Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

475

John McLaughlin: Belo Horizonte

Walter Kolosky By

Sign in to view read count
Shame, shame, shame on Warner Brothers for not releasing 1981's Belo Horizonte on CD until more than 18 years after it went out of print! Belo's original claim to fame was that McLaughlin played acoustic and the rest of the band played electric—apparently a new technological breakthrough! (The fact was announced loudly by a big sticker on the outside of the record cover). Ironically, this claim remains actually quite dubious, as throughout much of the album everyone plays acoustic anyway!

With that marketing nonsense out of the way, Belo features some of the best compositions John McLaughlin has ever written. It also showcases some of the most unbelievable acoustic guitar playing ever put onto record. "Stardust On Your Sleeve" should be required listening for anyone who wants to know what a brilliant guitarist can do with his instrument. It is an outstanding piece that ranks among the higher moments of guitar history. This is not hyperbole. McLaughlin is literally able to bend time. Missing this tune would truly deprive you of a great pleasure in your life.

Tommy Campbell on drums and Katia LaBeque on piano and synthesizer both stand out from the crowd. On tunes ranging from the acoustic/electric Weather Report-like "One Melody" to the completely joyful "La Baleine," the pure sound of McLaughlin's guitar is a revelation and the presence of LaBeque gives the music a slight classical feel. Guest star Paco DeLucia joins in for good measure.

The Translators, as the band was to become known on the road, also included Francois Couturier on keyboards and Jean-Paul Celea on acoustic bass. Both have a strong European jazz following based upon their own releases, but here they clearly provide solid support. The joy that exuded from this band made its live performances among the most exciting of all of McLaughlin's bands over the years.

Wounded Bird Records has recently re-released Belo Horizonte. A thousand thanks should go out to that company for rescuing so many jazz-fusion classics.

Related link: John McLaughlin Reviews @ All About Jazz


Track Listing: Belo Horizonte; La Baleine; Very early; One Melody; Stardust on Uour Sleeve; Waltz for Katia; Zamfir; Manitas D'Oro

Personnel: John McLaughlin- guitar; Katia LaBeque- piano and synthesizers; Francois Couturier- Fender Rhodes; Jean-Paul Celea- acoustic bass; Paco De Lucia- guitar

Title: Belo Horizonte | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Wounded Bird Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Rain or Shine CD/LP/Track Review Rain or Shine
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Lighthouse CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Copenhagen Live 1964 CD/LP/Track Review Copenhagen Live 1964
by John Sharpe
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Somewhere Glimmer CD/LP/Track Review Somewhere Glimmer
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by John Sharpe
Published: December 14, 2017
Read I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert CD/LP/Track Review I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2017
Read "Which Craft?" CD/LP/Track Review Which Craft?
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 28, 2016
Read "Reflection" CD/LP/Track Review Reflection
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: January 14, 2017
Read "The Many Minds of Richie Cole" CD/LP/Track Review The Many Minds of Richie Cole
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: April 24, 2017
Read "Inspired by Nature" CD/LP/Track Review Inspired by Nature
by Ian Patterson
Published: July 14, 2017
Read "Seasons 1-4 Live" CD/LP/Track Review Seasons 1-4 Live
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: January 6, 2017
Read "Blue Maqams" CD/LP/Track Review Blue Maqams
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 3, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!