Exposé Online banner

Martin Barre — Stage Left
(Randm RAMCD002, 2003, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2004-04-01

Stage Left Cover art

In addition to his twenty or thirty albums with Jethro Tull, guitarist Martin Barre has recorded three solo albums. Each of the 14 tracks on this, his third, features a different instrument — mandolin, bouzouki, and a variety of beautiful electric and acoustic guitars. But really that’s just a technicality, as it’s the quality of the music that counts to a listener, not who made the guitar or its history. Fortunately, Barre does not leave us lacking in that department. He covers a variety of styles, some of which would fit within Tull and many which would not. The Southern boogie of the opening track is one that would not, but he pulls it off with such flair that only a major snob could avoid enjoying it. At other times, the pieces could conceivably mesh with his main gig, and a good point is brought home: Barre’s contribution to the sound of Jethro Tull should not be underestimated, and not just in the lead parts, but in the arrangements and flow of the music as well. He gets ample backing from bass, keys and drums, but the guitars remain in charge. It’s a real joy to listen to the work of such a great craftsman who isn’t just interested in showing off his chops. He maintains a good balance between acoustic and electric tracks, with a few that blend both, either together or in shifts. I recommend this CD highly to Tull fans and connoisseurs of fine guitar playing everywhere.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 29, 2003 releases

Related artist(s): Martin Barre

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Strato Ensemble - Drawn Straws – Hovering somewhere between jazz-rock fusion and explorative electronic sounds, this group of improvisors is led by keyboardist Dean De Benedictis, who has already received great reviews in our pages...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues