PIECE BY PIECE John Martyn Island
John Martyn is a gem of a musician waiting to be discovered. The Scottish born Martyn has produced a dozen innovative albums during the past 18 years, attracting only a smattering of public acclaim. "Piece by Piece" might redress that. It is another example of Martyn's formidable song-writing, singing and production skills.
Martyn's smokey voice easily slides up and down his impressive range. He handles everything from a throaty growl to a soulful plea with style. The material continues to show the influence of both his recent work in Nassau and collaborations with Phil Collins and Eric Clapton.
Some of the tracks misfire. Overall, though, this is an impressive album that will reward those who search it out. And if airplay of the record's first single, "Lonely Love," is any indication, the number of John Martyn fans may soon grow.
This review appeared in the Milwaukee Sentinel of Friday 8 August 1986, on page 20.