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John McLaughlin's American Farewell Tour with Jimmy Herring

Alan Bryson By

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Souvik shared this about the tour: "Jimmy's band is working to have a pool of 25 songs for the tour, also some new material, and they are keeping some surprises that they haven't been doing on the summer tour. John's set will be an hour with the 4th Dimension. The final set is going to be from all those great Mahavishnu albums, and they may venture out into the Miles Davis territory. All nine guys will be on stage and John wants it to sound like an orchestra." Jimmy is known for relentless dedication to practicing, and it appears he's stepped it up a notch for this upcoming tour. His wife shared a couple of photos of the solar eclipse with me and mentioned it was the only thing so far that had gotten Jimmy to take a break from practicing.

Souvik shared this about special guests: "Yes, people should expect surprises, and John wants to handle it himself... I have a very stong sense there's going to be a lot of surprises in a lot of places."

For jazz fans this tour will be special in another respect. Jimmy's friend Paul Hoffman of Pulse Lighting, who does Widespread Panic's lighting (and many others) will be on the tour. Souvik related: "Jimmy tells me this guy is the best of the best!"

I asked John if he would be willing to do one final concert with the tour in Europe and perhaps have it recorded by one of the European television stations to preserve a bit of musical history: "Oh I know, my agent is saying he knows a lot of Europeans who are calling him, but listen, if the Gods will it, then I'll be there. Everything right now depends on my hands, and if my hands are good, then I'll be there!"

So just like his song, there is still "Hope."

Let us indeed hope that John McLaughlin's arthritis is held in check and that he will continue to defy age. If you're in North America you don't want to miss this historic tour.

Photo credit: composite of two original photos by Pepe Gomes provided courtesy of Abstract Logix. Composite and effects by Alan Bryson

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