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536

Recordings by John McLaughlin

Walter Kolosky By

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Noted jazz critic Leonard Feather once called the English jazz guitarist John McLaughlin a chameleon. He did not mean it as a compliment. He believed that McLaughlin never developed a real musical identity, because he kept jumping into too many different musical worlds. Indeed, McLaughlin had written and played ragtime, rock, free jazz, modern jazz, fusion, world music, and even classical music. What the jazz traditionalist in Feather couldn't see at the time, however, was that McLaughlin was actually on a musical quest that would eventually garner him a place in the music pantheon.

In a career that has spanned over 40 years, McLaughlin has been part of or led some of the most important movements in jazz and music. In the 1960's he cut his teeth playing with Graham Bond and was a main cog in the revolutionary Tony Williams Lifetime. He met Miles Davis, recorded historic music with him, and earned stardom. In the 1970's he founded fusion's first super group, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, and created music that still has a unique influence today. McLaughlin then took a lower profile with Shakti, an Indo-Jazz ensemble that helped lead the way to the World Music movement. In the 1980's he got together with acoustic guitarists Al DiMeola and Paco DeLucia and produced a series of recordings that helped thousands of fans and players rediscover the beautiful sounds of the acoustic guitar. At the same time, McLaughlin was also at the forefront of technology, using the first guitar synthesizers. He wrote a guitar concerto, which he recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra. In the 1990's McLaughlin borrowed from all of these musical experiences to produce several outstanding albums and tour the world to packed houses.

What of John McLaughlin's actual guitar playing? Pat Metheny says McLaughlin has changed the evolution of the guitar at least three times, making him "one of the most significant figures in the modern history of the guitar." What of his jazz compositions? They are now being treated with the reverence of classical music pieces and being interpreted the world over by jazz, rock and classical musicians.

In his later years, Leonard Feather finally started to come around and gave McLaughlin some begrudging praise. With the bustle of reissue activity in the last few years, we are lucky to have almost all of John McLaughlin's recorded music available. And that allows us to see a big picture that may have eluded Feather.

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


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1969
John McLaughlin
Extrapolation
(Polydor 841598)
1970
John McLaughlin
My Goal's Beyond
(Knitting Factory 3010)
1971
Mahavishnu Orchestra
The Inner Mounting Flame
(Columbia/Legacy 65523)
1973
Mahavishnu Orchestra
Between Nothingness and Eternity
(Columbia 32766)
1974
Mahavishnu Orchestra
Apocalypse
(Columbia 46111)
1976
Mahavishnu Orchestra
Inner Worlds
(Columbia 52923)
1977
John McLaughlin and Shakti
Natural Elements
(Sony International 9178)
1978
John McLaughlin
Electric Guitarist
(Columbia 46110)
1981
John McLaughlin, Al DiMeola, Paco DeLucia
Friday Night in San Francisco
(Sony 65168)
1982
John McLaughlin, Al DiMeola, Paco DeLucia
Passion Grace & Fire
(Columbia CK 38645)
1984
Mahavishnu
Mahavishnu
(Wounded Bird 5190)
1990
John McLaughlin
The Mediterranean Concerto
(CBS MK 45578)
1992
John McLaughlin Trio
Que Alegria
(Verve 314 837 280-2)
1993
John McLaughlin and The Free Spirits
Tokyo Live
(Verve 314 521 870-2)
1996
John McLaughlin, Al DiMeola, Paco DeLucia
The Guitar Trio
(Verve 533215)
1997
John McLaughlin
The Heart of Things
(Verve 539153)
1999
Remember Shakti
Remember Shakti
(Verve 314 559 945-2)

2000
John McLaughlin and The Heart of Things
Live In Paris
(Verve 314 543 536-2)

2003
John McLaughlin
Thieves and Poets
(Verve 113702)











































1970
John McLaughlin
Where Fortune Smiles
(One Way OW 29312)
1970
John McLaughlin
Devotion
(Celluloid 5010)
1973
Mahavishnu Orchestra
Birds of Fire
(Columbia/Legacy 66081)
1973
John McLaughlin and Carlos Santana
Love, Devotion, Surrender
(Columbia 982830)
1975
Mahavishnu Orchestra
Visions of the Emerald Beyond
(Columbia CK 46867)
1976
Shakti with John McLaughlin
Shakti
(Sony International 9178)
1977
John McLaughlin and Shakti
A Handful of Beauty
(Tristar 80915)
1978
John McLaughlin with the One Truth Band
Electric Dreams
(Columbia 46110)
1982
John McLaughlin
Music Spoken Here
(Wounded Bird 3723)
1982
John McLaughlin
Belo Horizonte
(Wounded Bird 3619)
1987
John McLaughlin and Mahavishnu
Adventures in Radioland
(Verve 519397)
1990
John McLaughlin Trio
Live at The Royal Festival Hall
(JMT/Polygram 834436-2)
1993
John McLaughlin
Time Remembered: John McLaughlin Plays Bill Evans
(Verve 314 519 861-2)
1994
John McLaughlin
After the Rain
(Verve 527467)
1996
John McLaughlin
The Promise
(Verve 314 529 828-2)
1999 (1973)
Mahavishnu Orchestra
The Lost Trident Sessions
(Columbia/Legacy CK 65959)
2000
John McLaughlin and Remember Shakti
The Believer
(Verve 314 549 044-2)
2001
Remember Shakti
Saturday Night in Bombay
(Verve 014164)
2004
John McLaughlin
Montreux Concerts
(Warner 5046697012)



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