f ifty-year anniversary edition
A LONG STORY PUT INTO JUST A FEW WORDS...
It was the band that couldn't be; it was the age of the British headliners, and they were the loudest the world had ever heard. Some had been around for a while like The Who, some were relative new-comers like Led Zeppelin. All of a sudden, a band appeared that wasn't louder than it had to be, and they didn't even have a drummer. But as soon as they had built an audience with their often-times melancholy songs where the lyrics were important and heart-felt although a bit sentimental at times, they brought in the speediest drummer of all, the veteran of many formations around the great Charles Mingus, none other than Dannie Richmond. Still, the gentle sounds of the vibraphone and the acoustic guitars, the flutes and the flügelhorn dominated, and Mark-Almond survived for almost two decades, five vinyl albums' worth with a few left-overs and live tracks to surface after it was all over.
Johnny Almond, Tommy Eyre, Roger Sutton, Ken Craddock and Dannie Richmond are no longer with us, and Jon Mark retired to New Zealand. Some of the members have disappeared without a trace but what hasn't disappeared is the large audience which regroups as time goes on, fascinated by a rare combination of lyricism, energy, virtuosity and by whatever else defines Mark-Almond's as mindful music.
In acknowledgment of the influence of the blues,
Jon Mark, in 1971, had produced a tribute album to
Robert Johnson, who was known as "The King of the Delta Blues Singers"; here, among others, Jon Mark brought in his oldest friend, fellow guitarist Alun Davies who had played with him in Mark-Almond's predecessor, "Sweet Thursday".
More solo work followed after the band's demise;
"Stay", now out on vinyl, being just one of a few more.
After the loss of his left-hand ring finger in an accident in Hawaii in 1972, Jon switched to keyboard; his composing style went through several permutations, beginning with "The Standing Stones of Callanish" and continuing with a vast output for the next two decades.