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The Best of Mark-Almond Import


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Audio CD, Import, November 19, 1993
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The Best of Mark-Almond + The Turning Point + Jazz Blues Fusion
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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.

About the Artist

Jon Mark and Johnny Almond were top London session musicians in the 60s, at a time when the British rock explosion was at full force. They played with everyone from The Rolling Stones to Marianne Faithfull. Mark even owned a production company with guitarist Jimmy Page, who later started the seminal rock group, Led Zeppelin. Mark and Almond met in the late 60s, on a two year tour with John Mayall, the acknowledged father of the white blues. Both recorded on Mayall's classic album, The Turning Point. On tour, they discovered a strong musical affinity which ultimately resulted in Mark-Almond. Through the 70s the band toured the United States and Europe, and made recordings for a variety of labels. Over time, Mark-Almond consistently forged new ground and retained an uncanny sense of identity due to the strong musical vision of its leaders.

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Tuesday In New York 4:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. The Ghetto 6:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. The City10:32Album Only
listen  4. Tramp And The Young Girl 5:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. The Sausalito Bay Suite21:50Album Only
listen  6. One Way Sunday 5:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Monday Bluesong 4:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. What Am I Living For 5:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Lonely Girl 5:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Home To You 7:01$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 19, 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Black Sun Music
  • ASIN: B000003P0Y
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,232 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By D. Hartley on April 21, 2000
Format: Audio CD
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. [edit]
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45 of 53 people found the following review helpful By L. S. Slaughter on June 15, 2001
Format: Audio CD
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Donald E. Gilliland on April 7, 2015
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Unlike many other reviewers on this page, I never owned any of the old Mark-Almond albums, although back in the mid-1970s I remember hearing some of their songs being played on WORJ, the great "progressive" FM radio station where I grew up in Orlando. And then last year I was reintroduced to Mark-Almond's music when I heard "The City" on a compilation CD from Irma Records, "Morning Side of Love." Wow, a really cool tune! Wanting to hear some more of their stuff, I ordered this compilation. For me, this is a mixed bag of very interesting songs and a few other tunes that don't move me as much. But even some of the less impressive track are ambitious in concept and arrangement, but maybe trying a bit too hard to be experimental. But when these songs click, they click big time. Excellent vocals and instrumental arrangements abound.

The big draw for me, and I suspect other listeners, is the blend of various musical styles; rock, jazz, pop, and blues. I don't think there were many other acts back in the early 1970s that fused so many different musical elements together and did it well and made it sound so natural. I really like M. Hartley's description of the duo's sound, comparing it to John Martyn or Beth Orton. Indeed, the jazz-inflected musical textures and tones are very similar sounding.

If you are looking for a relatively obscure 1970s artist that doesn't sound like any other band, check out this "Best Of" collection by Mark-Almond. Maybe you won't love all of it, but with over 70 minutes of music on a single CD, I'l guarantee you that you'll find a lot to enjoy on here.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Knight on May 5, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
"Quiet", occasionally Jazz-tinged, there's lots more than just "The City" to enjoy. Great late at night, as is Cowboy Junkies "Trinity Sessions", given that quiet, slow sound.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. Ramirez-Fernandez on June 5, 2008
Format: Audio CD
This is truly the best of Mark-Almond. I remember first hearing them in the 1970's and feeling "mellow" as I listened to them. I don't know what became of my old Mark-Almond album, but I sure missed it. With this CD, not only do I get to listen to the music I was already familiar with, but I was able to hear music I had never heard before. And I was very pleased. This is one of the best purchases I have made in a long time. Even my teenagers like it. How weird is that? I highly recommend this CD. It's got a soft jazzy feel to it. I can only imagine walking into a small smoke filled club and Mark-Almond is playing live. Great sounds. Know what I mean?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By W. Wake on February 10, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Over 30 years ago I remembered enjoying listening to Mark Almond. The song "One Way Sunday" I always found to be haunting. I could see myself driving somewhere along US-395 in Eastern California, late at night, the only light on the road being my headlights and the stars above, and hearing this song playing on my car's sound system. I seem to be one of a small number of fans of Mark Almond, and so in this age of CD's I was having great difficulty in finding any compilations, so I was very pleased to be able to purchase this CD on Amazon and have enjoyed listening to it ever since it arrived.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James P. OHare on May 6, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Happened to catch two cuts of this album on Sirius Radio and was driven to purchase the CD. What a pleasant surprise and a good day for a drive. Very good stuff!
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