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John McLaughlin - Electric Dreams CD (album) cover

ELECTRIC DREAMS

John McLaughlin

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.72 | 34 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

I was never quite sure what McL tried to do with his One Truth Band, given that the musician list playing on Electric Dreams being roughly the same (taken a few away) than his previous Electric Guitarist album. And if I thought Guitarist lacked any direction, the same can almost be said of Dreams (I think a good part of both albums come from the same sessions), and it is not the B&W artwork floating kitchen utensils photo that will make much a difference, but the tracks are less disparate in this one.

After an acoustic guitar/violin ditty, the album plunges into red-hot fusion batch that takes us to the Bitches Brew and MO days, aptly titled Miles Davis, but the following title track doesn't give a Fahrenheit of difference in terms of fusion heat, just slower and sounding more Weather Report, if you'll forget McL's Spano-Indian guitar in the closing section. The lengthy closer Desire is more in the Pastorius-era of Weather Report with this jazz-funk track taking its sweet time before finally settling in a groove

L&U opens the flipside, taking a while to build up, but once Narada starts singing, the track loses all interest (IMHO, but I never liked sung JR/F), even if buddy Carlos plays a few sliding lines. After the short dronal distortion of Singing Earth, Dark Prince develops more on the ultra-demonstrative RTF (Romantic Warrior-era) with all of the flaws as well as the pure virtuoso performances. The closing Unknown Dissident starts with an ambulance siren driving away, leaving a lost sax (Sanborn) looking for company over Rhodes lines, FretlessJaco-like runs and when finally finding McL's guitar in a syrupy slow jazz, it draws Uncounted Dividends being locked away in the safe in the outro, walking away and getting shot. Well that's my alibi and I'm sticking to it..

While not exactly an example of cohesive album, this is much better than the previous EG, but we're a far cry from the unity of MO albums. Nevermind those considerations, ED is a good jazz fusion album, a product of its time and this is still before McL's wish to investigate modern technology as he would with the horrible Synclavier. Last recommended stop in McL's solo discography.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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