JOHN MCLAUGHLIN — John McLaughlin And The 4th Dimension ‎: Now Here This (review)

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN — John McLaughlin And The 4th Dimension ‎: Now Here This album cover Album · 2012 · Fusion Buy this album from MMA partners
2/5 ·
Abraxas
It's rather sad or dissapointing to realize that such great artists run out of fuel with time. It's the case of hundreds, many of the grand 60s and 70s rock bands suffered from it, and also jazz musicians (and equally happens to painters, film directors, etc)

Not everyone is a Picasso or, for jazz sake, a Miles Davis, that with each new stylistic period they turn things upside down and make something of their own.

John McLaughlin is one of my favourite guitarists, his early solo work that meandered through free jazz and psychedelia was superb, while with Mahavishnu and Shakti he was breathtaking. Then the mid 70s came... not everything was lost, but you could clearly notice territories being walked again.

And now we are in 2012. What happened? I'd say production values changed, what's the sound of those drums? He's hitting inflated bags. The keyboards are digital as if we were still in the 80s and buried in the mix. I don't know why, but John since Industrial Zen or maybe even before, decided to add a very artifical distorted sound to his guitar that sounds like.. emm.. samey? undistinguished? The bass is there, doing a billion things, slapping and complex lines, but it sounds like in those various 80s fusion albums that just don't have bite.

In definitive, unquestionably, you hear the talent and the experience of these guys, John is a legend. And no, this is not pop or commercial music, he didn't sell his soul to the devil. But still, I really don't notice where's John's mind and spirit in this. He's having fun, playing energetic fusion, but sounds like plastic, nothing much to digest or even taste.

This probably sounds more interesting live, where the drums have a warm sound, while the rest get a chance to improvise and free their minds. If you don't mind if John isn't doing anything remotely new and that the sound is probably the laziest use of 2000s technology, then check this out; he still has the chops.
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