Martyn's split with Permanent in the 90s centred on their release of material he hadn't approved, notably re-recordings of some of his great 70s Island tracks. Permanent have since morphed into Artful and this 'best of' covers much of that disputed 90s material.
One might expect a John Martyn album entitled Classics to provide exactly what it says. However, while the songs on offer are admittedly classics, the performance of them is less so.
This is hardly the best album he has ever made, if only because it includes none of his own compositions, but at 49, his voice has never sounded riper.
Something of a backwards step from the subtly modernistic grooves of 1996, this is John Martyn's blues album, co-produced by the singer with Norman Dayron, the man responsible for The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions back in 1971.
FOR decades, John Martyn has kept a core of die-hard fans with his version of the British blues which, by drawing on folk and jazz stylings..
Not unlike Richard Thompson, John Martyn is a vet of Brit-folk whose status never quite lived up to his talents.
His 25th album is John Martyn's best for some time, a relaxed, summery affair on which the songs seem to evaporate in their warm surroundings, leaving just Cheshire Cat suggestions of emotions and Martyn's balmy baritone humming like a cloud of insects.
AND Go! Discs
• Martyn's debut for Go! Discs, home of Paul Weller, Portishead and Gabrielle.
Revivified by a change of label and aided by young hip-hop producer Stefon Taylor, the veteran songwriter delivers his best work in years.