Heaven And Earth - Hole in the Rain LSM 4010

17 May 2011
The Scotsman
Fiona Shepherd

Our critics review the best and worst of this week's new releases...

John Martyn: Heaven And Earth
Absolute Recordings, £11.99 ***

WHO knows how much unreleased material there is in the John Martyn archive but this final studio album, completed shortly before he died in 2009 and delivered just as he intended, we are assured, will be manna to Martyn fans. Heaven And Earth is another practically horizontal collection of genre-melting jams deriving much of their character from his gruff, on-the-edge-of-intelligible croon. Eight are Martyn originals, while the ploddy Can't Turn Back The Years comes from the pen of his old pal Phil Collins. The leisurely funk fug of Stand Amazed comes spiced with Cajun accordion, while the title track could be called sultry, if you don't mind Martyn muttering sweet nothings in your ear. The man sounds mischievous to the last.

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