John McLaughlin is a jewel among guitarists. After coming to prominence in Miles Davis’s experimental fusion bands of 1969/70, he became one of the early electric guitar superstars with his jazz-rock band Mahavishnu Orchestra in 1971. In the years since then his career has covered a broad range of styles and genres. As comfortable on acoustic as he is on electric guitar, John’s music ranges freely through mainstream jazz, Flamenco and traditional European classical music, but always returns to electric jazz-fusion. A major part of his work has been the development of his own style of jazz fused with Indian music, and he was one of the first musicians to work in the now established genre of World music. This updated and expanded third edition presents a commentary on John McLaughlin’s music through his recorded works. It provides an analysis of his unique style and his remarkable achievements in both performance and composition.
This new third edition has brought John’s work up-to-date, and was much assisted by his keyboard player, Gary Husband.
John McLaughlin:The Emerald Beyond – 3rd Edition by Ken Trethewey
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The following is an extract from John McLaughlin:The Emerald Beyond – 3rd Edition by Ken Trethewey:
John’s early guitar theme for Get Down and Sruti is a sophisticated animal, far grander than the rest on this disc. This is DNA not daffodils. It’s about being married, not just the wedding. Perhaps he didn’t see it that way, for the music doesn’t build on that, and moves away into simpler territory. At the end of the piece there’s another section of vocal percussion. It’s a strange, slightly schizophrenic piece. In contrast, Peace of Mind is an exquisite way to bring this lovely album to a close and is an excellent piece for hearing the magnificent instrument John is playing – his strumming of the drone strings interspersed between his wonderful melodies. The title of this one matches the music perfectly, and as the last notes die away, it’s one of those occasions when all but the hardest listeners utter a hugely contented “Ahhh…!”