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John McLaughlin - The Essential John McLaughlin CD (album) cover

THE ESSENTIAL JOHN MCLAUGHLIN

John McLaughlin

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.03 | 3 ratings

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Dick Heath
Special Collaborator
Jazz-Rock Specialist
4 stars Unlike the recent Clapton release 'The Complete Eric Clapton', this particular McLaughlin compilation has clearly had some thought and effort put into the tracks selected. These have been taken from recordings from McLaughlin's long career whilst being sampled from a broad variety of recording labels. So the music is from the times John McLAughlin was part of the Graham Bond's Organisation through Lifetime, Miles, Mahavishnu to McLaughlin's latest album, 'Industrial Zen'. There are a very large number of musicians to be heard playing with McLaughlin: indeed a veritable who's who of the modern jazz scene. The liner notes are excellent by (Jaco Pastorius's biographer) Bill Milkowski, along with some pretty thorough details of the tracks used. What supports the feeling that effort has been putting into the compilation selection, is the apologies given for not being able to access certain tracks (because record labels didn't want to collaborate - shame on them, e.g. Extrapolation), whilst alternative versions have been found (a relatively unknown version of 'Arjen's Bag' when McLaughlin was part of a Joe Farrel Group). You move from McLaughlin the bebop player of the early 60's, to the innovative jazz rock fusionist of the 70's, to the Indo- jazz rock, flamenco/Latin jazz fusion and through to the modern day, and via the digression in to modern serious music. Perhaps though more tracks representing his output from the 90's might have been included. However, as a starter for a music fan who come this music for the first time and wants to hear why John McLaughlin is seen and heard as one of the best guitarists in world, this double CD is an excellent place to start.
Dick Heath | 4/5 |

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