Guest Appearances: John McLaughlin as a Sideman
Jazz to the World was a 1995 Christmas charity record that is enjoyable during the holiday season. McLaughlin's old friend, Jim Beard, arranged and performs on keyboards with an over-dubbed acoustic McLaughlin on "O Come. O Come Emmanuel". It certainly is an enjoyable piece, and the two should be commended for their contribution.
Most recently, an old duet McLaughlin performed in the 1980's with Chick Corea has appeared on record, and a guest starring turn on guitarist Leni Stern's latest release has made its way to the public. This reviewer has not heard those tunes yet so can not pass judgement on their quality.
More times than not, John McLaughlin plays his own music. In several instances, he performs his own compositions with somebody else's band. The truth of it is that his greatest contributions to music have come from his early collaborations with Miles Davis and Tony Williams, and all of his own bands from The Mahavishnu Orchestra and Shakti to The Guitar Trio and the Free Spirits. His legend lives on in his consummate musical knowledge and prowess. And in that arena he is without equal on jazz guitar in the last quarter century. More and more musicians are beginning to acknowledge McLaughlin's influence. And many more musicians are influenced without their knowledge. It is, however, when McLaughlin devotes himself to interpreting "somebody else's" music that we realize how "different" he truly is. His playing is not standard fare. And his non-conformity sticks out, like a jagged rock, to this very day.
John McLaughlin @ All About Jazz