Release Date: May 3, 2011
Record label: Liaison Records Dist.
Genre(s): Singer/Songwriter, Pop/Rock, Progressive Folk
John Martyn died back in 2009, but he spent his last eight years writing and recording what would be his posthumously released final album. I saw him perform at Shepherd’s Bush Empire during this period. He had gained a lot of weight and seemed to be wearing a muumuu. He performed seated, as his right leg was amputated below the knee.
The late John Martyn was a legend in British music circles, a phenomenal guitarist and arranger whose influence has been acknowledged by everyone from Bob Marley and Eric Clapton to Brian Eno and the Edge, and whose approach to soundcraft helped lay the foundation for an entire generation of trip-hop artists and DJs. Heaven and Earth is sort of of a tribute album; it consists of unfinished tracks that Martyn was working on at the time of his death in 2009, some of them bluesy, some reggae-inflected or jazzy, but all of them imbued with a powerful sense of space and an expansive approach to melody. "Heel of the Hunt" is among the most spacious and powerful tracks on this album, while "Stand Amazed" hints strongly at reggae while guitars, clavinets, and soulful backing vocalists respond with more of an R&B vibe.