Grace & Danger - Antilles AN 7081

15 Mar 1981
Arizona Republic
Andrew Means
Guitarist's work plumbs the depths of tonality

By Andrew Means
Republic Staff


Graces & Dancers, John Martyn (Antilles AN7081).

A strikingly innovative guitarist and imaginative songwriter, John Martyn has been experimenting with improvisation and tonality since his early days on the English folk scene.

After his initial albums, he began to pep up his subtle acoustic finger picking with jazzy instrumental and vocal phrasing, using echoic electronic reverb on his acoustic guitar and playing with the sound just as much as the meaning of words. This is still the underlying texture of his material. His songs are platforms from which he and his accompanists explore fruitful tangents.

Graces & Dancers [sic] is his first studio album in six years, and it continues Martyn's drift toward more aggressive, rock-oriented expression. His singing is still notable for the way he slurs his words and runs them together, but the instrumental timbre is increasingly geared toward the electronic.


This American review was found in The Arizona Republic (Phoenix), Sunday 15 Mar 1981. I left both typos intact for amusement purposes.

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