It’s odd to think I’d barely heard much John Martyn at the start of this year. Sure, I knew the name and had heard one or two tracks, but having borrowed a ‘best-of’ from the library (My local library has some excellent stuff that has enabled me to educate myself about all sorts of stuff I’d barely heard for about 60p, roughly $1.20 in US Dollars per CD for three weeks) I had to investigate further. I loved One World and Grace and Danger too, but of the studio albums I have heard so far, I think 1973’s Solid Air is my favourite of what I have heard.
Why did I call this post clutching for definitions? Because the more I investigate John Martyn’s music, the more I realise that just as ‘pop’ and ‘indie’ are ever increasingly vague, so too are folk and jazz. There are a lot of folk and jazz influences on Solid Air, and as well as Martyn’s voice and guitar playing which are pretty damn gorgeous, Danny Thompson’s double bass playing is stunning too. The title track was about Martyn’s friend Nick Drake, who Thompson had played with, with another of 17 Seconds’ favourites, Richard Thompson.
I would urge you to go and buy this album-which you can almost certainly pick up very reasonably (it can be downloaded for £5.49 from iTunes UK, for example, though I’d rather you supported your local record store).
I hope these whet your appetite:
John Martyn – ‘Solid Air.’ mp3
John Martyn – ‘I’d Rather Be the Devil.’ mp3
John Martyn -‘May You Never.’ mp3
Music and pain never sounded so good, so beautiful, so lovely.