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!

306

John McLaughlin

Walter Kolosky By

Sign in to view read count
Few tasks are more daunting than picking just ten of a great jazz artist's albums for a library collection. Each record adds in its own way to the appreciation of any artist. But in the case of guitarist John McLaughlin (b. 1942), choosing representative albums is made an even more difficult chore because so many of his records run at odd angles to each other. He seems to change styles so often that just keeping track can be a daunting task.

This set of records spans thirty years and a huge variety of approaches. It's a fine place to start if you're curious about McLaughlin's many angles on improvised music. For more information and options, visit our special feature section devoted to the music of John McLaughlin.

Note: dates listed correspond to the original releases; catalog numbers represent currently available editions.

John McLaughlin
Extrapolation (Polydor, 1969)
The guitarist's first efforts as a leader led to a classic recording which showcased the musician's European jazz roots in a modern jazz vein.
Miles Davis
A Tribute To Jack Johnson (Columbia, 1970)
McLaughlin exploded onto the jazz scene with his ferocious playing on Miles Davis' 1970 record. The Jazz-blues-funk power chords McLaughlin unleashes on this recording still deserve attention.
John McLaughlin
My Goal's Beyond (Knitting Factory, 1970)
It's hard to believe the same man that blew the fuses on Davis' album quieted down and produced the truly remarkable acoustic My Goal's Beyond.
Mahavishnu Orchestra
The Inner Mounting Flame (Columbia/Legacy, 1971)
The Mahavishnu Orchestra came next with its debut album, The Inner Mounting Flame, which rocked both the jazz and popular music worlds. This was McLaughlin's true coming out party.
Shakti with John McLaughlin
Shakti (Sony International, 1976)
Shakti introduced yet another John McLaughlin, a musician who had immersed himself into Indian music. This record presented a hybrid of jazz and far eastern modes that literally helped introduce the world music movement.
John McLaughlin
Electric Guitarist (Columbia, 1978)
This record is noteworthy for the disparate styles and guest stars it featured.
John McLaughlin, Al DiMeola, Paco DeLucia
Friday Night in San Francisco(Sony, 1981)
The guitar trio's debut record was a live performance which revolutionized the way the acoustic guitar is viewed in the pop world. Its influence is still felt today.
John McLaughlin
After the Rain (Verve, 1994)
This organ trio with Joey DeFrancesco and Elvin Jones offered a significant showcase for McLaughlin to perform in a more straight-ahead jazz format. Many of these tunes are Coltrane compositions.
John McLaughlin and The Heart of Things
Live In Paris (Verve, 2000)
The Heart of Things showed the world that fusion music could still be exciting, and that Mr. McLaughlin was still its King.
Remember Shakti
Saturday Night in Bombay (Verve, 2001)
Coming almost full circle, this Remember Shakti album references the excitement of the Guitar Trio from 20 years earlier, as well as McLaughlin's approach to world music and jazz. It exemplifies how the guitarist continues to strive to incorporate all of his musical knowledge into a fresh outlook.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Evan Parker Building a Jazz Library Evan Parker
by John Eyles
Published: September 11, 2017
Read Forget Old Europe: 15 European Jazz Musicians You Need To Know About Building a Jazz Library Forget Old Europe: 15 European Jazz Musicians You Need To...
by Enrico Bettinello
Published: August 16, 2017
Read 15 Italian Jazz Musicians You Need To Know About Building a Jazz Library 15 Italian Jazz Musicians You Need To Know About
by Enrico Bettinello
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Derek Bailey Building a Jazz Library Derek Bailey
by John Eyles
Published: June 16, 2017
Read Jazz From Around the World: Asia Building a Jazz Library Jazz From Around the World: Asia
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: October 4, 2016
Read Jazz From Around the World: Africa Building a Jazz Library Jazz From Around the World: Africa
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: July 21, 2016
Read "Evan Parker" Building a Jazz Library Evan Parker
by John Eyles
Published: September 11, 2017
Read "Derek Bailey" Building a Jazz Library Derek Bailey
by John Eyles
Published: June 16, 2017
Read "Forget Old Europe: 15 European Jazz Musicians You Need To Know About" Building a Jazz Library Forget Old Europe: 15 European Jazz Musicians You Need To...
by Enrico Bettinello
Published: August 16, 2017
Read "15 Italian Jazz Musicians You Need To Know About" Building a Jazz Library 15 Italian Jazz Musicians You Need To Know About
by Enrico Bettinello
Published: June 23, 2017
Read "Thelonious Monk: Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960" Extended Analysis Thelonious Monk: Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: April 9, 2017
Read "Montreal International Jazz Festival 2017" In Pictures Montreal International Jazz Festival 2017
by Dave Kaufman
Published: July 12, 2017
Read "Rolling Stones From The Vault: Sticky Fingers Live at the Fonda Theatre 2015" DVD/Film Reviews Rolling Stones From The Vault: Sticky Fingers Live at the...
by Doug Collette
Published: September 30, 2017
Read "D'Vonne Lewis: It's About the Love" Interview D'Vonne Lewis: It's About the Love
by Paul Rauch
Published: December 22, 2016

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!