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John McLaughlin - My Goals Beyond CD (album) cover

MY GOALS BEYOND

John McLaughlin

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Wonderfully rich and melodic session with John, Billy Cobham, Jerry Goodman, Charlie Haden, Airto Moreira and other greats. The music has an unabashed Indian sound but outshines that label beautifully with introspective, moody acoustic psych-jazz that goes between composed and spontaneous. A special recording by a special group of guys at a special time, this is one of McLaughlin's best projects and gets a bit lost in the shuffle but if you crave something that is at once both light and heavy, 'My Goals Beyond' is extremely satisfying.
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Posted Tuesday, October 24, 2006 | Review Permalink
Chris S
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Honorary Collaborator
3 stars JM again has an incredible back up for the release of My Goals Beyond. It is a good piece of work although I prefer Mahavishnu Orchestra's work. What it does portray is that JM was exploring numerous boundaries both spiritually and musically hence the direction he was taking. " Peace two" obviously the highpoint on the album. the rest of the album has pretty short songs and at times don't deliver enough direction wise.' Song For My Mother' and the Miles Davis ' Blue In Green' are great. Technically this album is flawless as one would expect from John McLaughlin and it is also quite revered by his fan base.Good 3 stars to prove it. There is no question he is a genius at work.
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Posted Wednesday, December 13, 2006 | Review Permalink
oliverstoned
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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars An underrated world jazzrock masterpiece. "Peace One" and "Peace Two" offer a fusion of Indian rhythms and drones with jazz flights from flutist/soprano saxophonist Dave Liebman. The mood is highly spiritual and ethereal all along the record with a sound richness and an intensity that will be hardly achieved on Mc Laughlin future works. The record features future Mahavishnu Orchestra band mates Billy Cobham and Jerry Goodman. Airto and Badal Roy also come along for the joyful ride. Violinist Goodman, in particular, makes some impressive interventions. An essential record from the mystic jazzrock genre.
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Posted Wednesday, February 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars One of the better McLaughlin albums, this one is all acoustic and has some of his best tracks. Peace One and Peace Two are both every good. His version of Goodbye Porkpie Hat is one of the best I've heard. Also, his original; Follow Your Heart, is a memorable piece. Highly recomenmded, McLaughlin proves with this album that he can play in more varied styles than his usual hard rocking jazz.
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Posted Wednesday, November 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
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Prog Folk
4 stars This would McLaughlin's last solo album before the release of Electric Guitarist in 78, as Mc will have two group projects, first the Mahavishnu Orchestra, then Shakti. And this album actually has some ramifications in both projects: MGIB is the album where McLaughlin meets violinist Jerry Goodman and drummer Billy Cobham (both members of MO) and most of the second side shows the tastes McL has for Indian music, something he will delve in with Shakti.

MGIB comes with a stellar cast of supporting musicians, but weirdly enough, he doesn't need them for the whole of the first side, as it is strictly acoustic and a solo performance (some Gong banging on two tracks). A series of 8 guitar pieces, half of which are covers of jazz giants such as Mingus, Corea and Miles interspaced with three original tracks, fill up the first half of the album and no matter how well executed, they are pretty well sleep-inducing, aside in the superb Song For My Mother (and profits for his guru ;-) and the excellent Phillip Lane, both being McLaughlin compositions, filled with fiery guitar lines; the third Follow Your Heart completing the podium.

The flipside is rather different (if you forget the Miles cover), with two lengthy tracks totalling almost 20 minutes, both of them delving into Indian classical music and driven by solid raga beats. The first piece of Peace (I know, toooo easy ;-)) is a killer track slowly evolving from an acoustic fusion jazz, where only Malahakshmi's sitar give an Indian sound at first, but the track slowly morphs into a raga (tabla drums slowly appears), with Liebman's flute adding a magic touch, soon relayed by Goodman's violin. By mid-track, the song had veered into a full-blown raga, but the musicians manage to return to the original acoustic jazz-fusion. The second instalment is almost as equally impressive, Liebman's saxello, Goodman's violins taking the forefront. In both tracks, McL could've added some fiery guitar lines, but chose to remain discreet.

As usual with McL's solo albums, MGIB is a bit of a pot-pourri, but certainly less so here than in later 70's solo ventures. Soon McL would take Cobham and Goodman with him and found one of jazz-rock's most stupendous JR/F groups Mahavishnu Orchestra over the next five years with two different line- ups. While I wouldn't call this album even close to essential, compared to MO's oeuvre, MGIB does merit its fourth star, principally on the strength of McL's compositions, crushing the covers, no matter from whom they are.

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Posted Wednesday, February 20, 2008 | Review Permalink

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