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John McLaughlin

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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John McLaughlin Floating Point album cover
3.76 | 23 ratings | 3 reviews | 35% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Abbaji (For Alla Rakha)
2. Raju
3. Maharina
4. Off the One
5. Voice
6. Inside Out
7. 1 4 U
8. Five Peace Band

Line-up / Musicians

- John McLaughlin / guitar
- Hadrien Feraud / electric bass
- Loiuz Banks / keyboards
- Ranjit Barot / drums
- Shashank, Sivamani / percussion

Special guests:
- Niladri Kumar / electric zitar
- Shankar Mahadevan / vocals
- U.Rajesh / electric mandolin
- Debashish Bhattacharya / Hindustani slide guitar
- Naveen Kumar / bamboo flute
- George Brooks / Soprano saxophone

Releases information

John has said Floating Point, "May be the best record I ever made."
For the album, which was recorded in India, McLaughlin used several of the best Indian musicians in the world. McLaughlin calls these players the "young lions" of India.

This is the second album John McLaughlin has released through the independent jazz and jazz fusion specialist label Abstract Logix

Thanks to dick heath for the addition
and to ProgLucky for the last updates
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JOHN MCLAUGHLIN Floating Point ratings distribution

(23 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(35%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (17%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN Floating Point reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Dick Heath
5 stars I've have been a keen fan of Indo jazz fusion after hearing, perhaps the first recording in the genre, Joe Harriott/John Mayer's Double Quintet's "Indo_Jazz Fusion", in 1966 or '67. Compare the music and ideas on that with those found on "Floating Point", and you should get a clear idea how the music has progressed and evolved in the intervening 40 years. Where once you had the exotic sound of a sitar or tabla, playing a westerner's idea of raga punctuating 60's modern jazz, you now have musicians from both western jazz and Indian traditional musics, coming together in more senses than one. A coming together, each having loved and absorbed both cultures' music, and now giving out a seamless hybrid of the two. You really don't need to ask the question: am I hearing jazz or raga?, since there is little to provide any clear demarcation- this is how I want it nowadays. Instead let the best fusion to arrive in quite some time, take you for 60 minutes plus into real grooving and novel pleasure.

McLaughlin is the master Indo-jazz fusionist, and with him are two Indian musicians on keyboards and drumkit who love jazz, creating music without borders, Loiuz Banks and Ranjit Barot, respectively. The young French bass guitarist, Hadrian Feraud and Indian percussionist Shashank Sivamani, completes the list of five who are the common denominators through the whole album. The challenge is to guest musicians (one western saxophonist, the others playing instruments associated with India, percussion, flutes, Indian slide guitar and electric(!) zitar (their spelling)), not to lose this subtle balance when making their often virtuoso contribution, and otherwise tip the fusion into straight Indian or straight jazz playing. They succeed and at the same time produce a music which is very fresh, exciting, and in no small way new to most listeners. One of several stand out tunes is 'The Voice', which shifts effortless in over boundaries, demanding you go back to absorb what you missed the first and then the second and x times of listening.

One minor moan is John McLaughlin's use of guitar synthesiser on a couple early tracks. To my ears whether Mac or Holdsworth or Metheny play the guitar synthesiser, the result sounding like a poor man's keyboards, or trumpet or whatever, leaves me wishing the guitarist played those bars sounding like a guitar. However, on the second hearing of "Floating Point" I stopped hearing the synth as something awkward to my ears, but rather integral to the whole.

McLaughlin is on record saying this the best recording he's made. I'm not sure whether I would got that far straightaway, but it has grabbed me like no other McLaughlin recording for over a decade, in way that the much praised "Industrial Zen" didn't. Equally I found the recently released "Miles From India", as a Indo-jazz fusion record, seemingly happy to stick with a 70's concept of Indo jazz fusion, "Floating Point" in comparison is cutting edge.

I also recommend the accompanying DVD John McLaughlin's "Meeting of the Minds" (the making of "Floating Point"), which gives plenty of insights into McLaughlin style of arrangement, production and cooperation with fellow musicians, building ideas to the point that a tune is then ready to be recorded.

One of my rare instant 5 star albums.

Review by Sean Trane
2 stars 2.5 stars really!!

McL's latest album has been awaited by many and the reviews were generally good, so I was not thinking I'd encounter such tedious album, and I'm glad I could rent it from my library system. Why this album received good critical acclaim is beyond me, unless critics love that awful Synclavier guitar of his. Exactly why McL keeps coming back with such a horrible appendice on his axe, one that takes all of his playing game's biting qualities, and make him sound like a sour puss and a wuss, is also well out of my comprehension.

You'd guess McL wanted to revisit his 80's work with this Floating Point, and its bland moot cosmic artwork resembling a WMP illustration. Sonically you could almost believe it, if it wasn't for the good drumming in some tracks (Raju, one of the few highlight), while it sounds like an ugly beatbox on others (The Voice). Overall, the mood is to cool fusion, but not one that would fit ECM, the instrumental (bar, you guessed it, The Voice) fusion that he makes with the usual suspects of late. One of the problem is that the tracks all hover around the same tonalities and that by the of the album you're pretty tired of it, especially once the most synthetic track of them all, 14U (one for you, I suppose) is simply attracting my fingers onto either the skip or eject buttons of the remote control. The last track is named after the touring band of late this year Five Peace Band that boasted a different line-up including Chick Corea, but it's not related at all musically, even if it is one of the better tracks of an album that you can easily do without.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars After a bit dangerous experiments with synthy sounds and unsuccesful sound modernisation on his previous album, McLaughlin there returned to indo-jazz fusion of his early works. The result is really better,than on previous album.

I am not sure, how many listeners really know, what indo-jazz fusion is. I just want to say that in fact it is same jazz fusion with some elements taken from Indian music. But don't be afraid to hear some soundtrack from Bollywood movie there.

In "Floating Point" you will find tastefull and intelligent mix of jazz fusion and deeply melted in it some oriental elements. Music if not innovative sounds fresh.

Album was recorded in India and beside McLaughlin local musicians participated. The result isn't a masterpiece, but at least fresh sound and hope that McLaughlin will return to form again.

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