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John McLaughlin - Concerto for Guitar & Orchestra


John McLaughlin


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.67 | 18 ratings

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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.

octopus-4 | 4/5 |


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