Recorded in 1981, this is a diverse and somewhat obscure John McLaughlin outing recorded in France, mostly with French musicians. Classical pianist Katia Labeque makes appearances on acoustic piano and synthesizer; there is a thoughtful version of "Very Early" recorded in tribute to Bill Evans, and a collaboration with flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia, "Manitas d'Oro." In general, McLaughlin is in fine shape on this worthwhile set, both on acoustic and electric guitars, occasionally showing some fire.
Mahavishnu is an album by the Mahavishnu Orchestra, released in 1984 by Warner Bros. Records. During the 1980s, John McLaughlin reformed the Mahavishnu Orchestra for release of the two albums Mahavishnu and Adventures in Radioland. This band's overall sound was radically different from the original Mahavishnu Orchestra, in particular because of McLaughlin's extensive use of the Synclavier synthesiser system.
Two years after they recorded Friday Night in San Francisco, John McLaughlin, Al di Meola and Paco de Lucía reunited for another set of acoustic guitar trios, Passion, Grace and Fire, If this can be considered a guitar "battle" (some of the playing is ferocious and these speed demons do not let up too often), then the result is a three-way tie. This guitar summit lives up to its title.
Since John McLaughlin's first two post-Shakti albums – Electric Guitarist and Electric Dreams – featured the word "electric" in their titles, it seems that the guitarist wanted to emphasize his more plugged-in side to those who might not have followed along on three previous releases featuring his acoustic world music band. He also thumbed through his impressive phone book to call in some of the cream of the 1977 crop of jazz fusionists to help him out on Electric Guitarist, a true return to form. Ex-Mahavishnu members Jerry Goodman and Billy Cobham assist in kicking things off just like in the old days with "New York on My Mind," a tune that could have been an outtake from his earlier Mahavishnu Orchestra work.
In the early '70s John McLaughlin was one-third of the supergroup Lifetime with drummer Tony Williams and organist Larry Young. This particular CD from 1994 matches him with drummer Elvin Jones and organist Joey DeFrancesco, but the music has little in common with Lifetime. Instead many of the tunes can be considered to be tributes to John Coltrane; Jones's participation certainly reinforces that connection. McLaughlin, back on electric guitar after several years sticking almost exclusively to acoustic, is in top form on such numbers as "Take the Coltrane," "My Favorite Things," "Crescent," and "Afro Blue." The improvising is advanced and colorful with DeFrancesco keeping the proceedings swinging, and even if the results are not quite classic, the collaboration is somewhat unique.
At this point, it is easy to see that the John McLaughlin story has become a peripatetic journey of electric-acoustic switchbacks, with the formation of the One Truth Band that plays on this LP being just another short chapter in the saga. And this time, McLaughlin is thoroughly in charge: there is little of the competitive dueling or tightly drilled, high-volume unison lines of the past; it's the guitarist and his sidemen, although sometimes keyboardist Stu Goldberg steps out with some wicked chops. McLaughlin returns Miles Davis' favor of naming a piece on Bitches Brew after him by turning the tables, and indeed, "Miles Davis" often has the loose, jamming feeling (and a quote of "It's About That Time") of the maestro's own jazz-rock sessions.
The Trio of Doom was a short-lived jazz fusion power trio consisting of John McLaughlin on guitar, Jaco Pastorius on bass, and Tony Williams on drums. They were brought together by Columbia Records in 1979 to play the Havana Jam festival in Cuba alongside Billy Joel, Kris Kristofferson, Rita Coolidge, and others. Their only live performance was on March 3, 1979, and it is recorded on Ernesto Juan Castellanos's documentary Havana Jam '79. On March 8, 1979, the group reconvened in New York City to record the songs they had played live, but a dispute broke out between Pastorius and Williams. An album was released on June 26, 2007, on Legacy Recordings, containing five tracks from Havana Jam and five recorded in the studio.
John McLaughlin Montreux Concerts Box Set contains a bounty of 17 CDs from the acclaimed jazz guitarist's all-star performances at the famous Swiss jazz festival, including performances with Carlos Santana, Paco De Lucia and his Mahavishnu Orchestra. This monumental compilation features all the artist's concerts at the Montreaux Jazz Festival spanning the years 1974 through 1999. Featuring Shakti in July 1976 & 1977 (three discs), John McLaughlin & The One Truth Band in July 1978, John McLaughlin & Chick Corea in July 1981, Mahavishnu Orchestra in July 1984 (two discs), John McLaughlin & Paco DeLucia in July 1987 (two discs), John McLaughlin & The Free Spirits in July 1993 & 1995 (three discs), John McLaughlin & The Heart Of Things in July 1998, & John McLaughlin & Remember Shakti in July 1999.
John McLaughlin & Paco de Lucia: Paco and John - Live at Montreux 1987 it's truly a shame that, all too often, artists with diverse careers become pigeon-holed, defined by the primary genre in which they first achieved notoriety. Take guitarist John McLaughlin, for instance. Ask most jazz fans about him and what will first come out of most of their mouths will include either the words "fusion," "jazz-rock" and/or Miles Davis, in any permutation/combination (not that there's anything wrong with that). Those a little further in the know might also be aware of his longstanding investigation into the nexus of eastern and western music with his Indo-collaboration, Shakti.
This McLaughlin album is a rare limited edition French release - soundtrack to a limited edition film "Molom - A Legend Of Mongolia" . All this combination sounds a bit strange, so I almost missed that album. It could be a big mistake! Album contains 22 compositions, only around half of them is McLaughlin pieces, all others are original Mongolian folk songs played and recorded very tastefully, with all acoustic mysticism possible!