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The Tumbler

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Album Review

Following an inauspicious first release for Island, John Martyn's unique brand of acoustic music began to take some sort of shape with the Al Stewart-produced The Tumbler. Martyn, whose debut was a solo acoustic offering, here employs a second guitar, bass and, most notably, jazz flautist Harold McNair to create his blend of folk, blues and jazz. While his songs show only marginal development from London Conversation, it's his arrangements and, especially, vocals which are the real differences, each becoming increasingly more idiosyncratic. Although nowhere near the caliber of his later recordings, The Tumbler is an important step in Martyn's varied career.

Biography

Born: 11 September 1948 in New Malden, Surrey, England

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Singer/songwriter/guitarist John Martyn was born Iain David McGeachy on September 11, 1948, in New Malden, Surrey, and raised in Glasgow by his grandmother. He began his innovative and expansive career at the age of 17 with a style influenced by American blues artists such as Robert Johnson and Skip James, the traditional music of his homeland, and the eclectic folk of Davey Graham (Graham remained an influence and idol of Martyn's throughout his career). With the aid of his mentor, traditional singer...
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The Tumbler, John Martyn
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