This is much closer to the John Martyn sound that I love. It is less the "electric band" sound of Glorious Fool or Well Kept Secret and reminds me more of what I consider to be more classic John Martyn e.g. Solid Air/One World. I was genuinely surprised at how fresh this album sounds and it is full of great songs, beautifully arranged and well recorded. This has quickly become one of my favourite all time John Martyn albums.
I knew I was buying a used cd, but sometimes you have to take a chance.There was no problem. As the description said, It was in really good condition. I was kept informed of target delivery date and it arrived promptly. As for the music, well that's very subjective.What you get from John Martyn is very personal.He doesn't just go through the motions of making songs - he lived them. You have to be prepared to be moved by the songs and the emotion. It's up to you!
John Martyn, with every album, perfects sounding like himself. I don't mean to be cryptic with such statement but, rather, to pay the man a complement and vow my respect for his craft. Whether it is bluesy "get down" like "Baby Come Home" or some delightful Pop-Folk like "under The Wind" -backed by Paul Weller- John Martyn's voice is the welcomed sound of a man at peace with himself, at least as far as his musical identity is concerned. Specially, upon the loss of his leg to some ungodly cyst, it is wonderful to hear that he's back in the studio, still delivering quality, soulful material. There may not be many surprises here, no experimenting with new forms, yet the songs will not disappoint anyone who knows what the man has done. I consider this album a joyful assertion of a style honed over thirty-plus years of worshipping his own musical gods. "Cobbles" and "Ghosts" are great examples of this. Then, there are probably "the" songs of this CD, "My Creator," as far as amalgating the essential elements of Martyn's sound. Jazzy horns, Danny Thompson masterful bass, and that voice that, once you heard once, it is hard to live without. And "Go Down Easy" where syllables are suspended over the sinuous rhythm base, in a unforgettable way. To finish things off, he gives a very respectable version of "Goodnight Irene," sharing vocal with the great Mavis Staples. As you might have already ascertained, John Martyn is one of those people who I admired profoundly, which is not to say that I think that this album is a classic. That, it is not, yet it can belong to anyone's collection, without any apologies being necessary.
I am a long time fan. Over the last 15-20 years, Martyn's releases have been patchy compared to his 70's and early 80's output. The past year has been a tough one for him personally - his amputation came as a shock. It is not clear whether the music was recorded before this or since. The warmth and quality of the recording is a wonder. His voice continues to astound though it is an acquired taste (some of my friends can not understand what John Martyn is all about). His high profile collaborators are of varying success. To me it is his more long term cohorts who shine including Spencer Cozens, Danny Thompson, John Giblin, Andy Shepherd amongst others. The songs are consistently strong. In particular the trio in the middle blew me away - Back to Marseilles, Cobbles and the 'tour de Force' called My Creator (amazing stuff). This recording is a worthy addition to my collection - I look forward to spending a lot of time with it. I expect my enjoyment to grow over time as with other Martyn releases. Give it a go - it may be different to a lot that is released these days, but it sure is worth the wait.
Admirers of Martyn's so-called 'classic' 70's output who don't care much for his subsequent electric/band excursions [and thereby miss out on some great music] really should check this one out. Martyn's albums are usually so different in their landscape that saying one is better or worse than the other is comparing apples and oranges- but the music here is more acoustic than anything he's recorded in nearly thirty years, and several new tracks bear the feel and flavour of albums like Inside Out and Sunday's Child. John's vocals are richer and more expressive than ever, and there's songwriting on this album that stands with his best work. Go Down Easy borrows a title and some lyrics from the Solid Air track but nothing else. Paul Weller, Nick McCabe and Mavis Staples guest. The fire still burns. Without a doubt.
This is my favourite John Martyn since Glorious Fool. It is fresh and original with beautiful playing. This artist thrives on adversity he lost a leg and made this record. Remarkable after 22 albums that he can still make something so special.