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John Martyn - "Solid Air"

Posted By: litelode
John Martyn - "Solid Air"

John Martyn - Solid Air (original 1973, CD date 1998)
Jazz/Blues | EAC: Lossless (WAV) | includes bonus track | 220MB | RS

Much denser than before, Solid Air was to reveal a new twist in Martyn's musical style. Slurring his words even more, songs like the title cut fairly ooze from the shadows, and the jazzy inclinations keep the listener spellbound. Solid Air (1973) which helped form the foundation of Martyn's fan base, featured some of his most mature and enduring songs: "Solid Air," written for close friend Nick Drake and "May You Never," a great folk tale familiar to those who own Eric Clapton's Slowhand - herein lies the original from the writer himself.

No accident that this album and two of the songs on it are up there with the favourites voted for by the great man's fans on his website! His musical appeal remains elusive - impossible to pin down to any genre, but at times quite hypnotic and entrancing in its beauty. The folk roots are evident, but Martyn weaves layers of jazz, blues, country, rock and pop fluently within his music.

The jazzy flavour is exploited superbly in the title track, a dreamy, evocative number and dripping in slinky vibes, sumptuous sax chords and slurred, smoky vocals. That description doesn't do the song justice - it's a masterpiece worthy of comparison with Van Morrison's Moondance, for example.

The quality of Solid Air (the song) runs through Solid Air (the album) like a coal seam. The mood shifts, including amiable numbers like May You Never and an aggressive live rendition of I'd Rather Be The Devil that completes the album with aplomb, but the sound remains subtly eliptical throughout, retaining its freshness 30 years on.

An album worthy of any collection.


1 Solid Air [Martyn] 5:46
2 Over the Hill [Martyn] 2:51
3 Don't Want to Know [Martyn] 3:01
4 I'd Rather Be the Devil [James] 6:19
5 Go Down Easy [Martyn] 3:36
6 Dreams by the Sea [Martyn] 3:18
7 May You Never [Martyn] 3:43
8 The Man in the Station [Martyn] 2:54
9 The Easy Blues [Martyn] 3:22
10 Gentle Blues (Bonus Track) 1:06


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