of fabulous musicians throughout the ever changing line ups in his various bands!!!!!
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