JOHN MCLAUGHLIN — Extrapolation

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JOHN MCLAUGHLIN - Extrapolation cover
3.76 | 18 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 1969

Filed under Post Bop
By JOHN MCLAUGHLIN

Tracklist

A1 Extrapolation 2:57
A2 It's Funny 4:25
A3 Arjen's Bag 4:25
A4 Pete The Poet 5:00
A5 This Is For Us To Share 3:30
B1 Spectrum 2:45
B2 Binky's Beam 7:05
B3 Really You Know 4:25
B4 Two For Two 3:45
B5 Peace Piece 1:50

Total Time: 40:40

Line-up/Musicians

Baritone Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone – John Surman
Bass – Brian Odges
Drums – Tony Oxley
Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Composed By – John McLaughlin

About this release

Marmalade – 608 007 (UK)

Thanks to Abraxas, snobb for the updates

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JOHN MCLAUGHLIN EXTRAPOLATION reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

js
John McLaughlin, much like his contemporary and sometimes band mate, Chick Corea, started his career with a very distinctive style, only to abandon that approach and tone things down for the rest of his career. Interesting to note that both were influenced by guru types when they changed their way of playing. “Extrapolation” is McLughlin’s first album as a leader and features a young guitarist willing to take crazy chances while plying with a fierce intensity that never totally returns on subsequent albums. Don’t get me wrong, John had many more great performances and recordings throughout the rest of his career, but he never again played with the freedom and abandon he does here. This McLaughlin has a rough approach that is both avant-garde and rootsy at the same time, especially compared to the po0lished sheen of many of his later albums.

The music on “Extrapolation” is all McLaughlin originals that combine bop, blues, free jazz, RnB and Indian music. Besides John, the next star of the show here is the versatile and energetic drumming of Tony Oxley, who is right at home playing anything from bluesy grooves to all out free onslaughts. John Surman’s gnarly baritone fit’s the gritty music perfectly as he adds his solos that combine RnB riffing with soaring free jazz. Brian Odges is an anchor on bass, and his well recorded input adds strength to the mix. Many of the tunes are very short and eclectic ranging from ballads to avant-garde bebop, but the best tracks are the longer ones where the band is given time to build their intensity. Listen to John’s intense note bends influenced by Indian music. Along with dropping the freer tonality, McLaughlin never recorded as much in that style again. Indian note bends have always been a part of his playing, but on this first album he merges this with a soulful blues flavor that adds so much bite to his solos. Some of John’s subsequent work with Miles Davis also features his earlier approach to the guitar.
Abraxas
John McLaughlin's 1969 solo debut, Extrapolation, shows the guitarist as one more of the many capable jazz guitarists of its time, his style had still not fully developed. Also noticeable in his playing in In a Silent Way, also from 1969, which is very subtle and there's no way one can anticipate the fiery style he would later develop.

However, the album is still surprisingly good, mainly because of the compositions which are exciting post-bop led by John's primitive jazz guitar style and the looser sax of John Surman.

What surprises me even more is the similarity between this rather rock-less session and the rock-headed British fusion band, Nucleus, and its debut, Elastic Rock from 1970. Both have a lot in common, the absence of distortion (or any other effects) in the guitar, the simple though memorable riffs, the extensive sax soloing and the active rhythm section. It makes Extrapolation look like an early fusion record, although it really isn't.

Free jazz influences are heard throughout Surman's sax playing, and McLaughlin's guitar style isn't safe either. But there's nothing on Extrapolation I would really call free jazz all through, it's in the edge I'd say, so fans of John and of post-bop can handle this album easily.

Extrapolation is overall a very enjoyable forgotten album led by a still developing McLaughlin who shows us his jazz roots.

It is in his second album, Devotion, where you can hear John experimenting with rock and his guitar is full of effects. But still, Extrapolation is an equally good, though very different, album to its successor. Recommended.

Members reviews

Sean Trane
As this album predates McLaughlin’s collaborations with miles Davis, do not expect that much of a jazz-rock album. Even if there are many promises in such an album such as John’s collaboration with his long-time friend and saxman Surman, and there are a few hints of his future powerhouse of guitar playing both in harshness, virtuoso and lightning speed, this album is actually reserved for real McLaughlin fans only unless a confirmed jazzman.

Although John was “toying” around with rock musicians for a couple years, John’s first real solo album (to my knowledge was a definitely and resolutely jazz album. While some tracks (the title track, the Coltrane-like Really You Know) are standard jazz, others (It’s Funny, the torrid pre-fusion Binky’s Dream, Two for Two) are more interesting in terms of progressiveness, other being almost interesting if it was not for major flaws (the useless drum solo in Pete The Poet)

One thing for sure is that the two John are really set out on experimenting and Surman’s forays in free jazz are just around the bend. Not that essential to understand McLaughlin’s role in the spectrum of the site, Extrapolation is nevertheless an important piece of Jazz’s puzzle.

Ratings only

  • lunarston
  • Fant0mas
  • Lock24
  • wthii
  • Lynx33
  • Boris Gargamel
  • Vano
  • chrijom
  • mzztrd
  • trinidadx13
  • darkprinceofjazz
  • Zarathustra
  • rigoboy
  • richby
  • harmonium.ro

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