b. 20 July 1946, Enfield, Middlesex, England. This accomplished saxophonist and flautist rose to prominence during the mid-60s as a member of London R&B group Tony Knight’s Chessmen. In 1965 he replaced Clive Burrows in Zoot Money’s Big Roll Band and two years later joined the successful Alan Price Set. This group became known as the Paul Williams Set following the original leader’s departure and the same unit also formed the basis for a 1969 venture, Johnny Almond’s Music Machine. Williams (vocals), Jimmy Crawford (guitar), Geoff Condon (trumpet), John Wiggins (keyboards), Roger Sutton (bass) and Alan White (drums) were featured on Patent Pending, a propulsive set drawing inspiration from both jazz and blues, but Almond subsequently disbanded the line-up, and a second album, Hollywood Blues, was completed with the aid of American musicians.
A session musician on albums by Fleetwood Mac (Mr. Wonderful) and John Mayall (Bluesbreakers With Eric Clapton), the saxophonist joined the latter in 1969 in a pioneering ‘drummer-less’ unit captured on The Turning Point and Empty Rooms. Here Almond forged a partnership with guitarist Jon Mark, which resulted in the formation of a breakaway act, Mark-Almond in 1971. This imaginative ensemble completed a series of albums during the 70s and continued their partnership into the 80s.