327

John McLaughlin Trio: Live at the Royal Festival Hall

Walter Kolosky By

Sign in to view read count
John McLaughlin Trio: Live at the Royal Festival Hall Four long years had passed since McLaughlin's last record when JMT released Live at the Royal Festival Hall in 1990. The brilliant percussionist Trilok Gurtu, of Oregon fame, joined him—along with superb bassist Kai Eckhardt—to form an exciting band which was to exist in one form or another (with revolving bassists) for five more years. The mostly acoustic music which fills this album, augmented by electric bass and John's guitar synthesizer, is a mix of standard jazz, fusion and Indian-influenced rhythms and melody lines. The rhythms do tend to overwhelm the compositions, but to a degree that represents the signature mark of this particular band. That fact could also be because McLaughlin was making a comeback from a potentially career-threatening injury to his index finger, and thus found rhythmic playing easier to handle than extensive soloing. At any rate, the structure of the Trio is such that rhythm assumes as much of a role in the compositions as melodic themes. This unusual personality leads to many exciting and good-humored musical excursions. This band is fun to listen to because its members are clearly enjoying themselves.

A raucous crowd involves itself from the opening moments of "Blue In Green," to the percussive volcano "Mother Tongues," to the swinging "Blues for L.W". (Just a note about "Blues for L(ech) W(alesa)": this was one of the rare tunes that McLaughlin continually played over the years in all his different bands. In fact, he may have played it too much. This is its best performance on record, however).

Gurtu mesmerizes during an absolutely brilliant percussion break on "Mother Tongues." The resourceful player finds the center of the beat on every conceivable device, even endowing a bucket of water with melodic and rhythmic importance!

Several moments of musical hilarity ensue during the course of the concert, making it a worthwhile recording even if you don't entirely dig the style. The trio became stronger when Dominique DiPiazza replaced Eckhardt a year later (as on Que Alegria ), but you shouldn't kick this recording out of bed.

Related link: John McLaughlin Reviews @ All About Jazz .


Track Listing: Blue in Green; Just Ideas/Jozy; Florianapolis; Pasha's Love; Mother Tongues; Blues for L.W.

Personnel: John McLaughlin- guitar; Trilok Gurtu- percussion; Kai Eckhardt- fretless bass

Year Released: 1990 | Record Label: JMT Productions | Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock


Shop

More Articles

Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Michael Shrieve's Spellbinder" CD/LP/Track Review Michael Shrieve's Spellbinder
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 15, 2016
Read "Heartaches By The Number" CD/LP/Track Review Heartaches By The Number
by James Nadal
Published: May 13, 2016
Read "Alto Manhattan" CD/LP/Track Review Alto Manhattan
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 18, 2016
Read "Concentric Circles" CD/LP/Track Review Concentric Circles
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 30, 2016
Read "Parrhésie" CD/LP/Track Review Parrhésie
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 17, 2016
Read "Transparent Water" CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

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!

Buy it!