John Martyn, Bless the Weather
* * * * * (Island)
Here's an album to mark the clocks going back if ever there was one. Like his friend and contemporary, Nick Drake, Glasgowborn John Martyn steered British folk away from what he scornfully described as "the dingly-dangly-dell of life", blurring into jazz and much else besides. Solid Air, his 1973 tribute to Drake, is his best-known work, but Bless the Weather, released two years earlier, is better yet. Underpinned by Danny Thompson's resonant double bass, it has a fuzzy autumnal glow, redolent of bonfires and hash smoke. Bless The Weather and Head And Heart are intense, impeccable love songs, while Glistening Glyndebourne is a snaking instrumental. Even the version of Singin' In The Rain is a miniature marvel.