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Oct19

John McLaughlin Talks Retirement, His North American Tour and the Late Paco de Lucía

Posted on Oct 19 by

« You know, musicians never die. They just decompose. So I’m on may way. » That’s John McLaughlin’s way of explaining his decision to retire from touring as he prepares for the start of his final North American run, The Meeting of the Spirits Tour with his band the 4th Dimension that begins Nov. 1 in Buffalo. McLaughlin isn’t quitting music, mind you; He just released a new album, Live @ Ronnie Scott’s. But the Mahavishnu Orchestra mastermind and band member for Miles Davis and Tony Williams Lifetime says simple aging has made it time to put the suitcases away. « God bless mother; I inherited music from her but I also inherited arthritis, so it’s creeping up on me, » McLaughlin tells Billboard. « I think one of the most catastrophic things that could happen would be to go on tour and have a really bad hair day where I’m not really able to play. That’s a nightmare for me. I don’t want to get confronted with that situation, so I told the guys in the band, and some months ago, that this...

Sep22

John McLaughlin & the 4th Dimension Live @ Ronnie Scott’s

Posted on Sep 22 by

Regardless of the setting, fusion jazz legend John McLaughlin possesses a unique ability to blow its roof off, no matter how subdued or dazzlingly fast he plays. Settled contently with his tight backing crew the 4th Dimension, McLaughlin leaves no one at the famed London venue Ronnie Scott’s disappointed thanks to his even blend of Mahavishnu Orchestra classics and newer tunes from his more recent efforts Now Here This and Black Light.   Read more >...

Sep19

John McLaughlin and the Elevation of the Musical Spirit

Posted on Sep 19 by

John McLaughlin, who both Pat Metheny and Jeff Beck have deemed the greatest guitarist we have, has released his latest album, Live at Ronnie Scott’s with his band, The 4th Dimension, and is preparing for a November US tour with guitarist Jimmy Herring and his band, The Invisible Whip. Each band will perform separately and then together in an event called “Meeting of the Spirits,” echoing McLaughlin’s jazz fusion roots with the legendary Mahavishnu Orchestra. But it might be a misnomer to call jazz-rock his roots, for McLaughlin began with R&B and rock and has widened the boundaries of classical Indian, flamenco, psychedelia and of course, the new direction jazz took when he performed with Miles Davis, including such musical paradigm shifts as Bitches Brew and Jack Johnson.   Read more...

Sep15

John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension: Live @ Ronnie’s review – heavy-hitting and formidable

Posted on Sep 15 by

Earlier this year, on a two-night stand at Ronnie Scott’s, the 75-year-old guitar giant John McLaughlin (Jeff Beck, Pat Metheny and Chick Corea are among his famous fans, but he has also been a key pioneer of Asian-western fusions) spliced new material from his 4th Dimension quartet’s 2015 Black Light album with reworkings of his classic 70s jazz-fusion themes . This heavy-hitting but almost as often thoughtful live set is the result. The 4th Dimension are pianist/drummer Gary Husband, bass guitarist Étienne Mbappé and east/west percussionist Ranjit Barot – McLaughlin’s formidable regular partners for a decade. The Mahavishnu Orchestra’s Meetings of the Spirits arrives as crashing power chords and galloping drum-work, but finally the theme’s famously brooding hook unleashes flying double-time improv from both McLaughlin and Husband. The recent Gaza City is slow-burningly lyrical, Sanctuary a mood-sustaining tone poem full of violin-like guitar entreaties. It’s a must for the gigs’ attendees, but also for all post-70s fusion fans, wherever they came in.   Read more...

Sep14

John McLaughlin Premieres « Sanctuary »

Posted on Sep 14 by

Jazz fusion guitar legend John McLaughlin and his band—the 4th Dimension—are set to release their new live album, Live @ Ronnie Scott’s, on Friday, September 15. Today, GuitarWorld.com presents the exclusive premiere of one of the album’s signature cuts, a beautiful version of the Mahavishnu Orchestra classic, « Sanctuary. » « The word Sanctuary is itself a powerful word. Every human being seeks sanctuary at some point in their lives. The word ‘sanctuary’ breathes peace, calm and place and time to restore well being, » said McLaughlin of the song.   read more >...

Sep11

[REVIEW] John McLaughlin And The 4th Dimension: Live At Ronnie Scott’s

Posted on Sep 11 by

Music has taken him and his guitar to some of the most exotic far reaches of the world, but Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club will always have a special place in John McLaughlin‘s heart. His mid-1960s time in the famous London venue’s house band was a key early step in his musical life, and he idly wonders « where would I be without them? » five decades later. No doubt he would still be a legend today; such boundless curiosity and imagination would have led him to some adventurous path one way or another. Nonetheless, this homecoming show of sorts provides the perfect occasion to celebrate a scorching group at the top of their game. Read more >...