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John McLaughlin - Qué alegria CD (album) cover

QUÉ ALEGRIA

John McLaughlin

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.87 | 25 ratings

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Vibrationbaby
4 stars Always embracing new toys and technology, this pristine 1991 John McLaughlin recording accomodates many styles and is no doubt enhanced by the employment of a photon multi-interface guitar attachment. With two contrasting bass players, master drummer Trilok Gurtu (who brightens up any recording he shows up on) and with McLaughlin himself sounding energized and rejuvenated here complete with a suave new look on the CD cover with his spy who came out of the cold greatcoat and 5 o'clock shadow shave, this is a treat for fans of this musical chameleon and uninitiated alike.

Flamenco affections seem to be gone from McLaughlin's mind here with East Indian flavours dominating when he's not in more of a straight jazz mode, which is probably why he invited his buddy Trilok Gurtu to provide multitudes of extrinsic rhythms particularily on the second track, Baba, which is an all out Indo-blues rave up. Both bass players are given ample opportunity to solo demostrating their different methodology with Kai Eckhardt coming off with more funky Pastorious inspired affections while Domonique DiPiazza plays in a more straight form but really gets to shine on a unaccompanied bass composition entitled Marie. Both players really add to the overall exhuberance of this suprising McLaughlin work. As in the past, McLaughlin extends himself at times with his new toy especially on the upbeat, funked out 1 Nite Stand and the bluesy Highjacked but at the same time McLaughlin sounds as if he's been using the new stuff for eons.

McLaughlin sounds really fired up up here with valid well defined melodies and while an impression of intimacy hangs over the whole session it is nevertheless spacious and allows itself ample breathing room. The two extended tracks Mila Repa and Reincarnation are prime examples of this of this overall commodious aura. This jewel is without question one of McLaughlin's finest all round recordings both artistically and from a technological standpoint. Also a bit more pleasing and facile for those not familiar with McLaughlinn's restless musical excursions which are always morphing and diverting from album to album and essential listening for long-time aficiados. Superb.

Vibrationbaby | 4/5 |

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