John Mayall is a pioneering English blues singer, songwriter, guitarist, keyboard player and harmonica player and is often referred to as the “Father of the British blues.” His well-known band is still called John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers and they started out in the late 1950s in England, using Chicago style blues as a starting basis for their sound, which has evolved from album to album. And while at one point John Mayall was playing a fairly jazzy sound, he has always come back to the blues.
One of the interesting features of the Bluesbreakers is that members have changed on a very regular basis, and many have gone on to well deserved fame and fortune with other bands and as solo acts. Past members include: Eric Clapton, and Jack Bruce, (also of Cream), Peter Green, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood, and Mick Taylor, (who went on to a five -year stint with the Stones.) The studio album recorded with Clapton, entitled John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers, was recorded in 1966, and is widely considered to be one of the great classic blues albums on either side of the stormy Atlantic. Cream came round right after.
John Mayall stands out for several reasons - his standing up for the blues, while experimenting with different approaches, his ability to attract the best of musicians; and perhaps most notably his willingness to work with musicians who far outshine him in sheer ability. And he himself sounds very good!