Using his voice almost like a companion instrument to his guitar, JOHN MARTYN creates a mood composed of jazz, blues and pop sounds on the LP Solid Air (Island Records). The imaginative compositions and arrangements are marked by a beauty that should spell success for this young artist. This album definitely is one of the best produced so far this year. Take his first cut, Solid Air - vibes, tenor sax, bass and drums accompany Martyn and his guitar on a moody jazz trip.
But the second song offers a mandolin, autoharp and violin backing his breezy folk-rock tune, Over The Hill.
Being very partial to one song in particular, I'd Rather Be The Devil, one of my all-time blues favorites as done by Geoff Muldaur, I'm an instant John Martyn fan after hearing even that one cut.
Describing his voice is nearly impossible; he uses it over such a range of styles. Sometimes it's like a cool, soothing breeze but he can send it crashing like waves, too.
Much like Kenny Rankin he pulls you into what he's doing and keeps you from ever getting tired of his sound.
And with all the excellent musicians behind him, such as John Bundrick on keyboards, he should have a sure hit with this album. You'd really be doing your ears a favor to try it.
This Texas review was published in the Abilene Reporter-News of Sunday, 4 March 1974. The column continues with three other albums.