The truth be told, Where Fortune Smiles was not originally released under the leadership of John McLaughlin. Its reissue on CD with McLaughlin as leader seems to exist for marketing purposes only. The reissue notes indicate a 1971 recording date, but my memories of its original release on PYE Records suggest that it was recorded a year earlier. (However, memories can fade.) The other members of the quintetbassist Dave Holland, saxophonist John Surman (also on Extrapolation ), vibraphonist Karl Berger, and drummer Stu Martineach contribute equally to this outing.
The compositions, all by McLaughlin and Surman, have strong head arrangements that are not directly quoted in the free improvisations that follow. Fortune does not even hint at rock or fusion. Do not expect any of the usual clear themes, call and response playing, or unison lines. These differences, which may confound many McLaughlin fans, are also its greatest strengths.
Free jazz is what this release is all about. For listeners who don't normally immerse themselves in this sort of thing, it's a record that can be enjoyed only about once a year. But it remains a must-listen. Whoa! Listen...is that a quote which will later turn into "One Word" from Birds Of Fire ? Listen to McLaughlin's far-out guitar. Listen to Holland's resonating bass. Listen to Surman as he reveals things to come. Listen for a historical perspective on music which McLaughlin would later deliver.
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. After going through Rock 'n Roll, the Beatles and Heavy Metal/Hard Rock phases over the next eight or so years, I finally bought my first jazz album; We're All Together Again for the First Time by Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan. I was hooked on jazz, and still am 40+ years later.
I moved from England to the USA in 2002, and founded the Brookfield Jazz Society in 2005.
I became editor of the quarterly IAJRC Journalin 2012. The magazine goes to the worldwide membership of the IAJRC (International Association of Jazz Record Collectors) and many major libraries and educational establishments around the world.
As well as being the editor of the IAJRC Journal, I write about jazz and review CDs, vinyl, DVDs and books on jazz.
Login to your All About Jazz member account to submit articles and press releases, upload images, edit musician profiles, add events and business listings, communicate with other members via personal messages, submit inqueries or contribute any content.