Widely recognized as one of the most innovative and influential guitar players since the 1960s, John McLaughlin has forged a musical path that has seen him flirt with everything from hard rock to world music. A fusion player in the true sense of the word, McLaughlin continued his progressive stylistic synthesis on 2006's INDUSTRIAL ZEN. While the guitarist is also known for his meditative work (especially his experiments with Indian music), INDUSTRIAL ZEN is something of a return to the jazz fusion that marked McLaughlin's work with Miles Davis and his own group the Mahavishnu Orchestra. Drummer Dennis Chambers, saxophonist Bill Evans, and guitar virtuoso Eric Johnson, among others, are on hand to lend sparks to the icon's six-string wizardry.
Since the 1970's John McLaughlin's long career has always taken mysical turns, from the Mahavishnu Orchestra to Shakti. Here on "Industrial Zen", McLaughlin turns his well honed skills to Jazz fusion. He is joined by many names that brought power-house jazz fusion to the frontline during the '90's, including Bill Evans, Gary Husband, Mark Mondesir, Vinnie Colauta and Dennis Chambers as well as Texas guitar legend Eric Johnson.
“Playing and working with the same musicians in a band is a living process which unfolds as time goes by,” reflects guitarist, composer, and bandleader John McLaughlin when considering the release of his latest album, Black Light – the third studio album to feature his band, the 4th Dimension. Available via Abstract Logix on September 18, 2015, Black Light finds the relentlessly inquisitive, exploratory McLaughlin continuing to uncover new melodic and rhythmic pathways with the same fearless zeal that has made him one of modern music’s most admired and influential figures. And, in the 4th Dimension – drummer/vocalist Ranjit Barot, keyboardist/drummer Gary Husband, and bassist Étienne M’Bappé – McLaughlin has gathered a trio of fellow travelers with the collective discipline, technical ability, musicianship, and imagination to support, enhance, and enrich McLaughlin’s challengingly expansive new material and methods.
Chick Corea and John McLaughlin share one of the great pedigrees in the music of the 20th century: they were both key sidemen on Miles Davis' seminal albums In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew. They have played together since those heady days, as a duo or as sit-in guests. Five Peace Band was Corea's idea of putting together a dream band to play all kinds of jazz, and he approached McLaughlin. Corea chose the other members in saxophonist Kenny Garrett, drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, and bassist Christian McBride.
A household name since the early '70s, John McLaughlin was an innovative fusion guitarist when he led the Mahavishnu Orchestra and continued living up to his reputation as a phenomenal and consistently inquisitive player through the years. He started on guitar when he was 11 and was initially inspired by blues and swing players. John McLaughlin worked with David Bowie, Alexis Korner, Graham Bond, Ginger Baker, and others in the 1960s and played free jazz with Gunter Hampel for six months. His first album was a classic (1969's Extrapolation) and was followed by an obscurity for the Dawns label with John Surman, a quintet set with Larry Young (Devotion), and My Goals Beyond in 1970 which was half acoustic solos and half jams involving Indian musicians.
John McLaughlin & Paco de Lucia: Paco and John - Live at Montreux 1987 it's truly a shame that, all too often, artists with diverse careers become pigeon-holed, defined by the primary genre in which they first achieved notoriety. Take guitarist John McLaughlin, for instance. Ask most jazz fans about him and what will first come out of most of their mouths will include either the words "fusion," "jazz-rock" and/or Miles Davis, in any permutation/combination (not that there's anything wrong with that). Those a little further in the know might also be aware of his longstanding investigation into the nexus of eastern and western music with his Indo-collaboration, Shakti.
Two years after they recorded Friday Night in San Francisco, John McLaughlin, Al di Meola and Paco de Lucía reunited for another set of acoustic guitar trios, Passion, Grace and Fire, If this can be considered a guitar "battle" (some of the playing is ferocious and these speed demons do not let up too often), then the result is a three-way tie…