CD The Church with One Bell (CD 983536),
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The Church with One Bell

  • 1. He's Got All the Whiskey
    2. God's Song (That's Why I Love Mankind)
    3. How Fortunate the Man with None
    4. Small Town Talk
    5. Excuse Me Mister
    6. Strange Fruit
    7. Sky Is Crying, The
    8. Glory Box
    9. Feel So Bad
    10. Death Don't Have No Mercy
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 57053

  • Credits
    ProducerJohn Martyn; Norman Dayron
    EngineerStefon Taylor

    THE CHURCH WITH ONE BELL is album of cover tunes by the veteran British singer-songwriter.
    Personnel: John Martyn (vocals, guitar); Spencer Cozens (piano, keyboards); John Giblin (bass); Arran Ahmun (drums, percussion).
    Personnel: John Martyn (vocals, guitar); Spencer Cozens (piano, keyboards); Arran Ahmun (drums, percussion).
    Recording information: Ca Va Sound Studios, Glasgow, Scotland.
    Photographer: Lawrence Watson.
    John Martyn, who is best known for the folk/jazz/rock albums he made in the mid-1970s, has recorded his share of cover tunes over the course of his career. 1998's THE CHURCH WITH ONE BELL was a departure, however, in that it consisted solely of other people's material. You couldn't ask for a more diverse group of tunes either; while there are the expected blues and jazz standards (songs associated with Billie Holiday, Elmore James, and Rev. Gary Davis), Martyn also tackles two songs by obscure New Orleans pop/R&B songwriter Bobby Charles, Portishead's "Glory Box," and the Brecht-via-Dead Can Dance "How Fortunate the Man With None," among others. All across this wide spectrum of songs, Martyn lays down his deep, rich, booze-soaked voice, all the more expressive for the nooks and crannies it gained over the years, turning each track into a lovably lazy swim through agreeably swampy waters. Somehow, when Martyn applies his trademark Joe Cocker-on-depressants approach to this disparate group of tunes, they all seem of a piece. The consistency of vision is what helps make CHURCH WITH ONE BELL one of Martyn's finest records since his '70s heyday.

  • Critic Reviews
    Mojo (Publisher) (4/04, p.143) - "[I]ts spare arrangements help emphasize Martyn's skills as impressionistic interpreter."
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