John Mclaughlin

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COMPOSERS: John Mclaughlin
LABELS: Verve
WORKS: The Promise
PERFORMER: John McLaughlin (ac, el g) & various guests
CATALOGUE NO: 529 828-2
A retrospective covering all aspects of the Yorkshire-born guitarist’s prodigiously eclectic output since the late Sixties, this album features a galaxy of stars – Al DiMeola, Sting, Jeff Beck, Michael Brecker – in loose but always cogent duos, trios and all-out group jams. McLaughlin himself points out that he ‘started off with classical then moved to Mississippi Delta blues, then flamenco, then jazz’. He might also have mentioned his fascination with Indian music. All these interests are represented, from no-holds-barred fusion guitar work à la the Mahavishnu Orchestra, through filigree Spanish acoustic playing and complex Indian-influenced work, to contemporary power-trio music with drummer Dennis Chambers and organist/trumpeter Joey DeFrancesco. The stellar guests aren’t always on their very best form (Beck being an exception), but overall this is an absorbing recording by one of the jazz world’s most original and virtuosic instrumentalists. Chris Parker

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