No Little Boy, John Martyn. Mesa/Bluemoon. * * *
Blending jazz and rock doesn't always go smoothly, but singer John Martyn manages to get the job done easily on No Little Boy. Giving a strong jazz flavor are saxman Andy Sheppard and trumpeter Mark Ohlson. Adding a good pop-rock sound are backup vocals by Phil Collins. Take that, add songs that range from the rock-flavored Just Now to the brooding blues of I Don't Wanna Know, and you get a good range of sound.
Martyn's voice isn't the clearest instrument in the world, but it has a pleasing, naturally bluesy sound. Most of the time he rolls through songs that never get faster than a mid-tempo, but he does offer quick lines and impressive articulation on Could've Been Me.
The lyrics have a down-home quality - not particularly sophisticated, but certainly realistic. The best are on Sunday's Child, which personifies Saturday night as "laughin' and dancin'" and Sunday as "knees are old."
- Bob Karlovits
This review was published in the Pittsburg Post-Gazette of Sunday 19 September 1993.