Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

106

John Mayall: Live in London

Doug Collette By

Sign in to view read count
Though John Mayall doesn't deign to call the unit that collaborates with him on Live in London "The Bluesbreakers," his current band is arguably as tight and sympathetic as any ensemble that's sported the moniker in the recent past. Fusing bassist Greg Rzab, drummer Jay Davenport and guitarist Rocky into a fluid ensemble, The Godfather of British Blues elicits versatility from this stripped- down instrumental lineup, opening with vocals, harp and some piano on "Another Man." It's just the first inkling of how Mayall works with sparse arrangements for the sake of simplicity, not lack of ideas.

One of the few John Mayall originals on this Leicester Square Theatre recording from November 2010, "Chicago Line" is a shining example of how Mayall's group. freshens the familiar. The band slips in an out of the Bo Diddley beat and, by regularly adding individual fillips and flourishes, refuse to simply grind it out; at just a little over six minutes long, this track is refreshingly compact. The quartet meshes equally smoothly on the subliminal lilt within "California."

A mixture of pride, respect and pure love of the blues form fosters the depth of feeling Mayall brings to the slow twelve-bar progression of "So Many Roads." Continuing a fifty-year career is a tradition in itself, but the man rightfully extends the history of the music on its own terms too. There's poetry in the main metaphor of the lyrics, which he accentuates through the rhythm he pounds out on piano, a deliberate gait underscored through the accompaniment of Davenport and Rzab. Athas makes a statement of his own here, too, and it's articulate, if not eloquent.

Live in London joins a long list of live entries in John Mayall's discography, during most of which he's generally avoided self-indulgence in his choice of tracks. However, the penultimate cut of this two-disc set, the eternal crowd-pleaser "Room to Move," is somewhat an exception to the rule; particularly at this point of the album, solos from Rzab and Davenport are unnecessary to demonstrate how tasteful are their chops. Nevertheless, this cut turns into an effective setup for the instrumental climax of Freddie King's "Hideaway," one final affirmation of the optimum audio quality as captured in Mike Aarvold's mix.

It may be presumptuous to forecast accolades for the musicians in this lineup comparable to the likes of their predecessors, including Eric Clapton, Mick Fleetwood and Jack Bruce. But, then again, to be in a group led by Mayall is cachet enough.

Track Listing: CD1: Another Man; Chicago Line; Ridin' On The L & N; So Many Roads; Checking On My Baby; Movin' Out And Movin' On; Mail Order Mystics; Parchman Farm. CD2: Early In The Morning; California; My Time After Awhile; Room To Move; Hideaway.

Personnel: John Mayall: vocals, harmonica, keyboards; Rocky Athas; guitar; Greg Rzab: bass; Jay Davenport: drums.

Title: Live in London | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Date Detail Price
Mar5Tue
8:00 pm
John Mayall
Kulturhuset Viften
Rødovre, Denmark
Mar12Tue
8:00 pm
John Mayall
Fabrik
Hamburg, Germany
Mar26Tue
9:00 pm
John Mayall
Auditorium Parco Della Musica
Roma, Italy
Apr13Sat
8:00 pm
John Mayall
Patronaat
Haarlem, Netherlands

Related Articles

Read Runner in the Rain CD/LP/Track Review
Runner in the Rain
by Troy Dostert
Published: December 15, 2018
Read Cuarteto Europa CD/LP/Track Review
Cuarteto Europa
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 15, 2018
Read Chicago/Buenos Aires Connections CD/LP/Track Review
Chicago/Buenos Aires Connections
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 15, 2018
Read Beggar’s Banquet 50th Anniversary Edition CD/LP/Track Review
Beggar’s Banquet 50th Anniversary Edition
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: December 15, 2018
Read Intelsat CD/LP/Track Review
Intelsat
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 15, 2018
Read World Gardens CD/LP/Track Review
World Gardens
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 14, 2018
Read "From Beyond" CD/LP/Track Review From Beyond
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: March 16, 2018
Read "Somewhere In The Upstream" CD/LP/Track Review Somewhere In The Upstream
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 3, 2018
Read "Bay of Rainbows" CD/LP/Track Review Bay of Rainbows
by John Kelman
Published: December 1, 2018
Read "Minus" CD/LP/Track Review Minus
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 12, 2018
Read "Uncompahgre" CD/LP/Track Review Uncompahgre
by Troy Dostert
Published: May 19, 2018
Read "Confessin' The Blues" CD/LP/Track Review Confessin' The Blues
by Doug Collette
Published: November 25, 2018