British session musicians Jon Mark (vocals, guitar, drums) and John Almond (vocals, woodwinds, vibes, percussion) met while playing together in John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and left in 1970 to form Mark-Almond, sometimes referred to as the Mark-Almond Band. Asian exclusive reissue originally released on A&M in 1978. Includes the hit 'City' and their version of Michael Franks' 'Vivaldi's Song'.
Mark–Almond were an English band of the late 1960s and early 1970s, who worked in the territory between rock and jazz. In 1970 Jon Mark and Johnny Almond formed Mark-Almond (also occasionally referred to as The Mark-Almond Band). The melancholy tones of saxophonist Almond were an integral part of the group's sound, and Almond frequently played flute as well, including the bass flute. Characterized by a blend of blues and jazz riffs, latin beats, and a mellow rock aesthetic, and in contrast to the heavier guitar-driven rock of his contemporaries, composer and band leader Mark worked at producing warm and melodic works.
This album, along with the secret assault of Johnny Almond on sax and flute has a lot of violin courtesy of Greg Bloch which adds a new dimension to their sound. For beginners, check out Black Sun greatest hits for all their music prior to this CD. The sound quality is very excellent (absolutely flat transfer from the analogue tapes) and the songs are pure beauty.
Another year and another label for Marc Almond, along with a newly stripped-down band, La Magia, with Willing Sinner vets Annie Hogan, Billy McGee, and Steve Humphreys on drums. Even more so than Stories of Johnny, this is Almond with an eye and ear on making a commercial record while still being himself, and the result is much better than expected.
Leave it to Marc Almond to bridge the gap between covers and concept albums. Shadows and Reflections is both. Its track list reveals iconic '60s-era pop songs of astonishing variety. There's Burt Bacharach's "Blue on Blue" and Johnny Mandel's "The Shadow of Your Smile," as well as the Herd's "From the Underworld," a gorgeous, daring read of the Yardbirds' "Still I'm Sad," and Bobby Darin's "Not for Me," to mention a few. Almond and his chief collaborator, British composer, arranger, and saxophonist John Harle (who wrote the set's "Overture" and "Interlude," and co-wrote the closer "No One to Say Good Night To" with the singer), used a guiding aural aesthetic in opting for expansive panoramic sound; they sought to emulate "a very late 1960s Italian cinema soundtrack…."