Guitarist John McLaughlin, decades after his audacious late 1960s' stateside debut with Tony Williams and Miles Davis, has lost none of his power, virtuosity and visionas evidenced by this furious scramble from the new double-disc Abstract Logix Live 2010, to be issued on July 19.
The first to make any kind of coherent assimilation of the Jimi Hendrix guitar aesthetic, McLaughlin is underrated even today for his concurrent abilitybest showcased in the 1970s-era Mahavishnu Orchestrato use his backing group not as a typical head-solo jazz amalgam but as a layered, orchestral unit. They didn't stand there riffing beside one another, in the now staid tradition, but rather often playing as a combined force.
Recovery" quickly reacquaints us with both things, showing McLaughlin as both furious improviser and heady conductor. Appearing with his current working unit the 4th Dimension (bassist Etienne M'Bappe, keyboardist/drummer Gary Husband, drummer Mark Mondesier) and tabla player Zakir Hussain, a world-music legend, at the New Universe Festival last November in Raleigh, North Carolina, McLaughlin doesn't radically alter this key track from last year's return-to-form record To The One. He doesn't need to. Instead, McLaughlin continues to move forcefully away from a period in the 1980s and 1990s that saw him lose momentum through a series of uneven acoustic efforts and a sometimes empty exoticism.
If you forgot just how good McLaughlin was (and is), here's a energetic reminder.
I love jazz because it expresses things so deep that I can't transform in words.
I met John Pizzarelli.
The best show I ever attended was MASP in São Paulo Brazil.
The first jazz record I bought was a Baby Dodds CD.
My heroes on drums: Papa Jo Jones, Sid Catlett, Gene Krupa, Baby Dodds, Zutty Singleton, Ray Bauduc, Vernell Fournier,
Shelly Manne, Jimmy Cobb, Joe Morello, Daniel Humair, Kenny Clarke, Sonny Carr, Buddy Rich, Sam Woodyard, Cozy Cole,
Sonny Greer, Neil Peart, Carl Palmer, Tony Sbarbaro, Vic Berton, Edison Machado, Milton Banana, Rubens Barsotti.
My heroes in jazz: Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Chet Baker, Miles Davis, Ahmad Jamal, Coleman Hawkins, Teddy Wilson,
Barney Kessel, Lester Young, Johnny Hodges, Jelly Roll Morton.