JOHN MCLAUGHLIN

Fusion / World Fusion / Third Stream / Post Bop / Avant-Garde Jazz / Jazz Related Soundtracks / Jazz Related Rock / Hard Bop • United Kingdom
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Born: January 4, 1942 Instrument: Guitar

John McLaughlin, also Mahavishnu John McLaughlin, is a jazz fusion guitar player from Doncaster, Yorkshire in England. He came to prominence with the electric group of Miles Davis in the late 1960s, and with other well- known players such as Chick Corea and Tony Williams.

Before moving to the United States, McLaughlin recorded Extrapolation (with Tony Oxley and John Surman) in 1969. The album showcased McLaughlin as a guitarist of great technical virtuosity, power, speed, and inventiveness (such as the ability to play in odd meters).

He moved to the United States in 1969 to join Tony Williams's group Lifetime. He subsequently played with Miles Davis on his landmark albums In A Silent Way, Bitches Brew (which has a track named after him), Big Fun (where he is featured soloist on “Go Ahead John”) and A Tribute to Jack Johnson. Davis paid tribute to
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JOHN MCLAUGHLIN Discography

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN albums / top albums

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN Extrapolation album cover 3.76 | 19 ratings
Extrapolation
Post Bop 1969
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN Devotion (aka Marbles) album cover 4.08 | 13 ratings
Devotion (aka Marbles)
Jazz Related Rock 1970
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN Where Fortune Smiles album cover 3.44 | 8 ratings
Where Fortune Smiles
Avant-Garde Jazz 1971
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN My Goal's Beyond album cover 3.32 | 10 ratings
My Goal's Beyond
World Fusion 1971
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN Electric Guitarist album cover 3.38 | 12 ratings
Electric Guitarist
Fusion 1978
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN Electric Dreams (With The One Truth Band) album cover 3.22 | 7 ratings
Electric Dreams (With The One Truth Band)
Fusion 1979
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN Belo Horizonte album cover 3.38 | 8 ratings
Belo Horizonte
Fusion 1981
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN Music Spoken Here album cover 3.88 | 4 ratings
Music Spoken Here
Fusion 1982
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN Passion, Grace & Fire (with Al Di Meola & Paco De Lucía) album cover 3.50 | 6 ratings
Passion, Grace & Fire (with Al Di Meola & Paco De Lucía)
World Fusion 1983
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN Adventures in Radioland (with Mahavishnu) album cover 3.96 | 4 ratings
Adventures in Radioland (with Mahavishnu)
Fusion 1986
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN Concerto For Guitar & Orchestra 3.70 | 5 ratings
Concerto For Guitar & Orchestra "The Mediterranean" / Duos For Guitar & Piano (with Katia Labèque / Tilson Thomas & London Symphony Orchestra)
Third Stream 1990
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN John McLaughlin Trio ‎: Qué Alegría album cover 4.03 | 7 ratings
John McLaughlin Trio ‎: Qué Alegría
Fusion 1992
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN Time Remembered: John McLaughlin Plays Bill Evans album cover 3.88 | 4 ratings
Time Remembered: John McLaughlin Plays Bill Evans
Third Stream 1993
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN After the Rain album cover 2.99 | 8 ratings
After the Rain
Hard Bop 1995
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN Molom - A Legend Of Mongolia (OST) album cover 2.50 | 2 ratings
Molom - A Legend Of Mongolia (OST)
Jazz Related Soundtracks 1995
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN The Promise album cover 3.82 | 11 ratings
The Promise
Fusion 1996
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN The Heart of Things album cover 4.20 | 5 ratings
The Heart of Things
Fusion 1997
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN Thieves and Poets album cover 3.25 | 9 ratings
Thieves and Poets
Third Stream 2003
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN Industrial Zen album cover 3.50 | 9 ratings
Industrial Zen
Fusion 2006
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN Floating Point album cover 3.38 | 7 ratings
Floating Point
Fusion 2008
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN John McLaughlin And The 4th Dimension ‎: To The One album cover 3.68 | 6 ratings
John McLaughlin And The 4th Dimension ‎: To The One
Fusion 2010
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN John McLaughlin And The 4th Dimension ‎: Now Here This album cover 2.57 | 5 ratings
John McLaughlin And The 4th Dimension ‎: Now Here This
Fusion 2012
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN John McLaughlin And The 4th Dimension ‎: Black Light album cover 4.00 | 6 ratings
John McLaughlin And The 4th Dimension ‎: Black Light
Fusion 2015
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN John McLaughlin, Shankar Mahadevan, Zakir Hussain : Is That So? album cover 2.55 | 2 ratings
John McLaughlin, Shankar Mahadevan, Zakir Hussain : Is That So?
World Fusion 2020

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN EPs & splits

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN live albums

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN John McLaughlin Trio ‎: Live At The Royal Festival Hall album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
John McLaughlin Trio ‎: Live At The Royal Festival Hall
Fusion 1990
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN The Free Spirits Featuring John McLaughlin - Tokyo Live album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
The Free Spirits Featuring John McLaughlin - Tokyo Live
Post Bop 1994
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN The Heart of Things: Live in Paris album cover 4.50 | 2 ratings
The Heart of Things: Live in Paris
Fusion 2000
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN John McLaughlin Montreux Concerts [Box set] album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
John McLaughlin Montreux Concerts [Box set]
Fusion 2003
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN Official Pirate: The Best of the American Tour 2007 album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Official Pirate: The Best of the American Tour 2007
Fusion 2007
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN Trio Of Doom (with Jaco Pastorius & Tony Williams) album cover 2.46 | 9 ratings
Trio Of Doom (with Jaco Pastorius & Tony Williams)
Fusion 2007
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN Five Peace Band Live (with Chick Corea) album cover 4.29 | 7 ratings
Five Peace Band Live (with Chick Corea)
Fusion 2009
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN (Ranjit Barot, Wayne Krantz etc) Abstract Logix Live! New Universe Music Festival 2010 album cover 4.02 | 3 ratings
(Ranjit Barot, Wayne Krantz etc) Abstract Logix Live! New Universe Music Festival 2010
Fusion 2011
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN John McLaughlin & The 4th Dimension : The Boston Record album cover 3.75 | 4 ratings
John McLaughlin & The 4th Dimension : The Boston Record
Fusion 2014
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN John McLaughlin & the 4th Dimension : Live @ Ronnie Scott's album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
John McLaughlin & the 4th Dimension : Live @ Ronnie Scott's
Fusion 2017
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN John McLaughlin & The 4th Dimension / Jimmy Herring & The Invisible Whip : Live in San Francisco album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
John McLaughlin & The 4th Dimension / Jimmy Herring & The Invisible Whip : Live in San Francisco
Fusion 2018
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN North Sea Jazz 1986 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
North Sea Jazz 1986
Fusion 2020

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN re-issues & compilations

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN In Retrospect album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
In Retrospect
Fusion 1974
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN The Best of John McLaughlin album cover 3.10 | 2 ratings
The Best of John McLaughlin
Fusion 1980
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN Greatest Hits album cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
Greatest Hits
Fusion 1990
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN Compact Jazz album cover 4.25 | 4 ratings
Compact Jazz
Fusion 1993
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN This Is Jazz album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
This Is Jazz
Fusion 1996
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN Friday Night In San Francisco / Passion Grace & Fire (with Al Di Meola / Paco De Lucía) album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Friday Night In San Francisco / Passion Grace & Fire (with Al Di Meola / Paco De Lucía)
World Fusion 1997
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN The Essential John McLaughlin album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
The Essential John McLaughlin
Fusion 2007
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN Original Album Classics album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Original Album Classics
Fusion 2007
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN Electric Guitarist / Electric Dreams album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Electric Guitarist / Electric Dreams
Fusion 2010

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN singles (0)

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
5.00 | 1 ratings
Meeting of the Spirits
Fusion 2003
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Gateway To Rhythm
Fusion 2007
.. Album Cover
4.00 | 1 ratings
Live @ Belgrade
Fusion 2008
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Meeting of the Minds
Fusion 2008
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
This Is The Way I Do It
Fusion 2010
.. Album Cover
4.05 | 2 ratings
Abstract Logix Live! / The New Universe Music Festival 2010
Fusion 2011

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN Reviews

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN Extrapolation

Album · 1969 · Post Bop
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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.

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN John McLaughlin, Shankar Mahadevan, Zakir Hussain : Is That So?

Album · 2020 · World Fusion
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snobb
Living legend English guitarist John McLaughlin is a man responsible for probably best ever recorded guitar fusion album. His early interest to Indian music (and culture in general)is well documented on "My Goal's Beyond"(1971) and more significantly on early Shakti albums which were again excellent examples of Indo-fusion.

Don't be fooled by the name though - the newest work, credited to McLaughlin as leader, "Is That So?", is not in the league of both above mentioned masterpieces.To be honest, "Is That So?" in reality is first of all vocal album of prolific Indian singer and films soundtrack composer Shankar Mahadevan. Being a cult figure in India, he's almost unknown in Western world, so crediting his album to McLaughlin as leader is understandable marketing trick for American label AbstractLogix,who released the album just a week ago.

Then,under the cover we have what we have. Shankar Mahadevan sings six lyrical songs,ballads of sort, under minimalist accompaniment of McLaughlin processed guitars and even more minimalist licks of another Indian,former Shakti tabla player Zakir Hussain.

Fortunately, all music doesn't sound as Bollywood soundtrack. It is more rooted to Indian traditional sound, but it is still first of all singer's album. McLaughlin guitars sound processed using computer,is liquid,rhythm-less and hardly differs from what could be produced using inexpensive synths. Tabla's soloing is most livable and most attractive element of all music, but we don't get a lot of it. Harmony-less Indian music without rhythmic component after some time sounds same again and again, at least for Westerner's ear.

Quite a weird release,it will hardly attract McLaughlin guitar work's fans or even Shakti early albums lovers. Maybe Shankar Mahadevan singing followers will find it interesting though.

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN Where Fortune Smiles

Album · 1971 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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J-Man
Though it is often regarded as an album recorded under the leadership of guitarist John McLaughlin, Where Fortune Smiles is more truthfully an equal collaboration between McLaughlin and saxophonist John Surman. Recorded in 1970 and released the following year, this is an ambitious free-jazz release that hardly resembles the style of fusion that McLaughlin is most renowned for. With its loose structure and dissonant melodies, Where Fortune Smiles may not be an album for everybody, but it's still an interesting purchase for curious jazz collectors.

As I've previously mentioned, Where Fortune Smiles should not be looked at as a John McLaughlin solo observation, and maybe even viewing it as a collaboration between McLaughlin and Surman is a bit unfair. Although all of the tracks are credited to the aforementioned musicians, the compositions are so loose in their structure that the direction of the music largely depends on where the soloist decides to take the piece and how bassist Dave Holland and drummer Stu Martin decide to hold the song together. It's a challenging listen for sure, especially if you're not well-versed in free jazz, but each track still has a distinct melody to latch onto. The solos are consistently enjoyable, with Karl Berger's frantic vibraphone work stealing the show for me. The man's playing is simply outstanding, and the other musicians deliver great performances as well.

Some of the tracks here - namely, "Glancing Backwards", "New Place, Old Place", and "Hope" - are totally off the wall jam sessions, but there are some more mellow tracks to break up the madness with "Earth Bound Hearts" and "Where Fortune Smiles". The former features some nice soloing from John Surman, and the latter has some great melodic playing from both John McLaughlin and Karl Berger. While I wouldn't call either of them particularly standout tracks, they serve as effective breaks from the dense and highly improvisational nature of the other tunes.

On the whole, it's a bit tough to recommend Where Fortune Smiles since it is such an improvisational and difficult listen, but I don't think avant-jazz aficionados would regret picking this one up at all. While I personally demand a bit more structure from my jazz music, I still found plenty to enjoy here. Where Fortune Smiles is a cool little album from a quintet that I wish recorded more material, and while it may not be essential, it's a nice bridge between free jazz, post-bop, and fusion.

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN John McLaughlin And The 4th Dimension ‎: Now Here This

Album · 2012 · Fusion
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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.

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN After the Rain

Album · 1995 · Hard Bop
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js
When “After the Rain” first came out in the mid 90s, its all-star lineup of McLaughlin, DeFrancesco and Elvin Jones certainly brought a lot of attention, especially since it was McLaughlin’s first jazz record in quite a while. The choice of tunes furthered interest as this looked to be bit of a Coltrane tribute with Trane’s great drummer, Elvin Jones, on board to boot. The playing from all three members is great, with Jones being somewhat subdued and Francesco stealing the show with lightning fast runs that pile on top of each other creating sheets of sound. Unfortunately though, the production and sound quality are rife with problems making this promising CD loose much of its potential.

By the time of this CD, much of the jazz world, including the new young acid jazz crowd as well as the equally new and young neo-bop crowd, had eschewed plastic digital electronics in their recordings and were aiming for a more real and gritty retro “Blue Note” type sound. Unfortunately McLaughlin didn’t get the memo and the sound of this CD is more suited for bland 80s fuzak, not hot aggressive hard bop. McLaughlin’s guitar sound is thin and overly processed and Elvin Jones drums are buried by a digitally enhanced high end cymbal sound. All three players are swamped with phony digital reverb and recording “plates” more suited for stadium rock bands, not small jazz combos.

Despite the production problems, there are some nice tunes on here. “Afro Blue”, with its rhythmic changeup, seems to inspire Joey and Johnny to some of their best solos and “Ecuentros” has some interesting exotic Spanish Phrygian chord progressions. Elsewhere on this CD, several bluesy numbers allow DeFrancesco to show that he is the new king of the Hammond B3.

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN Movies Reviews

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN Abstract Logix Live! / The New Universe Music Festival 2010

Movie · 2011 · Fusion
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
js
Abstract Logix’s New Universe Festival of 2010 was probably one of the more significant fusion concerts in recent history, and it is all captured in excellent form on this concert video. Many of the top names in current fusion are here and what a great varied and colorful approach they all bring to this music that will always be associated with its 70s roots. Ranjit Barot fuses fusion with Indian flavors and orchestral music, Human Element bring back the beautiful noise and chaos that has been absent since the early days of jazz-rock, Wayne Krantz takes on the modern NYC flavor with his harsh jarring free funk, Jimmy Herring plays sentimental, sometimes delicate, progressive rock flavored fusion, and of course the great John McLaughlin rounds it all up with high speed post bop mixed with funk and contemporary fusion. Every single performance is top notch and very convincing in letting us know that there is still plenty of life left in this sometimes maligned genre.

The music on here is great, but the video itself is even better. Its amazing how far concert videos have come over the years. This one is clear as a bell and features lots of accurate close-ups of the musicians as they display their virtuoso skills. They say that fusion is a musician’s music, if that is the case, then this video is a great learning tool for the aspiring player. Much of the footage on here goes right to the source and features the musician’s hands as they work their scales and fret boards. Any aspiring fusionist can pick up a lifetime of high speed licks and extended technique by studying this video and even stop-starting it it frame by frame. Long gone are the days of vague camera angles from way far away and pointless shots of musicians grimacing while they play, this video is all about accuracy and showing you exactly how this music goes down. This is a spirited and enthusiastic concert and highly recommended for fans of modern fusion.

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