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Customer Review

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars John Martyn (1948 - 2009) An Epitaph, 31 Jan. 2009
This review is from: The Tumbler (Audio CD)
It's hard to believe (and painful to realise) that one
man's music can have been around in my life for
more than forty years and that now he is gone.

Together with Joni Mitchell this formidable singer/songwriter's albums
have formed a hugely important part of the musical soundtrack to my life.

That one day he would no longer be there was inevitable.
His was a life lived hard and lived mostly well .

Never a man to compromise. He plowed a deep and singular furrow
across the terrain of our musical consciousness.

A rich example of all that it might be to be a man
both in love with and at odds with the world.

That unique voice together with his irascible, unpredictable and larger-than-life
personality are preserved in a veritable treasure trove of superlative recordings.

There are many who hold up 'Solid Air' (1973) as his finest hour.
I have a strong affection for the mid-career project 'Glorious Fool' (1981).

The album I have chosen to accompany these inadequate reflections,
however, is Mr Martyn's second release 'The Tumbler' (1968).

There is a freshness and creative verve in these twelve songs
which belie his tender years.

The guitar technique is never anything less than prodigous.
The folk roots are barely contained by his raucous imagination.
The voice has not yet settled down into the familiar raw and ragged
textures of its later incarnation. Here it is a much lighter instrument
infused with whimsy, optimism, good humour and not a little sunshine.

Mr McNair (Flute), Mr Moses (Bass) and Mr Wheeler (Guitar)
contribute unobtrusively and sympathetically to the project.

It's hard to pick stand-out tracks when every last one is a winner.

'Dusty', as the first of Mr Martyn's songs I ever heard will forever
inhabit a small and special space in my heart.
The breathy, jazzy flute compliments the vocal performance perfectly.

Taken by itself this small composition contains the seeds of almost
everything which was to follow.

His legacy is inestimable.

Goodbye John and Thankyou.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 31 Mar 2009, 20:32:19 BST
Lou Knee says:
Yes I second that, and now I really wish I'd got myself out to see him play a few more times. Once was good, but not enough. Those bbc sessions they replayed the other week though, well, the next best thing you could get!

Posted on 8 Mar 2012, 16:04:03 GMT
Yes, Dusty was my entree into a lifetime of love for the man's music. I heard Dusty on a sampler album and thought it was a new Jethro Tull number, so I checked it out and he burnt his way into my soul thereafter. He played "Eric's" in Liverpool a couple of times when I was manager there, and saw him so many other occasions I lost count.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Mar 2012, 18:57:50 GMT
Last edited by the author on 8 Mar 2012, 18:59:30 GMT
The Wolf says:
Dear P.J.C.

Many thanks for your comments. My introduction to J.M's work
came about through the same Island sampler! It was called
'You Can All Join In' and was released in 1969. Jethro Tull were
also represented by their number 'A Song For Jeffery' from their
'This Was' album. I still have my vinyl copy. Small world isn't it!

Best Wishes

The Wolf

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Mar 2012, 10:21:23 GMT
I lost most of my record collection from one of my parties back in the 70's - I went to another party leaving everyone at my place - came back around noon following day to decimated record collection :-( Sounds like we have similar taste I love Joni Mitchell too. Check out Barton Hollow by The Civil Wars, a new duo who are my current like
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