Cincinnati Babyhead

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Album : Mark-Almond

 

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CB knew of John Mark and Johnny Almond from their work with John Mayalls’ ‘Turning Point’ (A CB fave).  So when a friend, who had turned me onto other cool albums told me about this I was in right away.

‘The Ghetto’ is the first cut and opens with a soft piano with some bass and Jon Mark’s strong, clear vocals.  I liked his voice right away and the lyrics.  The song builds then Johnny Almond comes in with his sax accompanied by some electric piano.  The tune takes off.  I absolutely love Almond’s solo and his sound. They take it down again and we’re back to the vocals. This first cut had my attention and I was in for the whole album.  The next cut is ‘The City’ and the groove catches you right away.  It’s jazzy, bluesy and very cool. The bass and acoustic guitar lay it down with piano adding some nice touches.  Mark adds his vocals. Then it’s Almonds’ sax that comes in and seals the deal for CB.  Absolutely in sax heaven.  This is one great tune with the boys staying in the groove and jamming out. Great tune.  Had touches of Morrison and Springsteen.

‘Tramp and the Young Girl’ ends side one with a dark moody tune. It wasn’t going to win any happy song contests but it sounded good.

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Side two opens with some classical guitar and flute then changes to the bass laying down another great groove along with percussion with vibes joining in.  Up tempo jazz riff with Almond again coming in with some great sax work.  He’s a little more edgy here.  The band stays in the groove jamming to the end.  CB was digging it. ‘Song For You’ ends the album in more of a jazz improv vein.  Same kind of groove they like to explore. Roger Sutton takes the vocals and has a more edgy style than Mark.  It works for the tune.

This music was taking CB into more new territory musically.  I was digging jazz at the time and this was expanding that genre for him..  Again it was different from the other stuff he was listening too.  I think Johnny Almond’s sax playing was a big part of it.  This album would prompt me to search out more of their music.  Mark/Almond were on the radar.

 

 

21 comments on “Album : Mark-Almond

  1. hotfox63
    January 7, 2018

    Jon Mark on acoustic finger-style guitar is especially noteworthy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      January 7, 2018

      I also loved hi vocals. I see you have a Mingus take coming up. His bassist Dannie Richmond played with Mark/Almond

      Liked by 1 person

      • Array
        January 8, 2018

        Mingus was a groundbreaking jazz player. I didn’t know that Dannie Richmond worked with Mark-Almond ( btw: he’s drummer not bassist). I know Jon Mark as session musician with The Rolling Stones and John Mayall. He also did a few celtic roots albums.

        Like

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        January 8, 2018

        I have a Mark solo but would be curious on the “roots” albums. My mistake on the Richmond thing.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Jim S.
    January 7, 2018

    CB pulls one out of the obscure file. I knew of these guys threw my friend Steve who was a big Mayall fan. He used to dig a song they later did called “What Am I Living For” but he’s so deep into bluegrass these days I don’t think he remembers it. Good choice here. I’ll give it a spin for old times sake.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      January 7, 2018

      Great tune you brought up. I devoured these guys, I heard or read somewhere that they were big in your hometown.

      Like

      • Jim S.
        January 7, 2018

        Yeah. And Philly’s still a real good town for music. People are pretty knowledgeable. Steve now plays the banjo. His son Brian, though not well-known, is a virtuoso guitarist and sax player. And I taught him his first guitar lick! It was Smoke on the Water.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        January 7, 2018

        I’d love to hear Brians licks. I forgot Philly was your hometown. Mark/Almond was big in Boston I think.

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      • Jim S.
        January 7, 2018

        I should contact Steve and see where I can find his kid’s music. And the Philly-NY-Boston nexus. More or less the same personality, different accents. Mark/Almond were popular before I made my way up here to frozenville.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. J.
    January 7, 2018

    Curious. I don’t know these dudes at all… some very laid back vibes in that tune and it reminds me of something and someone that I just can’t think of! Very familiar…

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      January 7, 2018

      Still making my way around your site so I don’t know all your styles. These guys made some good music. Johnny Almond rips some great sax which I love. Check out the first cut if you get a chance. Nice and mellow then he kicks in.

      Like

      • J.
        January 8, 2018

        I’ve added them to my list of stuff to get to. Really liking that song… it just flows really nicely.

        Still can’t place who it reminds me of, though…

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        January 8, 2018

        I like all their stuff but the early albums I ate up. They have some catchy songs with great musicianship sprinkled in. I always like a little “jam”. ‘I’ll Be Leaving Soon’ and ‘What Am I Living For” are pretty catchy.

        I know what you mean on the “remind’ thing. It drives me nuts sometimes.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. christiansmusicmusings
    January 8, 2018

    This is a great album! I don’t believe I had heard of Mark-Almond before.

    While I don’t mind jazz, I usually don’t listen to it. There is just too much other stuff I generally prefer. And when I do, it’s typically crossover or pop-oriented artists like Al Jarreau, George Benson and Grover Washington Jr., not “hard core” jazz, which this album obviously isn’t either.

    I really like the overall sound, which I would characterize as warm and smooth. It’s very soothing.

    I also like how these guys blend in elements of blues and soul. The vocals are great as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      January 8, 2018

      Like I said I came to them through ‘Turning Point’ (an all time favorite album) by John Mayall. They can get out there at time. Some of their live jams go to town. Good take on your part. They bring different styles from all over and throw them in their pot. Mark has a real strong clear voice and if you don’t know it already CB is a sax freak and Almond has a great tone to my ear. Cool you’re digging it. I’ll be doing a Grover album soon. I go back to the early stuff with both him and Benson.

      Like

  5. Jim S.
    January 8, 2018

    You’re more than halfway there, Christian. It’s a false dichotomy to think it’s either smooth jazz or hardcore. There’s all sorts of variations in between.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      January 8, 2018

      That’s why we have you on here Doc. You’re absolutely right on the “between” stuff. All these guys like to let the music take them. Reason I like it. Not always predictable.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. greenpete58
    January 9, 2018

    I’ll have to check this one out, CB. I have the Mayall “Turning Point” LP as well, and it’s a winner (I got Mayall to sign it when he recently came to town). I knew that Mark and Almond teamed up, but have never heard anything by them. Thanks for the review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      January 9, 2018

      I listened to them a lot. Almond brought the jazz licks and Mark brought a bunch of good stuff. ‘Turning Point’ is a staple in my pile. Mayall’s still doing it. Cool that he signed the LP.

      Like

  7. Vinyl Connection
    February 19, 2018

    Like you and many others, I got onto Mark-Almond via ‘The Turning Point’. Great stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      February 19, 2018

      Listening to a cut off ‘Turning Point right now. I love Almond’s sound. I went on a Mark/Almond binge back when.

      Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on January 7, 2018 by in 1971 Album, Jazz Rock, John Mark, John Mayall, Johnny Almond and tagged , , , , , , .

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