A truly progressive artist John Martyn never stayed with a tried and trusted sound, preferring to explore, experiment and break new ground. His trademark melodies and lyrics are in a class of their own and his voice which is steeped in pleasure and pain, joy and fear and love and hate, expresses emotion like no other. Martyn's 1967 debut, London Conversation, was a collection of innocent songs that won praise from the music press and launched a career that spanned five decades. Sparkling 1968 follow-up The Tumbler was produced by Al Stewart and like its predecessor was again in the folk tradition but early jazz influences were evident (flautist Harold McNair guests), as were beautifully simple and touching lyrics in love songs such as "The River" and "Dusty." .