Solid Air is John's magnum opus, and the promise of a complete rendition meant a sell-out was assured.
The one-legged Pete Doherty of folk rock goes jazz-funk on us
Words: Andres Lokko
Photography: Rachel Lipsitz
The Barbican, London
John Martyn, Barbican, London
Who killed my echo machine?
John Martyn: Solid Air
* * * * * Barbican, London
Thirty three years have elapsed since the Old Grey Whistle Test performance that conferred a measure of stardom on John Martyn.
There's mystery in the air as John Martyn revives a classic
Robert Sandall reviews John Martyn's new1 album
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Spellbinding no-frills solo set from 1975
36 minutes live in studio performance.
The program was recorded Tuesday 9 May at Livingston Studio, London.
A second broadcast took place 21 January 2007.
After John's passing, it was rebroadcast on 13 March 2009 on BBC Radio 3, as part of Mary Ann Kennedy's World On 3 program.
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In the 1970s, John Martyn was the master of the romantic sublime. Schooled in the 1960s folk boom, this Glaswegian went electric, made the Echoplex tape-delay device his own, and found his musical soulmate in fellow closet jazznik double-bassist Danny Thompson. Tender intimacy and booming spaciousness all of a piece, Martyn's classic albums Bless The Weather, Solid Air and One World conjured acoustic-electric moodscapes where your heart and time itself stood still.