John Mayall

Blues Express

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John Mayall's long career has always been about the blues in all of its incarnations, from gutbucket country blues to the more urbane jazz side of things, and Mayall has always been professional about it all, touring with solid ensembles that stretch the genre without ever abandoning it. This revealing set features live performances drawn from seven concerts with three different bands recorded between 1972 and 1982, and while one gets the blues in different stylistic variations, it all seems like one show since Mayall is, well, John Mayall. Among the highlights are “Gone from the Canyon,” recorded in 1980 in Huntington Beach, CA; “Rolling with the Blues” (featuring a Bluesbreakers reunion with Mick Taylor and John McVie), recorded in 1982 in Chicago; and a long, unwinding “Sad to Be Alone” (featuring trumpet and twin saxes), recorded in 1973 in Frankfurt, Germany.

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