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Sleeping by Her Side. 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. 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. 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 man is a genius. Privileged to see have seen him three times over four decades! This is definitely one of Mayalls best albums as the title suggests the turning point from his old bluesy to more jazz orientation. I know this is an old album but the songs on it are timeless. One person found this helpful. This album is of course of major significance, representing Mayall's turning from the great electric combos of yore and the guitars of Eric Clapton, Peter Green and Mick Taylor to the acoustic virtuosity displayed here.
I did not see this incarnation but always loved the album. The music grows on you slowly - well, like many fans that is what I found, after getting over the shock of the new approach and you really do not miss the drums after a while. The musicianship is intense and the togetherness of the band is staggering: witness the audience reaction. Having been a huge admirer of Mr Mayall since he burst on to the Blues scene in the sixties, I admit that this was one of his albums that I had never actually heard!
This album is stupendous, one of the better live albums I've heard, all of the musicians just seem to slot in, plus it doesn't sound dated whatsoever despite being recorded long ago. This album is a MUST for anyone remotely interested in the British Blues Scene of years ago, I've heard it said over the years that John Mayall never did have a great voice, maybe so, but to me he remains one of the true greats of the burgeoning British Blues Scene as it was.
Don't delay Buy it today!! I have been waiting for an Autobiography from him for years, what a great book that would be, from someone who has actually lived a blues life and has introduced to the world a veritable wealth of fabulous musicians throughout the ever changing line ups in his various bands!!!!! For me, this is the consummate Mayall album. Although I have both 'Bluesbreakers' and 'Hard Road', for some reason this had escaped my attention: yet what a discovery.
Mayall was influenced by Jimmy Giuffre's work in bands without a drummer, so this line-up does likewise, with Steve Thompson's bass and Jon Mark's 'acoustic finger-style guitar' providing much of the rhythmic engine, with Mayall's vocal, harp and guitar work, and Johnny Almond's rich and syrupy sax and flute work alternately soaring across the ensemble, or raspily driving down a rhythm.
The acoustic approach really pays off, as the instruments have a sharpness and clarity which allows the listener to appreciate the subtleties of both solo and ensemble work. The sense of joy and freshness from the band is infectious, as it ought to be, as they'd only been playing this material for a few weeks before this live recording. Many of the tracks stretch out for longer than is usual with Mayall's albums, and this is all to the good, as there are many mouth-wateringly delicious numbers here.
Indeed, for me, 'Room to Move', which has become a Mayall classic, is really outshone by many of the other tracks here: it really is that good. The three bonus tracks are likewise quality, rather than filler material.
So if you want to investigate 'Mayall does Mellow Blues', with a gorgeously jazzy influence, don't hesitate: this one's bang on the money! I can only echo the other comments by reviewers. Even if you own the original album, this re-issue is well worth purchasing, for the wonderful extra tracks, and for the opportunity to hear this ground breaking album again.
The sound is so good that, particularly with headphones on, you feel as though you are part of the audience! I remember when Mayall formed this incarnation of the Bluesbreakers. Like many other died-in-the-wool bluesers I thought it was going to be a real let-down after Messrs. Clapton, Green and Taylor. However, when I saw the band I was instantly converted, and the album still stands up just as strongly now.
Great playing from all concerned, with a special salute to the late Johnny Almond, who died very recently. His brilliant sax and flute playing will long live on!One of the first live gigs I attended was John Mayall's drummerless band. This is an excellent recording from that tour. It's fair to say that when we bought the tickets we were expecting something along the lines of the Clapton/Green/Taylor guitar driven Bluesbreakers, but "The Turning Point" was accurately titled!/5().