The New York Session

John Martyn

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The New York Session Review

by Brett Hartenbach

Taken from a John Martyn interview/performance on Fordham University's radio station WFUV in the late-'90s, there's not much to recommend about The New York Sessions, even for the most avid fan. The interview portion of the disc, which clocks in at just over 12 minutes, is often quite frustrating, with only the rarest bits of insight. Even the interviewer seems exasperated by Martyn, who appears uncooperative, and unwilling to answer more than a few questions seriously. The interview segments would be excusable had the musical cuts been worthwhile, but that isn't even the case. Included are three live, in the studio performances (four songs in all) by Martyn and his band, ranging from 1973's "Solid Air" to the Ben Harper-penned "Excuse Me Mister" from The Church With One Bell (1998). And though this may seem enticing to John Martyn enthusiasts, the sound quality is so poor it's tough to appreciate any real high points that may be in the music. One song, "Couldn't Love You More," which begins on one track, fades out, and then concludes on the next, actually sounds as if it were taken from a faulty tape. It's hard to imagine why anyone would think that there was anything here worth releasing, unless it was just to make an easy buck from unsuspecting fans. The New York Sessions, which wouldn't even make a good bootleg, is as close to a worthless release as you're going to find in John Martyn's catalog, so buyers beware.

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