John McLaughlin (musician)

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John McLaughlin (2008)

John McLaughlin [ dʒɒn məkˈlɒklɪn ] (born January 4, 1942 in Kirk Sandall in Yorkshire , England ) is a British musician. He works as a jazz and rock guitarist as well as a composer .

Live and act

John McLaughlin (1986)
John McLaughlin, Remember Shakti Concert, 2001
McLaughlin with Kenny Garrett and Vinnie Colaiuta ( Five Peace Band , 2008)

John McLaughlin initially worked in the blues rock area with Brian Auger and Georgie Fame . With Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce he played from 1963 in the Graham Bond Organization . In 1964/1965 he was part of Ray Ellington's quartet , but also accompanied the Four Tops and Wilson Pickett on their tours. In 1967 he was one of the Night timer of Herbie Goins . At the same time he made his first jazz experiences; he played with Ian Carr , John Stevens and Jeff Clyne and the double bass player Danny Thompson and the saxophonist Tony Roberts. After McLaughlin et al. a. Having become a member of the group of the German vibraphonist Gunter Hampel and having recorded his first solo LP ( "Extrapolation" ), he went to the USA at the invitation of the then Miles Davis bassist Dave Holland . There he first appeared on the important albums In A Silent Way and Bitches Brew by Miles Davis, who called him "the one, the killer". Even before the Bitches Brew recordings , he founded the trio Lifetime with former Davis drummer Tony Williams and organist Larry Young (Khalid Yasin) , whose first album was Emergency! was recorded in May 1969. In early 1970 Lifetime's second album Turn It Over (with Jack Bruce) was recorded, a month later the Miles Davis album A Tribute to Jack Johnson . McLaughlin also worked - like Bruce - on Carla Bley's seminal work Escalator over the Hill (recorded 1968-71). He was with Larry Coryell on his album Spaces (1969), with Miroslav Vitouš on his Infinite Search (1969). Jeff Beck , himself an exceptional guitarist, calls him the greatest guitarist alive.

Success came for John McLaughlin with his own Mahavishnu Orchestra , founded in 1971 , in which he played with Jerry Goodman , Jan Hammer , Billy Cobham & Rick Laird . The fusion of jazz and rock was groundbreaking for the fusion music (initiated by Miles Davis among others) in the early 1970s. In the Mahavishnu Orchestra McLaughlin (who in the meantime had renounced alcohol and other drugs under the influence of his Hindu guru Sri Chinmoy ) was able to fully develop his guitar technique and musical potential for the first time. After the dissolution of the first Mahavishnu Orchestra , a second Mahavishnu Orchestra followed with the French violinist Jean-Luc Ponty , the drummer Narada Michael Walden, the keyboardist Gayle Moran (now the wife of Chick Corea) and many others. He also made recordings with Carlos Santana .

The subsequent Shakti project with violinist L. Shankar and tabla player Zakir Hussain was a boost to the popularity of Indian music in the West, consisting solely of acoustic instruments and strongly oriented towards Indian classical music . They performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1976 and 1977 and formed again in 1999 under the name Remember Shakti , which resulted in several albums and another appearance in Montreux.

On December 5, 1980 (released 1981) he recorded the famous live album Friday Night in San Francisco with guitarists Al Di Meola and Paco de Lucía , which sold over two million times. In 1982 the studio album Passion, Grace & Fire followed , which can be counted among the classics of acoustic guitar recordings. In 1996 the studio album The Guitar Trio followed and a reunion tour with which they wanted to build on earlier successes.

The merger of John McLaughlin with drummer Dennis Chambers , whom he referred to in an interview as his “brother in arms” and with whom he had worked intensively since the mid-1990s, should also be mentioned. This is how the trio The Free Spirits came about with the Hammond organ virtuoso Joey DeFrancesco . In this formation they were guests at the Jazz Festival Montreux in 1993 and 1995 , including the Jazz à Vienne Festival , and recorded the album The Free Spirits - Tokyo Live . In 1997, the studio album The Heart Of Things was created , this time Dennis Chambers was allowed to support John McLaughlin's duets with saxophonist Gary Thomas , in 1998 also at the Montreux Jazz Festival .

In 2008 he toured with his old friend Chick Corea and the Five Peace Band and recorded a highly regarded live album that was released in 2009. This project included Kenny Garrett (saxophone), Christian McBride (bass) and Vinnie Colaiuta (drums).

Since 2009 John McLaughlin has been working with the musicians Gary Husband (keyb, dr), Ranjit Barot (dr) and Étienne M'Bappé (b) under the band project John McLaughlin & The 4th Dimension . The collaboration resulted in the studio releases To The One (2010), Now here This (2012) and Black Light (2015), as well as live releases such as Live @ Belgrade (DVD, 2009), The Boston Record (2014) and Live At Ronnie Scott's ( 2017). The band tours regularly such as B. 2011, 2012 and 2016 through Europe and 2014 and 2017 through the USA.

Prizes and awards

John McLaughlin was voted Jazz Guitarist of the Year seven times (1972, 1973, 1974, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995) by the readers of the world's top- selling jazz magazine, Down Beat , and twice by music critics (1992, 1995) .

On March 20, 2012 he was honored with the Frankfurt Music Prize; He was honored for a work which, in the opinion of the jury, "has always distinguished itself through respect and openness towards many other directions, forms of expression and cultures, and not through genre boundaries and dogmatism".

The Rolling Stone listed McLaughlin at number 68 of the 100 best guitarists of all time . In a list from 2003 he was ranked 49th.

In 2018 he received a Grammy for his solo improvisation in Miles Beyond on the album Live at Ronnie Scott’s .

Solo albums

  • Extrapolation , 1969, Polydor (with Tony Oxley and John Surman )
  • Where Fortune Smiles , 1970, Douglas / One Way (with Surman, Karl Berger , Dave Holland and Stu Martin )
  • My Goal's Beyond , 1970, Rykodisc
  • Devotion , 1970, Douglas
  • Electric Guitarist (with Carlos Santana, Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Billy Cobham, Jack Bruce), 1978, Columbia
  • Electric Dreams , 1979, Columbia with One Truth Band
  • Belo Horizonte , 1981, Warner Bros. (Reissue by Wounded Bird Records)
  • Music Spoken Here , 1982, Warner Bros. (Reissue by Wounded Bird Records)
  • Mediterranean Concerto (For Guitar and Orchestra, Live) , 1988, Columbia (Classical with the London Symphony Orchestra)
  • Live at the Royal Festival Hall , 1989, JMT
  • Que Alegria , 1991, Verve (DE: Gold in Jazz Award)
  • Time Remembered: John McLaughlin Plays Bill Evans , 1993, Verve
  • The Free Spirits - Tokyo Live , 1993, Polygram (with Joey DeFrancesco & Dennis Chambers)
  • After the Rain , 1994, Verve (with Joey DeFrancesco & Elvin Jones)
  • The Promise , 1995, Verve (with Sting, Jeff Beck, Al Di Meola, Paco De Lucia, David Sanborn, Dennis Chambers, Vinnie Colaiuta, Michael Brecker, Trilok Gurtu)
  • The Heart of Things , 1997, Verve (including Gary Thomas, Dennis Chambers)
  • The Heart of Things: Live in Paris , 2000, Polygram
  • Thieves And Poets , 2003, Verve
  • The Montreux Concerts , 2003, Warner Music (17-CD compilation with concert recordings between 1974 and 1996)
  • Industrial Zen , 2006, Abstract Logix (with Hadrien Feraud , Gary Husband , Bill Evans, Vinnie Colaiuta , Mark Mondesir , Tony Gray )
  • Floating Point , 2008, Abstract Logix (inter alia with Hadrien Feraud)
  • To the One , 2010, Abstract Logix (with Gary Husband, Étienne M'Bappé & Ranjit_Barot)
  • Now Here This , 2012 (with Gary Husband, Étienne M'Bappé & Ranjit Barot)
  • The Boston Record , 2014 Live - JM & The 4th Dimension (Gary Husband, Étienne M'Bappé & Ranjit Barot)
  • Black Light , 2015, Abstract Logix
  • Live at Ronnie Scott’s , 2017, Abstract Logix

With Mahavishnu Orchestra

  • The Inner Mounting Flame (Mahavishnu Orchestra I - Billy Cobham, Rick Laird, Jerry Goodman & Jan Hammer) (1971)
  • Birds of Fire (MO I) (1973)
  • Between Nothingness & Eternity (MO I) (1973, live)
  • Apocalypse (MO II - with Jean-Luc Ponty, Gayle Moran, Ralph Armstrong, Narada Michael Walden ...) (1974)
  • Visions of the Emerald Beyond (MO II) (1975)
  • Inner Worlds (MO II) (1976)
  • Mahavishnu (MO III - with Billy Cobham, Bill Evans, Jonas Hellborg, Mitchel Forman ) (1984)
  • Adventures in Radioland (MO III - Danny Gottlieb, Bill Evans, Jonas Hellborg, Mitchel Forman) (1986)
  • The Lost Trident Sessions (MO I) (1999, unreleased studio recordings from 1973)

Albums with Shakti

  • Shakti with John McLaughlin , Live Album, 1976, CBS
  • Natural Elements , 1977, CBS
  • A Handful of Beauty , 1976, Columbia
  • Remember Shakti , 1999, live album, Universal
  • Saturday Night in Bombay , Live Album, 2001, Universal

Community work

As a sideman

  • Experiments with Pops , Gordon Beck , 1968
  • Infinite Search ( Mountain in the Clouds ), Miroslav Vitous, 1969
  • Things We Like , Jack Bruce , 1970 (recorded 1968)
  • In a Silent Way , Miles Davis, 1969, Columbia
  • Super Nova , Wayne Shorter , 1969, Blue Note
  • Emergency! , Tony Williams Lifetime, 1969, Polydor
  • Bitches Brew , Miles Davis, 1970, Columbia
  • Turn It Over , Tony Williams Lifetime, 1970, Polydor
  • Follow Your Heart , Joe Farrell , 1970, CTI
  • Spaces , Larry Coryell, 1970, Vanguard
  • A Tribute to Jack Johnson , Miles Davis, 1971, Columbia
  • Escalator over the Hill , Carla Bley and Paul Haines, 1971, JCOA / WATT / ECM
  • One Man Dog , James Taylor, (Song: "Someone"), 1972, Warner Bros. Records Inc.
  • Moto Grosso Feio , Wayne Shorter, 1974, Blue Note (recorded 1970)
  • School Days , Stanley Clarke, 1976, Epic
  • The Alternative Man , Bill Evans , 1985, Blue Note
  • Round Midnight (Soundtrack) , 1986, Columbia
  • Other Side of Round Midnight , Dexter Gordon, 1986, Blue Note
  • Gladrags , Katia and Marielle Labèque , 1986, Angel
  • Making Music , Zakir Hussain , 1986, ECM
  • Aura , Miles Davis, 1989, Columbia
  • Love of Colors , Katia and Marielle Labèque, 1990, Columbia
  • Finally the Rain Has Come , Leni Stern , 2002, Leni Stern
  • Universal Syncopations , Miroslav Vitous, 2003, ECM
  • Is That So? , John McLaughlin, Shankar Mahadavian, Zakir Hussein, 2020

Guitars (selection)

  • Article about the electric double neck guitar "Double Rainbow" by Rex Bogue (actually Larel Rexford Bogue, 1951-1996) played by John McLaughlin from 1971 to 1975 .
  • The first (acoustic) “Shakti” guitar built by Abe Wechter with seven additional sympathetic strings (“drones”).
  • “Marielle”, nylon-string guitar with cutaway, like the one McLaughlin plays with the plectrum at his Mediterranean Concert .
  • “Our Lady”, the last guitar that Abe Wechter built for John McLaughlin so far.


Individual evidence

  1. ^ The one, the killer .
  2. Emergency! on Allmusic , accessed May 20, 2010
  3. ^ Power, Passion and Beauty, The Story Of The Legendary Mahavishnu Orchestra
  4. Light in the tunnel . In: Der Spiegel . No. 36 , 1972 ( online ). Quote: "And it rocks from pizzicato to electronic thunderstorms so intensely and dynamically that no record can reproduce this hail of notes without literally catapulting the tonearm out of the groove."
  5. Official Homepage. Musical Life, accessed July 26, 2016.
  6. ^ Down Beat Critics and Reader Polls. (English); Retrieved May 21, 2012
  7. Jazz guitarist John McLaughlin receives the Frankfurt Music Prize . Der Standard , January 21, 2012
  8. 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. Rolling Stone , December 18, 2015, accessed August 8, 2017 .
  9. 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time - David Fricke's Picks. Rolling Stone , December 2, 2010, accessed August 8, 2017 .
  10. ^ Gold / platinum database of the Federal Association of the Music Industry, accessed on June 25, 2016
  11. ^ Hannes Fricke: Myth guitar: history, interpreters, great hours. Reclam, Stuttgart 2013, ISBN 978-3-15-020279-1 , pp. 170 and 232.
  12. ^ Hannes Fricke: Myth guitar: history, interpreters, great hours. Reclam, Stuttgart 2013, ISBN 978-3-15-020279-1 , p. 169.

Web links

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