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John McLaughlin

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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John McLaughlin The Heart of Things: Live In Paris album cover
4.44 | 17 ratings | 2 reviews | 47% 5 stars

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Live, released in 2000

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Seven Sisters (8:30)
2. Mother Tongues (12:57)
3. Fallen Angels (10:33)
4. Divide (16:41)
5. Tony (13:56)
6. Acid Jazz (14:53)

Line-up / Musicians

John McLaughlin/electric guitar
Gary Thomas/soprano & tenor saxophones
Otmaro Ruiz/keyboards
Matthew Garrison/bass
Dennis Chambers/drums
Victor Williams/percussion

Releases information

Verve 5435362

Thanks to Ricochet for the addition
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JOHN MCLAUGHLIN The Heart of Things: Live In Paris ratings distribution

(17 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(47%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (6%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN The Heart of Things: Live In Paris reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Ricochet
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is just another live concert, most surely selected out of a plejade of events, that finds its way towards the best recordings ever. To me, mostly, because it was among my first jazz experiences - or, rather, it was among my first grand jazz experience, those knocking you down for minutes and playing with your heart, besides with "the heart of things", like it would mean the most special and kind attraction ever. To a degree, there are more than ten McLaughlin various recordings, each easy to be called greatest or to be "also" named as a phenomenal performance. The Heart Of Things-Live In Paris, coming as a live experience for the previous studio album called The Heart Of Things (one not exquisite, but of the same length of music), is something profound and great.

Mainly the interesting draw of performance is one modern, ambient-color, moody-night frequenced and a bit pale in contrast to improvisation expectations. But the feeling breaks away whisks and risks of jazz, rock, groove and coolness. The brightest artist on the stage is Gary Thomas, on saxophones, though even more relaxed are the duo of drums and, given attention to the difference!, percussion, thanks to Dennis Chambers, respectively Victor Williams. John McLaughlin should not split by your attention whenever the moods gets on fiery craft rapid improvisations - not only a basic fascinating flavor in the concert, but the best of effects ever to imagine in the entire groove of nu-jazz and modern melody.

Seven Sisters starts swinging than grabs your soul's infinite pleasure. The speeding tempos will be something of a marvelous character in this performance, yet, for now, the attention is on the mix of moodiness and modalness, much like values having an air and an simplicity of a phenomenon, but sharing jazz culture, in fragments or little uprising specialties. The sax and the light-emerging piano bits are prior to every composed instrumentality, though the entire force also is given by the passionate and already-heated guitar lushes. Just for observations, the improvisation of this piece is not ahead of the passion and the exquisite free taste the music has; also the main theme is strong, but the improvisations are more interesting. The spirit is between poetical, urban and tad abstract. Mother Tongues start with an unpredictable rhythm, by which the percussion begins to be a must in the concert's outrun of strength and jazz magic. But the deeper stuff get to a saxophone sensationally expressive middle solo, plus to another uprise of tempo and dynamic that has fabulous groove. The piece is light, full of contrast or rather very unique in its compelling jazz-cream melt.

Fallen Angels is sad and slow (except the finale), but occasionally it jumps with lovely bites of tap and rhythm, or suddens a bit of color change. The saxophonist is definitely the artist around this half of the concert (if not in all of Heart Of Things), but interesting is also a bit of fashion and fluency from John McLaughlin, in a more hidden corner of both instrumental and purely sensitive interpretation. The piece gives changes and chances to slow-melodies on grave impulses and to low lights on lofty crafts. Interesting, despite clearly in a pace.

Entering the greatest half of the concert, Divide is well-reasoned a full pretentious jazz partitive play, with accents on all the sextet's value - and this not only leads to the usual solo honesty each artist can get throughout the piece, but mostly includes and realizes the strong character of a common improvisation, each with its own, each for the moment's solemn united gasp. Finally the best artists are Chambers and Williams, the middle-part is boogie-galore and smashing, upon other hard to imagine definitions of rough improvisation. With another moody and modern touch at hand, the actual taste is more refined and persuasive, dark (or at least gray) and full of sparks. Abstract rhythmed (and rhymed), by the juicy middle. Tony is jovially slow and expression, the only awaken interesting being the drums solo, one perfect, pronounced and palpitating. A fine contrast, worthy of free excitement, as much as the character of the interpretation is about as free as it can get. Acid Jazz is finally warm and generously craft, sometimes bursting in all the apex of the already known improvisation, sometimes doing even more nuances than such a late and final moment of jazz can be imagined. Good art, besides the music - something fitting the entire performance as well.

A sum of great feelings, modern improvisation and perfect robust jazz concert-takes. Always sounded great and challenging, always will.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars In 2009 ,after ground breaking "Five Peace Band" World Tour, double live album, recorded during that tour, was released. It refreshed interest to great figure of John McLaughlin once again. So it isn't strange, that someone could be interested in John's less known albums as well.

So, there we have live album, released just before "Five Peace Band" album was released ( I am speaking about list of John's live albums). But it happened nine years before.

From one hand, it isn't strange, that the music in both albums is different - nine years is big period of time in fusion and jazz. But it is a bit strange, that if on his live album of 2009 John McLaughlin plays electric fusion of 70-s and some almost acoustic jazz improvs scented by his electric guitar ( again - in style, more usual for 70-s). Here, on Paris concert recordings, music is much more modern!

Speaking briefly, McLaughlin plays electric contemporary jazz there, with some fusion elements. Musicians are great, and you can easily feel dreamy and romantic Paris atmosphere on this album. But ? according to genre's rules, sound is well rounded, even polished there, and you will hardly find characteristic John's electric fast and angular solos.

Plenty of keyboards are the sound basis, whenever guitar and sax interplays build the music body. Really very pleasant music, but ? too safe! No place for experimentation or harder moments, just great soundtrack to your September evening somewhere in small Paris club.

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