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.
Riff Raff, co-led by Brit keyboard boss Tommy Eyre and bassist Roger Sutton, grew out of the Mark-Almond Band. Before meeting Jon Mark, Eyre had played with Joe Cocker's Grease Band. The pair decided to form solo projects while with Mark-Almond, and recruited vocalist Alan Marshall, drummer Kenny Slade, and guitarist Martin Ball. This lineup was never formalized, though they had recorded demos and even finished some tracks for a debut album for Richard Branson. The amalgam of jazz, rock, and soul was intoxicating and was a fine emotional alternative to the Canterbury bands, which were much more concerned with complexity than groove. The music included here features all seven of those original finished tracks as well as the first four recordings of the final band lineup after Marshall and Slade left.