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John Martyn - Grace And Danger CD (album) cover

GRACE AND DANGER

John Martyn

 

Prog Folk

3.56 | 25 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars After two deceiving albums and lengthy intervals after their successive release, Martyn's next album came after the turn of the decade, when the music scene had totally changed, so his comeback was risky. For the first time, Martyn decided to attack the studio with a set line-up, designed as working group (but I'm not sure they toured) among which is drummer Phil Collins (probably through Brand X's Morris Pert who'd played on the previous One World) and Riff Raff's (among many others, including Zzebra) Tommy Eyre on keyboards., the bass slot being taken by relative unknown Giblin, meaning that for the first time since Stormbringer, contrabass' Pentangle Thompson is not on a Martyn record. Giblin does quite well though, almost making you forget Big Dan, especially on the amazing Lookin On.

G&D is a considerably more upbeat affair than One World, but is less pop-oriented as well, even if the opening Some People with its Pastorius?like bass and the Traffic-inspired (listen to the riff) title track are a fairly commercial start. Then comes one of the album's highlights with the excellent Lookin' In, where Tommy Eyre's electric piano adds sooo much to Giblin's bass and Collins' impeccable drumming (chronologically, this is probably the last good album where he'll play excellent drumming after Duke and Face Value). The next few Johnny Too Bad (Right, John! ;-)), Hurt In Your Heart and Mystery are average tracks that fail to rouse much interest and are nearing fillers status even if the latter's arrangements are superb. The rest of the album glides smoothly with jazzy overtones emanates from the band, but there is nothing extraordinary, worthy of writing home about.

As with One World, G&D is generally well-acclaimed by fans and the press, but personally I find neither as adventurous as Solid Air or Inside Out, nor as inspired as Leeds or Bless The Weather. Both are OK albums IMHO, but certainly no priority to newxcomers.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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