John McLaughlin's first recording as a leader features the future innovator playing guitar in an English quartet. Although McLaughlin contributed all ten pieces, baritonist John Surman actually dominates this music, often swinging quite hard. The historically significant set, although a lesser-known item in McLaughlin's discography, is quite musical and enjoyable in its own right.
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.
Where Fortune Smiles is really a John Surman recording, but subsequent re-releases have passed the credit on to John McLaughlin (for obvious reasons). The music is similar to but more dense than Extrapolation. McLaughlin's raw sound was starting to take shape by this time and his impeccable chops are on full display. So too are those of the underrated vibraphonist Karl Berger and, of course, soprano saxophonist Surman. The foundation is held loosely in place by bassist Dave Holland and drummer Stu Martin. It's a challenging but interesting listen, especially given McLaughlin's later success and popularity.
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 Montreux Concerts Box Set contains a bounty of 17 CDs from the acclaimed jazz guitarist's all-star performances at the famous Swiss jazz festival, including performances with Carlos Santana, Paco De Lucia and his Mahavishnu Orchestra. This monumental compilation features all the artist's concerts at the Montreaux Jazz Festival spanning the years 1974 through 1999. Featuring Shakti in July 1976 & 1977 (three discs), John McLaughlin & The One Truth Band in July 1978, John McLaughlin & Chick Corea in July 1981, Mahavishnu Orchestra in July 1984 (two discs), John McLaughlin & Paco DeLucia in July 1987 (two discs), John McLaughlin & The Free Spirits in July 1993 & 1995 (three discs), John McLaughlin & The Heart Of Things in July 1998, & John McLaughlin & Remember Shakti in July 1999.
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…