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The Turning Point Live, Original recording remastered, Extra tracks

97 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Live, Original recording remastered, October 30, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

This 1969 live recording at the Fillmore East was not just a turning point in Mayall's music but also in his career, becoming his first gold album and his most successful release. A heavy lead-guitar sound was abandoned for an intimate setup of acoustic and slide guitars, bass, sax, flute and percussion. Includes three unissued bonus performances from that night.


Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 30, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live, Original recording remastered, Extra tracks
  • Label: Polydor
  • ASIN: B00005R8FI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,041 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

93 of 96 people found the following review helpful By nicjaytee on November 21, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Mick Taylor's decision to quit the Bluesbreakers for the Rolling Stones in May 1969 consolidated John Mayall's reputation as a mentor for new talent, but left him without a band. His response was to recruit two experienced session musicians - Jon Mark and Johnny Almond - and to use them, and remaining bassist Steve Thompson, to push his music into new areas of jazz-blues fusion. Dispensing with a drummer, he immediately put this "revolutionary", and in the end short lived line-up on the road, recording "The Turning Point" at the Fillmore East only two months later.

Viewed initially as a gimmick, the lack of drums was in fact key to the clear, intimate sound Mayall was seeking. Structured to allow virtuoso playing, his highly atmospheric songs are driven along by the bass and acoustic guitars, with instrumental solos emerging from and gliding above their intricate backing rhythms. Mayall's vocals, guitar & harmonica underpin some excellent blues and R&B, while Almond's inspired sax & flute breaks lift several numbers into the realms of pure jazz. As the Melody Maker commented at the time, "the range of sounds and moods they obtain is staggering", but the group's most remarkable feature is their seemingly effortless interaction and the drifting, almost distant, feel this stimulates.

The ecstatic response of the New York crowd mirrors my own reaction on seeing the band a few weeks earlier in the slightly less exalted surroundings of the Slough Adelphi. Standing in a circle, with simple lighting, low amplification, no drummer and one member (Mark) seated on a canteen chair they seemed small and insignificant. But when they played, they just soared, taking the audience with them.
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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful By J. Remington on July 28, 2003
Format: Audio CD
For purely sentimental and nostalgic reasons, THE TURNING POINT is my favorite John Mayall album. When I was three, I begged my parents to repeatedly play the exciting harmonica rave-up "Room to Move". It is virtually impossible still for me not to find my aging bones bouncing and hopping still as Mayall rips into that incredibly invigorating piece.
A word of warning: do not listen to "Room to Move" while driving. My insurance just went up due to a recent speeding ticket.
Also many folks may recognize this signature cut as it has become, like the annoyingly infectious "Who Let the Dogs Out" ubiquitous in sports arenas as a crowd instigator. Of course I obviously prefer the later to the former.
The rest of the album is filled with wonderful and intricate musicianship. The guitar, flute and sax interplay is sheer calming brilliance. It provides a great counterpoint to the release of the aforementioned cut. Mayall and his group think loose and play tight like the best of jazz musicians. They fuse elements of jazz, folk, blues and rock.
Mayall's often screeching voice is an acquired taste to be sure, but his absolute reverence for the music overcomes any technical shortcomings.
A fine album worth discovering.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Vincent DeLucia on July 18, 2001
Format: Audio CD
My buddy Mike Cinelli and I were big Brittish Blues fans back in the late 60's. We had seen most if not all of the greats...Fleetwood Mac (the original with Peter Green) et al. We got the tickets for Mayall's concert not knowing that he had switched gears and had revamped the Bluesbreakers. The night of the concert arrived (July 12, 1969...the late show I believe...I usually went to the late shows at the Fillmore). The curtain goes up and the announcer fumbled the intro but John made it right...and there before us on a naked stage (no Joshua light show...no diversion of any kind) stood this quartet. What most fans of the lp don't realize is that this night was also the debut of John's old pal, Eric Clapton's new band...Blind Faith...up at Madison Square... John invited the half-capacity crowd to come on closer and make the event more intimate as it was going to be recorded....(surprise to us...a good surprise...because now I have a 'living testament' to the night's events. The music was astounding, breathtaking and immediate. It remains a turning point for me both as a fan and as a musician. John blew our minds with his superlative understated sound. The recording quality (after all it was the Fillmore East...the same place the Allman Brothers and many other bands would choose to record...for it has excellent acoustics.) You not only heard the blues going through its evolution but you felt it...it drew you in...and it didn't/doesn't matter who you are or where you came from. It is powerful music. One I rank as part of my 5 all-time favorite lps...or CD's to many of you. Nylon string guitar, flute/sax, elec. bass and harp/vocals/slide guitar...all in a rich and textural format...no excessiveness at all.....this was one of those times when less proved to be more...so much more... I will never forget the event...the music...the message... This is truly one of the great albums of the 60's...the blues...and of music...period. Vince DeLucia 7/17/01...
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By nicjaytee on December 26, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Mick Taylor's decision to quit the Bluesbreakers for the Rolling Stones in May 1969 consolidated John Mayall's reputation as a mentor for new talent, but left him without a band. His response was to recruit two experienced session musicians - Jon Mark and Johnny Almond - and to use them, and remaining bassist Steve Thompson, to push his music into new areas of jazz-blues fusion. Dispensing with a drummer, he immediately put this "revolutionary", and in the end short lived line-up on the road, recording the Turning Point at the Fillmore East only two months later.
Viewed initially as a gimmick, the lack of drums was in fact key to the clear, intimate sound Mayall was seeking. Structured to allow virtuoso playing, his highly atmospheric songs are driven along by the bass and acoustic guitars, with instrumental solos emerging from and gliding above the intricate backing rhythms. Mayall's vocals, guitar & harmonica underpin some excellent blues and R&B, while Almond's inspired sax & flute breaks lift several numbers into the realms of pure jazz. As the Melody Maker commented at the time, "the range of sounds and moods they obtain is staggering", but the group's most remarkable feature is their seemingly effortless interaction and the drifting, almost distant, feel that this stimulates.
The ecstatic response of the New York crowd mirrors my own reaction on seeing the band a few weeks earlier in the slightly less exalted surroundings of the Slough Adelphi. Standing in a circle, with simple lighting, low amplification, no drummer and one member (Mark) seated on a chair they seemed small and insignificant. But when they played, they just soared, taking the audience with them.
To capture their unique style required a live recording - the Turning Point showcases them in superb form creating beautiful, introspective music that stands out across time.
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