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John McLaughlin - Where Fortune Smiles CD (album) cover

WHERE FORTUNE SMILES

John McLaughlin

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.10 | 16 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars I always had problems consider this a full-fledged McLaughlin album, it is more of an equal partnership between him and saxman Surman. And to be quite truthful, this album sticks out like a sore thumb in McLaughlin's discography as it is probably the closest thing he ever did to free-jazz. This superstar line-up comprises legendary Dave Holland, Surman and McLaughlin, drummer Stu Martin and German vibraphonist Karl Berger.

For those fearing the free jazz etiquette I gave just above, please do not. Yes, the album does have strong atonal or dissonant intervention, but we are still far away from Ornette Coleman and Pharoah Sanders or Keith Tippet's later 70's works. The improv taking place in the opening Glancing Backwards contrast strongly with the cool jazz of Earth Bound Hearts (awful transcription to Cd, BTW on the BGO label), while the title track is more of a solo of vibraphone Berger (amazingly on a Surman composition). New Place picks up where the opening track had left off and is quite homage to the later Coltrane (just before his death) and actually quite a stunner. Actually this track is one of my fave in the improvised free- jazz genre. The following Hope is another corker and the more accessible on the album as the improvs stay in more conventional canvas.

A rather difficult album, and not really recommended as an intro to McLaughlin's career, not even in the first ten album.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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