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Turning Point

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Album Review

Recorded just after Mick Taylor departed for the Rolling Stones, Mayall eliminated drums entirely on this live recording. With mostly acoustic guitars and John Almond on flutes and sax, Mayall and his band, as his typically overblown liner notes state, "explore seldom-used areas within the framework of low-volume music." But it does work. The all-original material is flowing and melodic, with long, jazzy grooves that don't lose sight of their bluesy underpinnings. Lyrically, Mayall stretches out a bit into social comment on "The Laws Must Change" on this fine, meditative mood album. The 2001 CD reissue is a definite upgrade, though perhaps not enough to make you rush out and buy a new copy, in its addition of three previously unreleased bonus tracks from the same performance. Those are all respectable songs that fit in well with the rest of the set, particularly "Sleeping by Her Side" with its catchy and dreamy flute line, and the brisk "Don't Waste My Time," which has a nearly country & western feel. The newly added historical liner notes are another plus.

Customer Reviews

Live and Tight

One of John's best. Here we have Jon Marc on acoustic guitar and John Almond on sax. Almond hits the high note of the night with his California solo. Mayall is on the mountain top of harps in Room to Move. This album has it all. Marc and Almond went on to do an album together that was fantastic. For a live album, this is great.

Great classic album

I still have my original vinyl LP. I had seen this band play as the opening act for Canned Heat, at Drew University in NJ, Fall 1969. I was impressed - nay, blown away. This music withstands the test of time - a real gem, in ever way.

As interesting and innovative 30+ years later

I was browsing thru itunes and gave this a listen. My vinyl version is long gone but it was well worn. I like but don't love the blues and jazz; i love this album. You can get lost in the sax solos, the terrific mouth harp and the bass beat. It is almost new age at points when it gets transcelike, such as in "California" (which I can't believe is not on itunes Essential Mayall). Well worth it.


Born: November 29, 1933 in Macclesfield, Cheshire, England

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

As the elder statesman of British blues, it is John Mayall's lot to be more renowned as a bandleader and mentor than as a performer in his own right. Throughout the '60s, his band, the Bluesbreakers, acted as a finishing school for the leading British blues-rock musicians of the era. Guitarists Eric Clapton, Peter Green, and Mick Taylor joined his band in a remarkable succession in the mid-'60s, honing their chops with Mayall before going on to join Cream, Fleetwood Mac, and the Rolling Stones, respectively....
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