Monday, December 17, 2012

John And Beverley Martyn - Stormbringer! (1970 uk, folkish vein with jazzy feel, 2005 remaster expanded edition)

Behind him were a couple of charming acoustic albums in London Conversation and The Tumbler; ahead of him was his '70s purple patch of Bless The Weather, Solid Air, Sunday's Child and One World. These find him in transitional mode, working with his new wife, the folk singer Beverley Kutner (the Posh and Becks of the late'6os jazz/folk scene). The results are lovely enough cocktails of gentle hippydom that will have you reaching for your kaftan and joss-sticks, but neither rank among his greatest works.

That said, there are three good reasons why you should buy them in their new format. Stormbringer, marginally the weaker of the two albums, now has Mr and Mrs Martyn's original demo added to it. This contains a previously unreleased track: One Of Those Days, which is just Beverley singing over John's guitar, completely pared down, completely gorgeous. Well worth the price of admission alone.

The most important of all- because John Martyn is nothing short of a national treasure, who is finally getting the sort of recognition he deserves. Buying a copy is a worthwhile contribution to the John Martyn benevolent fund. Give generously.
by Simon Waldman
1. Go Out And Get It - 3:09
2. Can't Get The One I Want (Beverley Martyn) - 2:55
3. Stormbringer! - 4:18
4. Sweet Honesty (Beverley Martyn) - 8:03
5. Woodstock - 1:44
6. John The Baptist - 3:13
7. The Ocean - 3:41
8. Traffic-Light Lady - 3:19
9. Tomorrow Time (Beverley Martyn) - 3:50
10.Would You Believe Me? - 5:22
11.One Of Those Days - 5:43
12.I Don΄T Know - 3:53
13.John The Baptist - 2:56
14.Traffic-Light Lady - 3:01
All tracks by John Martyn except where noted.
Bonus tracks 11-14  Chelsea demos 16-4-1969

*John Martyn - Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Guitar
*Beverley Martyn - Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
*Harvey Brooks - Bass
*Paul Harris - Piano, Organ, Arrangements
*John Simon - Harpsichord
*Levon Helm - Drums
*Herbie Lovell - Drums
*Billy Mundi - Drums

1970  The Road To Ruin

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Purple Image - Purple Image (1970 us, strong blend of soul funk and psych rock, Radioactive edition)

Though African-American and raised in the predominantly Black 105th Superior area of Cleveland, Purple Image played rock -- psychedelic, mind-bending, pass-the-bong, strobe-light, posters-on-the-wall head music. 

This obscure album recorded on Map Records has risen to the status of cult because of its scarcity and the musical orientation of Warren Adams (vocals, piano, organ), Kenneth Roberts (vocals, rhythm), William Adams (vocals, conga), Frank Smith (lead guitar), Del Moran (bass), Richard Payne (drums), and lone female Diane Dunlap (vocals); Edward Snodgrass, a non-member, augmented P.I. on sax. 

Purple Image wrote everything except the LP's masterpiece, the 15-minute, 24-second rendition of Bob Craig's "Marching to a Different Drummer." As with all six selections, Purple Image sounds better when the volume is cranked. "Drummer" is an energetic, powerful blend of acid rock and fusion; Snodgrass blows a frantic Coltrane-ish sax, and Dunlap wails like she slammed her hand in a door. 

"We Got to Pull Together" is an airy, charming, socially significant ballad that urges us to become color-blind, forget the past, and get along. Snodgrass plays a tender horn while a male does a convincing lead wallpapered by some arresting, swooping harmonies. On "Living In the Ghetto," they sing about the woes of poverty; if you like heavy metal, this and "Why" will tickle your fancy. "Lady" features Dunlap and a male on an upbeat rock-blues number. 

The back cover pictures P.I. posing under the now-defunct Liberty Theater marquee in mod-type clothing. The front cover features a slim, pretty, Afro-wearing Black woman with three arms holding three globes surrounded by clouds. 
1. Living In The Ghetto - 6:32
2. Why - 4:37
3. Lady - 3:37
4. We Got To Pull Together (Frank Smith) - 3:35
5. Whey You Do To Me - 3:32
6. Marching To A Different Drummer - 15:24
All songs by Purple Image unless as else written.

Purple Image
*Del Moran - Bass
*Diane Dunlap - Vocals
*Frank Smith - Guitar
*Kenneth Roberts - Vocals
*Richard Payne - Drums
*Warren Adams - Organ, Piano, Vocals
*William Adams - Conga, Vocals

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