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John McLaughlin - Devotion CD (album) cover


John McLaughlin


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.88 | 57 ratings

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Easy Money
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars This album will probably be categorized as jazz-fusion since it is a McLaughlin album, but psychedelic space-rock might better describe this album. Space rock with some blues and modern jazz influences to be more exact. If you are looking for something totally different by McLaughlin this might be a good place to look.

The big difference is the rhythm section, instead of the usual hyper players you would expect from a McLaughlin record you get the hard-rockin laid back groove of Buddy Miles and Billy Cox. I have heard that this was supposed to be a Hendrix session, but since he passed away the date was filled by McLaughlin. That would explain the presence of Cox and Miles, as well as Larry Young. Young had worked with McLaughlin before in several bands, but had just started working on some jams with Jimi in his last months.

Larry Young brings a lot to this project. Although he is capable of searing jazz runs, he adjusts his playing on this record to rich psychedelic bluesy chord clusters and shifting tone bar effects. He makes the perfect accompanimist and solo reply to McLaughlin throughout the record. The producers also add a lot of phase shifting and echo to the mix that gives the whole album a distictive early 70s sound.

Although a lot of the grooves are laid back, McLaughlin's playing really burns as usual, only this time his solos have more room to breathe. Another interesting thing about this album is that some of the melodies used here show up on later Mahavishnu records.

Easy Money | 4/5 |


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