Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Best of Mark-Almond
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Rock
The Best of Mark-Almond is a compelling retrospective of the band's most inventive and best-loved songs. We all know the distinctive sound this innovative English band was exploring in the late 60s and early 70s, carvin... more »
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The Best of Mark-Almond is a compelling retrospective of the band's most inventive and best-loved songs. We all know the distinctive sound this innovative English band was exploring in the late 60s and early 70s, carving out a niche in the unchartered territory between rock and jazz. Although the saxophone was rarely heard in pop music at that time, the smoky, melancholy tones of reedman Johnny Almond were an integral part of the group's sound. Characterized by an innovative blend of blues licks, jazz riffs, Latin beats, and rock sensibilities, and in counterpoint to the screaming guitar licks of his contemporaries, Jon Mark, the composer and band leader, lingered over subtle, melodic lines with a unique sense of warmth and intimacy. The resulting sound captured the attention of respected jazzman, Dannie Richmond. The American drummer took a leave of absence from a steady gig with Charles Mingus to tour and record with Mark-Almond.On The Best of Mark-Almond, the group's early explorations of Latin/jazz/rock fusion are balanced by pensive, spatially oriented ballads. The City, one of Mark-Almond's earliest hits, is still a classic of smoldering intensity. The Sausalito Bay Suite, ventures into imaginative montages of sound and emotion, while the impressionistic tunes like Tuesday In New York, and One Way Sunday, softly whisper lyrics with an innate sense of drama and a deft twist of phrase. The elements add up to a release that is a pleasure to listen to, at the same time illustrating Mark-Almond's status as one of the most innovative bands in the history of jazz-rock fusion.
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A Special Place in Time and Memory
L. S. Slaughter | Chapel Hill, NC | 06/15/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"No one had ever heard anything like Mark Almond when MA No. 1 appeared sometime in 1971. "The Ghetto" was this amazing vocal bombast steeped in deep gospel with a searing saxophone solo stuck in the cracks, and "The City" began as some samba-ish lament that evolved into a ecstatic piano and saxophone duet, then faded off into an electric and acoustic guitar jam.. for 13 minutes! Mark-Almond 2 was probably as responsible as anything for the influx of people into San Francisco and the Bay Area in the mid to late 70s: certainly most of us had heard "The Sausalito Bay Suite" under the influence of one thing or another and decided then and there to go "down by the bay/the seagulls play/in circles...". Now that those decades are behind me, as well as my days as a San Franciscan, I still find the best memento is Mark Almond 2. It captures a Californian and world-weary sensibility tinged with existential melancholy that one only gets living by the Golden Gate in the pre dot.com era.As for the rest here, well, Mark-Almond took a creative nosedive after albums One and Two, and it is evident here. Why the dumbest dingbat at Rhino decided to include "Get Yourself Together" on this set eludes me; it's wholly embarrassing. Nevertheless, the price is justified by the inclusion of "The City" and "The Ghetto". Incredible stuff that dates very well."
Timeless and not to be pigeon-holed...
D. Hartley | Seattle, WA USA | 04/21/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Mark-Almond Band produced a sound that was not exactly progressive rock, sophisticated jazz-pop, or folk, but a masterful and seamless blend of these styles. I daresay even a die-hard "alternative" fan who might dismiss this as boring old "hippie" music could listen to a song like "Tramp And The Young Girl", and hear seminal echoes of Tinderbox or the Eels in its dark, haunting and morose beauty. "The Ghetto" and "The City" are worth the price of this CD alone, with thier compelling acoustic jazz grooves and hypnotic vocals. If you follow electic artists like John Martyn, or of more recent vintage, Beth Orton, then you'll love this stuff. "
Deeply Disapointed...New York State of Mind Missing...
Larry Hawkes | Ft Lauderdale, FL | 06/13/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Yes, this CD has several great tracks such as The Ghetto & The City, etc. But imagine my disapointment when I found that the very best song/medly on the original release of The Best Of Mark Almond...was missing. That would be the medley New York State of Mind/Return to the City. This medley was worth the price of the CD. So I have to give it only 2 stars for stupidity in the compilation of the re-release.