Monday, December 30, 2013

John Mayall - The Turning Point

This prophetically titled project represents yet another crossroad in John Mayall's ever evolving cast of prime British bluesmen. This album also signifies a distinct departure from the decibel drowning electrified offerings of his previous efforts, providing instead an exceedingly more folk and roots based confab. The specific lineup featured here is conspicuous in its absence of a lead guitarist, primarily due to Mayall recommending himself out of his most recent string man. After the passing of Brian Jones, the Rolling Stones decided to tour and at the behest of Mick Jagger, Mayall suggested Mick Taylor -- who had been with him since Crusade (1967). Mayall gave this potentially negative situation a positive outcome by retooling the combo into an acoustic quartet featuring old friends as well as some vital new sonic textures. Mayall (vocals/harmonica/slide guitar/telecaster six-string/hand & mouth percussion) joined forces with former associates Steve Thompson (bass) and Johnny Almond (tenor & alto sax/flute/mouth percussion), then added the talents of Jon Mark (acoustic finger-style guitar). It becomes readily apparent that Mark's precision and tasteful improvisational skills place this incarnation into heady spaces. The taut interaction and wafting solos punctuating "So Hard to Share" exemplify the controlled intensity of Mayall's prior electrified outings. Likewise, Mark's intricate acoustics pierce through the growl of Mayall's haunting slide guitar solos on "Saw Mill Gulch Road." The Turning Point also examines a shift in Mayall's writing. The politically charged "Laws Must Change," the personal "I'm Gonna Fight for You J.B." and the incomparable "Room to Move" are tinged with Mayall's trademark sense of irony and aural imagery. - by Lindsay Planer, AMG

Artist: John Mayall
Album: The Turning Point (Live at Bill Graham's Fillmore East, New York City)
Year: 1969
Label: Polydor (1987)
Runtime: 47:20

1.  The Laws Must Change (John Mayall) 7:22
2.  Saw Mill Gulch Road (John Mayall) 4:48
3.  I'm Gonna Fight for you J.B. (John Mayall) 5:24
4.  So Hard to Share (John Mayall) 6:57
5.  California (John Mayall/Steve Thompson) 9:31
6.  Thoughts About Roxanne (John Mayall/Steve Thompson) 8:21
7.  Room to Move (John Mayall) 4:57

John Mayall (Vocals, Harmonica, Slide Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Tambourine, Mouth Percussion)
Jon Mark (Acoustic Finger-Style Guitar)
Johnny Almond (Tenor Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Flutes, Mouth Percussion)
Steve Thompson (Bass Guitar)


  1. Many thanks for this post, stimulating stuff !!

  2. Thank you a lot, itr!

  3. Itr,
    I wish you a Happy New Year!

  4. thanks for the re-up! my brother used to play this to death



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