Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder
Richard Perrotti | Bordentown, NJ United States | 02/26/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I remember my first experience of Marti Jones like it was yesterday... walking around in the music department at the Harvard Coop, perusing the albums (yes, as in "vinyl") back in 1986. All of a sudden, I find myself being drawn to the turntable on the front counter while my now ex-wife was being drawn by the same siren song from an entirely different section of the floor. The song baing played was "(If I could) Walk Away" by an unknown singer named Marti Jones off an LP entitled "Unsophisticated Time." We took that record home and practically wore it out, turning on as many friends to Marti's (and Don Dixon's) music as possible.If you are reading this, odds are that you know the rest of the story. Despite some terrific albums ("Match Game," "Used Guitars," etc.) and some terrific concerts up-and-down the east coast (a memorable one at the Bottom Line in NYC for the "Used Guitars" debut,) Marti couldn't be typecast and I reckon that that ultimately hurt her. After her A&M stint, RCA signed her and dropped her after one release ("Any Kind of Lie") and she pretty much dropped out of sight while she (and husband Don Dixon) raised their family.There were some happy "teases" like a wonderful live perfomance from 1990 captured in the Sugar Hill realease "Live at Spirit Square" and a new studio release from the same label, "My Long Haired Life." If you enjoyed Marti's music, you probably bought both of these (only "Live..." still remains available today) and hoped that someday, other people/radio stations/commercial concerns would awaken to the purity of a singer/performer like Marti.Fast forward to 2002 and "My Tidy Doily Dream." With a tour to support this wonderful collection of songs upcoming, maybe, just maybe, Marti's time is now.I dare you to find as beautiful, powerful and simple a song as "Always," co-written and performed with astroPuppee's Kelley Ryan. It is a wonderful note to open up the album.The songs "Achilles Heel" (from the movie "Drop Back Ten") and "Lifeboat" I find to be the most powerful in this collection. "Lifeboat" has a haunting production quality (Dixon has NOT lost his touch!)and could easily be envisioned as a movie theme. (Hey, if they could set up Celine Dion on "Titanic"...)As for the "singer/songwriter" criticism of yore, Marti wrote or co-wrote six of the ten songs on "Doily Dream." Nothing like putting the old ghosts to rest!If you like superior female singers, singer/songwriters, Marti's old albums, Don Dixon, or just plain 'ol good music, I heartily recommend "My Tidy Doily Dream" to you. I'll lay 3-to-1 odds that you won't be disappointed."
Too Long Between Albums
R. M. Ettinger | Cleveland Heights, OH USA | 07/31/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Marti Jones had a great at-bat record w/her first three recordings: 'Unsophisticated Time', 'Match Game' and 'Used Guitars'. Rarely do I find one album by any artist that has all good songs and no filler. She had three - in a row! Granted - this is not radio fare, but great music rarely is.Sadly the latter two are no longer in print, though recently her incredible solo debut 'Unsophisticated Time' became available for the first time on CD via efolkmusic.com.The albums that followed are all good, but not as exceptional as the first three. I can't peg why they do not resonate w/me as much. Her voice is still exceptional. Don Dixon's production is pristine and innovative. The song selection is still fairly good - though Marti has moved away from being an interpreter of other songwriter's works and focusing more on her own.'Any Kind of Lie' (out of print) and 'My Long Haired Life' had some incredbily strong material on them. Had the best from the two been combined, it would have been 4 great disks in a row.'My Tidy Doily Dream' has many stronger songs than Marti's last two albums. 'Slave', 'Lifeboat' and 'Celerity in Exile' are incredible songs - in writing, arrangement and performance. I have had the disk in my player (car, work pc or home)for extended periods of time.If you are familiar w/her work - get it. If you're just discovering her - check it out, this disk is definately worth the investment. And *if* you can locate any of the first three disks mentioned, do it - you won't regret the purchase!"