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CONCERTO FOR GUITAR & ORCHESTRA "THE MEDITERRANEAN"

John McLaughlin

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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John McLaughlin Concerto for Guitar & Orchestra
3.64 | 7 ratings | 3 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Live, released in 1990

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. I. - Rhythmic - (11:58)
2. II. - Slow & Sad - (15:34)
3. III. - Animato - (8:36)

Duos with Katia Labeque:
4. Brise de Coeur - (7:45)
5. Montana - (4:28)
6. Two Sisters - (3:53)
7. Until Such Time - (4:29)
8. Zakir - (4:13)

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

John McLaughlin - acoustic guitar, composer.
On tracks 1-3 add: London Symphony Orchestra;
Michael Tilson Thomas - conductor;
Michael Gibbs - orchestrator.
On tracks 4-8 add: Katia Labeque - Yamaha Piano
and MIDI Grand Piano.
Guitars by Abraham Wechter.

Releases information


Tracks 1-3 recorded at CTS Studios in Middlesex, England, 1988.
Tracks 4-8 recorded at Studio Davout in Paris, France, 1988.
Produced by Steven Epstein & John McLaughlin (tracks 4-8 only).

Thanks to Aesh for the addition
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Mediterranean ConcertoMediterranean Concerto
Sony 1990
Audio CD$19.89
$2.54 (used)

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JOHN MCLAUGHLIN Concerto for Guitar & Orchestra "The Mediterranean" ratings distribution


3.64
(7 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
0%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(57%)
57%
Good, but non-essential (29%)
29%
Collectors/fans only (14%)
14%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN Concerto for Guitar & Orchestra "The Mediterranean" reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Tapfret
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Mahavishnu, an orchestra and a classical pianist

Sub-genre: Jazz/Rock Fusion (Artist category only, the album is primarily orchestral)
For Fans of: Grandiose symphonies and guitar piano duets
Vocal Style: None, Instrumental
Guitar Style: Classical
Keyboard Style: 5 songs with piano and electric piano
Percussion Style: Orchestral
Bass Style: None
Other Instruments: Everything the London Symphony Orchestra plays

Summary: We are typically treated to outrageous Jazz/Rock riffs and runs from John McLaughlin with his solo work and Mahavisnu Orchestra days. This is a very different direction in which he plays as soloist on classical guitar backed by the London Symphony Orchestra on his composition, The Mediterranean. JM effectively captures the moods of the Western world's most famous body of water with a trio of orchestral pieces. One can well imagine sailing up and down the Spanish, French, Italian and Greek coastlines while listening to the variations of the composition. The orchestra at times makes JM's guitar fairly inaudible, but the mix is for the most part very friendly to the subdued tones of the classical guitar. Most of the areas where the classical guitar is drowned out are areas that would not fit the classical guitar's softness. The Mediterranean is presented in 3 movements and spans 36 minutes of the disc. The last 5 tracks are classical guitar and piano duets with pianist Katia Labeque. These songs are not completely without the occasional Jazz feel to them, but are for the most part classical duets. All five are in contrast to the rambunctious nature of The Mediterranean, very soft with slight variations into frantic runs. This part of the album is great music for having the in-laws over for dinner and fine wine to prove that their daughter did not marry into un-refinement. The only questionable part of these songs is Montana, which is steeped in 80's style Midi piano rather than the natural grand piano of the other 4 pieces. It is otherwise a very soft, relaxed set of songs.

Final Score: This is a beautiful set from John McLaughlin, particularly the duets. While not a progressive or Jazz/Rock album, it is none the less a quality work from a musician that we are once again reminded is not just a monster player, but a genius composer. 4 stars.

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Send comments to Tapfret (BETA) | Report this review (#150999) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, November 15, 2007

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
4 stars As the title says, this is a Concerto. The guitar has to be intended as classical guitar and the first 3 tracks are the movements of a guitar concerto. It's classical music like Keith emerson's Piano concerto n.1, but while the Emerson's suite was inspired to the modern Russian composers like Stravinskij, this one is very Mediterranean. The guitar sounds Spanish and probably was influenced by his collaboration with Paco de Lucia. The orchestral parts can remind to "Concierto por Aranjuez" in the arrangement or to Ravel. This is where it's different from Emerson. Piano concerto was mainly a fusion of prog piano and symphonic music. This is pure classical.

So no jazz-rock fusion here. This is a great piece of modern classical music. Of course some jazzy passages pop up here and there in the guitar parts.

After this "symphony", half of the album is gone. The remaining five tracks are made of piano and guitar. Without the orchestra the jazzy elements are more evident, but as counterpart, John plays less notes. I mean that while in the orchestral suite he plays a lot of quick "legatos" like he does on Friday Night in SF, on those duets he plays more like a classical player.

As result, this second part of the album has a newage taste. Luckily not so newage to be boring.

A particular mention for Katia Labeque. Her piano playing is excellent. I don't know anything of this artist, but she really impressed me.

I won't rate this album 5 stars only because it's not exactly "progressive", but it's an excellent album full of good music which can stay in every collection.

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Send comments to octopus-4 (BETA) | Report this review (#288875) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, July 02, 2010

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
3 stars I would have enjoyed this album much more if McLaughlin had just stuck to classical works. But let's discuss the good parts first.

The main focus of the album is The Mediterranean, McLaughlin's concerto for guitar and orchestra. McLaughlin's primary influence to my ear is not the obvious Rodrigo, but Aaron Copland. McLaughlin's compositional style here often features sweeping grandiose crescendos, giving much of the piece an epic movie soundtrack feel. The first movement, Rhythmic is easily the best, rivalling the last movement of Keith Emerson's piano concerto for energetic orchestration. The second movement, Slow & Sad, defies it's title with a cool Stravinsky-like diversion toward the end. Only the last movement, Animato, disappoints. It's not bad, but the title suggests something more animated than what we are given.

And McLaughlin's guitar playing is just astounding throughout the piece.

4 stars for the concerto.

The remainder of the album is filled up with duets between McLauglin on guitar and Katia Lebeque's piano. And filler it is. The five pieces are by no means classical. Perhaps they could be called jazz. But really, they most closely resemble new age. While McLaughlin provides some nice guitar work from time to time, the compositions, if they are such, are so drab as to bore this listener completely. It's too bad Montana isn't about dental floss farming with a pygmy pony.

2 stars (at most) for the duets.

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Send comments to Evolver (BETA) | Report this review (#293021) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, August 01, 2010

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