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John McLaughlin

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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John McLaughlin Live at the Royal Festival Hall album cover
4.43 | 21 ratings | 4 reviews | 48% 5 stars

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Live, released in 1990

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Blue in Green - (5:28) (M.Davis)
2. Just Ideas - (1:40) (M.Forman)
/ Jozy - (3:28) (J.McLaughlin)
3. Florianapolis - (14:35) (J.McLaughlin/M.Forman)
4. Pasha's Love - (7:16) (T.Gurtu)
5. Mother Tongues - (18:37) (J.McLaughlin)
6. Blues for L.W. - (8:25) (J.McLaughlin)

Line-up / Musicians

John McLaughlin - acoustic guitar,
Photon guitar synthesizer, voice
Kai Eckhardt-Karpeh - electric bass
Trilok Gurtu - percussion, voice

Releases information

Digitally recorded live at the Royal Festival Hall,
London, on November 27th, 1989.

LP/CD: JMT Productions JMT 834 436-1/2 (Germany)

Thanks to Aesh for the addition
and to snobb for the last updates
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JOHN MCLAUGHLIN Live at the Royal Festival Hall ratings distribution

(21 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(48%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(24%)
Good, but non-essential (29%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN Live at the Royal Festival Hall reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Ricochet
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars With John McLaughlin's Live At the Royal Festival Hall live grand album, a small token of an extensive tour he did in 1989/1990 with the JMTrio (including in a Zagreb days or weeks ahead of war), every listener gets something special prepared for him. This is actually one of my childhood jazz albums, but until recently I was way close-minded and jazz-offed as to observe how, though in a conservatory artistic way, this is a phenomenon. Maybe one only thanks to music, compared other equally flourish lives held by McLaughlin, nevertheless one definite. Searching an expression isn't exactly the big mood, since things are influenced by nothing but the masterful talent and inspiration of the artists, in front of a unpanicked experience. The last solid albums are far to remember, whether the questionable polish of a fusion bang (such as that of Music Spoken Here) or of the bits of pieces collectible, still, from the Mahavishnu straight essence; yet that counts in such a little manner. The time of this concert is fresh, it's "now" and it's for ever. The feeling, at least, is a bit more endless than the word itself is imagined.

John McLaughlin Trio featured on this tour the incredible Trilok Gurtu, par an impressionist in his percussion par an artist beyond his craft and dazzle, and Kai Eckhardt-Karpeh, a gifted soul. The trio continued music after this year, most profoundly coming the charming and aromatic release Que Alegria, a work, itself, good to light the fire and keep the jazz at a quality both traditional and spice-modern. Also playing in the album will be Dominique Di Piazza, who eventually will replace Eckhardt-Karpeh. The reason for a trio feeling, in Royal Festival Hall, is pretty much the basis for which the concert is highly successful and excellently drawn. Mirth craft by both an individual possessive interpretation and a long-forgotten strange accent, in order for the trio sound to be mystifying. In a credentialed way, Eckhardt-Karpeh doesn't have the shine of McLaughlin and Gurtu, but that doesn't change the music dramatically. The solos are, themselves, in a state of individual art and measured performance, since the detail is to captivate, barely to collapse. The trio definitely had good moments of music and jazz. But right in Royal Festival Hall, such words are pretty much simple nuances ; the records spins frantically the high impact, instead.

Interesting to note is the music's entire character, ultimate and indescribable, over a bit less granting idea that the concert is in a blissful context, or that the trio steams towards a perfect grace (in fact, the essence of the jazz art is what makes me believe so much that, except the San Francisco monument concert of McLaughlin, Di Meola and Lucia, I haven't heard a better live album with McLaughlin). Great moments acoustically happen with McLaughlin's Photon guitar, a craft hidden, of course, beneath the waves and the groove.

The vibes and emotions pick up from where the music is peaceful played or "sharpshooting" sojourned. Blue In Green, after M. Davis, is piquant, but syrupy artistic, serving a lounge music for a beginning treat. So are the next two pieces, worked after an essence by Forman, the shorter medley giving grace and power, while the other one is the example of stable art, in more or less subtle moves. Florianapolis is of a sought-after discrete grand play than of a purely exciting jazz arrangement. Mother Tongue is the grand piece of the evening, based on a language of jazz and form already acquainted, but much surrounded by special signs and, midst an improvisation of sound and shapes, having an incendiary solo by Gurtu. Blues For L.W. (easter-egg: Blues for Lech Walesa) is the ending gem, at first with sorrow guitars and lines of noteworthy slowness, finishing with an ecstatic original voice improvisation. Just like the crowd erupts and the refinement melts your jazz senses all the way, the whole album ends up being regarded as amazing and special.

Highly acclaimed without a sketch of a new impression (or with a sign that it loses down the old-churned pleasant admiration), the Royal Festival Hall John McLaughlin Trio concert holds more special its value, its jazz gift and, lastly to resound, its humble respect for music. The rest is between magic and a splashing grand memorable performance. Greatly recommended.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars McLaughlin's acoustic trio concert, recorded live in 1989 ( London's Royal Festival Hall). How you can expect from the place and band's line-up, this is chamber very acoustic recording. Great musicianship, fantastic McLaughlin acoustic guitar technique, Spanish and classic jazz influences. Very pleasant atmosphere. All musicians are great in their job.

But - it is one more album for limited acoustic guitar music lovers. And great album. Just you can't expect fusion or even more classic jazz there. Very characteristic sound , similar to McLaughlin/DiMeola/De Lucia acoustic albums ( happily there are great rhythm section on guitarist support, so common album's sound is more diverse).

Overall - great album for dedicated listener.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars This is actually an excellent album of John McLaughlin playing fusion primarily on acoustic guitar. It's nice to hear a musician of this caliber using an acoustic guitar to play something other than latin flavored jazz.

McLaughlin and sidemen Kai Eckhardt (on acoustic bass) and Trilok Gurtu (on percussion) start out slow (perhaps to warm up) with Miles Davis' Blue In Green. They then continue with a trio of pieces from the eighties Mahavishnu band. First a medley of Just Ideas and Jozy shows the trio gaining momentum. But things get hot with Florianopolis, expanded out to almost fifteen minutes. Both McLaughlin and Eckhardt stretch out completely on this tune, far exceeding the original version.

But the true highpoint of the set is Pasha's Love. This piece by Gurtu features amazing drumming and astounding licks for both guitar and bass. Mother Tongue another long piece is almost as good as the two preceding tracks, but not quite. And Blues For L.W. brings the set back for a peaceful conclusion.

One of the best acoustic fusion albums in my collection.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars A tour I saw but in Ann Arbor, Michigan with young Dominique Di Piazza in place of Kai Echhardt. This also my introduction to the person, style, and music of Trilock Gurtu--by whom I was simply blown away. At the same time, I was totally enamored of John's collaborative spirit--always giving his supporting musician exactly what they need for both space and support while still contributing HUGELY to the musical landscapes (and I don't just mean when he was soloing as the lead instrument). Plus, this was my introduction to the Indian Carnatic call-and-response "talk" language of musical expression--which I find thoroughly enjoyable, entertaining, and amazing--and which I was surprised to see and hear John's participation and even competency with! This recording is a collection of very nice songs that well capture the essence of the concert music, but the concert itself, of course, was so much more.

A great and essential time capsule of music from one of the essential and chameleonic shakers and movers of music over the past 60 years.

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