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John McLaughlin - After The Rain CD (album) cover


John McLaughlin


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.62 | 20 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars Ace guitarist John McLaughlin gave his nimble fingers a well-earned rest for this session, recorded live in the studio over two days in October 1994. Joining him were Joey DeFrancesco on Hammond organ and the legendary Elvin Jones behind the drumkit: not exactly your typical power trio (note the lack of a bass player).

The performances, as you would expect, are above criticism: McLaughlin has rarely played a wrong note over his long and varied career, and his skills are evenly matched here against two seasoned veterans. But the music itself is hardly what anyone would call challenging, and likely wasn't meant to be. At its best the album offers little more than a reliably polite reading of various cocktail-lounge instrumentals, hard to appreciate without a tested jazz palate.

And the production isn't exactly ideal. The smooth-as-silk style of Elvin Jones' drumming favors a ride cymbal that tends to smother other frequencies in a steady hiss of white noise. And McLaughlin's electric guitar is often pushed into the background mix by his own somewhat muted audio settings.

In the end there isn't much to be said about a collection featuring a tune ("My Favorite Things") lifted from "The Sound of Music", maybe the high water mark of wide-screen Hollywood schmaltz. Fans who share McLaughlin's passion for pure jazz will find much to admire here, but anyone looking for something a little more cutting-edge is aiming for disappointment.

Neu!mann | 2/5 |


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