By LARRY KELP
Gannett News Service
John Martyn: Grace and Dander
(Antilles AN 7081
A '60s English folkie who spent the past decade slowly evolving his music into an eclectic blend of spacey jazz, rock, and folk sounds rooted in mystical imagery, Martyn here makes music of wonderous beauty.
I doubt if this record will suddenly change him from a cult figure to rock star, but, from a musical standpoint, it is very impressive. On his ballads, Martyn can sing with quiet passion mixed with a delicate jazz touch.
Martyn can also rock out with the meanest of guitar sounds on the Slickers' Johnny Too Bad (featured in the film The Harder They Come), which originally was a reggae tune but is delivered here with brute force.
Genesis leader Phil Collins aids with drums and support vocals, and Martyn's small rock-jazz-folk combo fills in. Even more than the songs or the playing, it's Martyn's spirituality that make Grace & Dander an important album.
I left the typo in the title because it's amusing.
This American review was posted in the Press and Sun-Bulletin (Binghamton, New York, on Sunday 5 April 1981.
The same text was syndicated and reprinted more than three months later in the Wausau Daily Herald (Wisconsin) of Friday 24 July 1981, leaving out the second paragraph. But with the typo intact.