John Mayall
" Moving On
Lemon Recordings

Blueswax 7
Rating 7

High Musicianship, and Finally, the Real Story, (01/06/10)

We all thought that Moving On was a live album by John Mayall, recorded at the Whiskey A Go Go in Los Angeles on the July 10, 1972, where it was stated that it was recorded by Wally Heider's Mobile Recording Truck, but according to John Mayall's '08 liner notes, that wasn't the case! It was true that the original LP released on Polydor in 1973 was recorded live, but there was a buzzing sound on the live tapes, and it was then decided that the entire ensemble would re-gather and enter into a recording studio and redo the entire album with mixed-in the audience noise to make it sound like a live album. Moving On makes its first appearance digitally here and is basically the same musicians that provided the sparks on Mayall's classic Jazz Blues Fusion, (Polydor '72) Most specifically are Blue Mitchell's exquisite trumpet solos and the tasty guitar work from Freddy Robinson. I've always been a fan of this Mayall lineup and eagerly looked forward to popping this into my CD player where the audio sound is excellent, and it's really difficult to tell if it's a studio album or not.

There's a brief introduction by Bill Cosby, and the band tears through "Worried Mind" with outstanding solos by Mitchell and Robinson. But from there things quickly go down hill, not so much because of the musicians, but more so because the songs show their age and sound dated. Songs like "Keep Our Country Green," "Christmas '71," "Do It," the title track, "Red Sky" and "Reasons" all suffer from a generation gap and just don't cut it. Plus, these are not really Blues tunes. Additionally, two bass players are employed: Victor Gaskin on standup and Larry Taylor on electric. Its kind of odd, especially considering Gaskin's big tree mostly drowns out Larry Taylor Mayall called utilizing dual basses an "experiment." I agree, but the results are weird.

It took thirty-seven years to find out that this was not a live recording, what was the big secret, or is Mayall having a little fun with us? Not sure, but it is nice having Moving On back in print again and great to hear deceased band members Mitchell and Robinson on the prowl again. By the way, Mayall endorses this reissue, so there's no funny stuff going on here. In summary, if you dig this jazzy era of Mayall, you'll probably enjoy this recording, other hardcore Blues fans will probably pass.

Bob Putignano a senior contributing editor at BluesWax. He is also the heart of Sounds of Blues at Bob maybe contacted at:

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