Bathed in Lightning: John McLaughlin, the 60s and the Emerald Beyond Colin Harper 480 Pages ISBN: 978-1908279514 Jawbone 2014 Few guitarists in the history of jazz have leapt onto the scene the way John McLaughlin did when the relatively new British expat made two very different appearances on albums by seminal American artists in 1969: first, with drummer Tony Williams' then-new group, Lifetime on the dense, intense and intentionally supersonically loud Emergency! (Polydor); and then on another groundbreaking but easier on the ears yet equally innovative recording, In a Silent Way (Columbia), the ...read more
Exclusive extract adapted from Bathed In Lightning: John McLaughlin, the 60s and the Emerald Beyond By Colin Harper. Published (UK and US) March 26, 2014 by Jawbone Press British jazz is awash with young talent which, given a healthy set of circumstances and a fair share of work, could produce a generation of outstanding musicians." --Bob Houston, Melody Maker, January 1967 As a job with security and prospects, being a jazz musician is just about on a par with shooting Niagara Falls in a barrel. Worse, in fact, because one of the greatest problems for ...read more
Ever since guitarist John McLaughlin formed the 4th Dimension--his first electric fusion band in a decade--fans have been hoping he'd dig a little further into his back catalog. The wait is over with The Boston Record, a live album recorded in 2013 at Boston's Berklee College of Music. This isn't 4th Dimension's first live album, though it is the first to feature the seven year-old group's current configuration. Ranjit Barot, first heard with McLaughlin on Floating Point (Abstract Logix, 2009), replaced drummer Mark Mondesir on Now Here This (Abstract Logix, 2013), and is as outrageously virtuosic as ever; ...read more
Without a doubt, guitarist John McLaughlin is one of the most adventurous, unique and engaging musicians ever to pick up an electric guitar. The acclaim that has come his way during his long and illustrious history is almost unparalleled, as he has explored every corner of music, from jazz fusion and classical to electronic and world music. He's got an imaginative range and multi-genre facility that still distinguish him among many of today's contemporary players. But he never rests on his laurels, as is evident on Now Here This, the follow-up to his tribute to saxophonist John Coltrane, To The ...read more
Shortly after completing a successful European tour with the 4th Dimension, guitarist John McLaughlin has some time to put his well-traveled feet up at his home in Monaco and reflect on the evolution of this band, its second CD, Now Here This (Abstract Logix, 2012), and the mysteries of live performance. Yet, just two days before this phone interview took place, the great Indian sitar player Ravi Shankar passed away at the age of 92, and it seems more than appropriate to begin the interview by asking McLaughlin to share his thoughts on his former teacher, guru and friend.read more
Guitarist John McLaughlin and his 4th Dimension group's studio debut, To The One (Abstract Logix, 2010), mined the past for inspiration. The spirit of saxophonist John Coltrane's A Love Supreme (Impulse!, 1965) drove McLaughlin's most charged electric playing in years, proving he'd lost none of his fire. Two years on, and McLaughlin's 4th Dimension returns another energetic set of strong compositions, less specifically inspired than To The One, but inspired nonetheless. McLaughlin's electric guitar and guitar-synthesizer swing between biting edge and a lyricism more in line with the sublime Floating Point (Abstract Logix, 2008). Ranjit Barot replaces ...read more
John McLaughlin & the 4th DimensionThe Keswick TheatreGlenside, PA 19038November 12, 2010 Guitarist John McLaughlin kicked off the US portion of his North American Tour Friday night in the Philadelphia area, at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside, PA. Whether you are a fan of fusion, blues, rock or strictly jazz, there is no disputing the talent that appeared on the stage in the form of McLaughlin and his band, The 4th Dimension. This tour, which promotes their recent album, To The One (Abstract Logix, 2010), will end mid-December in Berkley, California. McLaughlin was ...read more
Iconic guitar virtuoso John McLaughlin has released his most consistently engaging disc in years. What makes it so? Well, his band is the same kind of highly skilled fusion unit as on many McLaughlin dates--nothing new there. The main difference seems to be a renewed commitment to the art of songwriting. Much more care has been invested in these pieces and it shows. McLaughlin has always created thick jazz-funk grooves to improvise over; now, those grooves have real, singable melodies. This transforms them from mere jams into memorable songs.
McLaughlin himself attributes the music on this disc to two sources: ...read more
John McLaughlin and The 4th Dimension To The One Abstract Logix 2010 It's seems like a while since John McLaughlin recorded in such a stripped down context with a working band. Recordings such as Industrial Zen(Verve, 2006) and Floating Point (Abstract Logix, 2008) found the English guitarist in rich compositional form and displaying outstanding chops, but neither project led to the formation of a live band. McLaughlin has been molding the 4th Dimension into a formidable live unit since around mid 2008, so it is fitting that this latest ...read more
John McLaughlin and The 4th Dimension To The One Abstract Logix 2010 After two studio albums that fell into the category of special projects--the large-casted but surprisingly cohesive Industrial Zen (Verve, 2005) and synth-laden Floating Point (Abstract Logix, 2008), where the iconic guitarist flipped his past concerns of playing eastern music with a western sensibility by recruiting a largely Indian group to play some very western fusion--John McLaughlin finally rights a wrong with To The One. The Miles Davis alum and Mahavishnu Orchestra founder has been touring with an exciting group, The ...read more
From the psychedelic cover art to the expansive and innovative playing, Five Peace Band Live is a throwback to the great live albums Miles Davis made in the late-1960s-1970s, with some of the same musicians. Chick Corea and John McLaughlin actually met in 1969 during the recording sessions that would become the classic fusion albums In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew (both on Columbia). Thirty years later they play the title piece from the former on a tour in Europe. Keyboardist and fellow Miles album Herbie Hancock sits in with the band and the efforts of ...read more
John McLaughlin / Chick Corea Five Peace BandSalle Wilfred-Pelletier Montreal, Canada April 28, 2009
The chance to experience the evolution of a one-time group over the course of a single tour is a rare one. Even if a live album is released, it's more often than not recorded towards the end of the tour, capturing the group at its supposed best. For legendary artists Chick Corea and John McLaughlin, however, it's no surprise to expect the unexpected. The keyboardist and guitarist have been touring with their Five Peace Band since the fall ...read more
John McLaughlin and The 4th DimensionLive @ Belgrade Abstract Logix2009Fusion never really went away, but thanks to the efforts of two of its greatest innovators, it's been making a powerful comeback in recent years. Keyboard legend Chick Corea reunited with guitarist Al Di Meola, bassist Stanley Clarke and drummer Lenny White for a summer 2008 tour of fusion progenitor Return to Forever, that became one of the year's biggest successes, documented on the double-CD set Returns (Eagle Records, 2009). If that wasn't enough, he's followed up that tour by teaming with guitar ...read more
Superstar collaborations often look good on paper but don't pan out in reality, so it's a real pleasure to see that the pairing of two modern legends--keyboardist Chick Corea and guitarist John McLaughlin--is far more than some marketing representative's wet dream. Teaming with three younger players who add their own cachet--saxophonist Kenny Garrett, bassist Christian McBride and drummer Vinnie Colaiuta--Five Peace Band Live captures the group on the first leg of a nearly year-long tour, hot on the heels of Corea's much-lauded Return to Forever reunion, documented on Returns (Eagle Records, 2009). While FPB Live isn't as pedal-to-the metal fusion ...read more
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