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John McLaughlin & Mahavishnu Orchestra LIVE at Jazz à Juan 1986

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Table of Contents

John McLaughlin & Mahavishnu Orchestra – Jazz à Juan 1986

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● Tracklist:

00:00:00 -Intro 00:01:55 – It’s Up To You 00:12:34 – Let the Juice Loose 00:19:43 – The Wall Will Fall 00:33:00 – Jozy 00:40:58 – Florianapolis 00:45:17 – Diana 00:53:03 – Living in the Crest of a Wave 01:02:13 – Flight of the Falcon

● Personnel:

John McLaughlin – guitar Bill Evans – tenor/soprano sax – Jim Beard – keyboards – Jonas Hellborg – bass – Danny Gottlieb – drums

Recorded at:

Live at Festival de #jazz d’Antibes (Jazz à Juan), Jaun-les-Pins, France, July 27, 1986

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John McLaughlin biography

Born 4th January 1942 in Kirk Sandall, Yorkshire, England.

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN is one of the most important jazz rock fusion musicians who goes back to the very beginning of the genre in the early 60s in England, was instrumental through Lifetime, Miles Davis’s seminal works and the Mahavishnu Orchestra in progressing the genre. With his latest album “Industrial Zen”, JOHN MCLAUGHLIN demonstrates he has still much to say and do in jazz rock innovation.

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN’s mother was a violinist, although JOHN starting learning piano from the age of 9 but within two years took up the guitar. At the end of the 50s, he was playing with Pete Douchar & His Professors of Ragtime. He then moved to London. He first came the British public’s attention in the mid 60s as a member of Georgie Fame’s Blues Flames, in what the BBC Four Jazz Britannia series, rather anachronistically, called ‘Britain’s formative jazz rock years’.

However, during this time JOHN MCLAUGHLIN was paying his dues and became a sought after session guitarist for pop recordings, while playing blues and jazz for pleasure, for instance recordings with blues harpist Duffy Powers and working with Alexis Korner. He joined the Graham Bond Organisation (with Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker), had a brief spell with Brian Auger’s Trinity.

British jazz by the mid to late 60s had begun to develop its own independent voice (rather than doing largely inferior USA jazz impressions). JOHN MCLAUGHLIN was first recognised to be a new innovative guitarist whilst working as part of Danny Thompson’s Trio, (their album “Trio Live 1967”, was not to be issued for several decades, however), for instance merging bebop and Wes Montgomery’s guitar style.

However, Montgomery was not the only influence; MCLAUGHLIN recently said: “I grew up in the 60s listening to the music of Coltrane and Miles. But even then, the music played with Georgie Fame was good R’n’B. The Graham Bond Organisation with Baker and Bruce was a powerful band pushing boundaries. When I went to the USA to join Tony in Lifetime it was crazy. We pushed at boundaries even more, didn’t we?”

In 1968, jazz in the UK took a major turn of direction moving from experimental, often free and/or atonal jazz, to take on board the energy and the electricity of rock – while many young jazz musicians were finding work doing sessions for rock musicians, in a flurry of cross-fertilisation.

In 1969, MCLAUGHLIN recorded the ground-breaking “Extrapolation” (with his group of Tony Oxley, Brian Odges and John Surman formed the year before) and Jack Bruce’s “Things We Like”, (although not released for some time after). “Extrapolation” in particular, showed what the world was to become familiar with in the 70s: power, speed and precision while playing unusual time signatures.

In the same year, at the recommendation of bassist Dave Holland, Miles Davis’s drummer Tony Williams rang from the USA asking MCLAUGHLIN to cross the Atlantic to join him and organist Larry Young, in what was to become a pioneering jazz rock group Lifetime. The double “Emergency” resulted, although it wasn’t until Jack Bruce joined on bass, and the album “Turn It Over” appeared, that the band started to reach beyond a handful of fans.

During May 1970 MCLAUGHLIN was joined in NewYork, by John Surman (saxes), Karl Berger (piano), Dave Holland (bass) and Stu Martin (drums) to record “Where Fortune Smiles”, an album which musically owed more to British straight jazz of the time, “Emergency ” had some influence on Miles Davis encouraging him to go electric and seek a wider audience.

MCLAUGHLIN as invited to play on Davis’s seminal, jazz rock/funk albums “In A Silent Way”, “Bitches Brew”,” Big Fun” and “A Tribute to Jack Johnson”. Then MCLAUGHLIN got a late call to join Davis for (what became very much later), the multi-CD set “Cellar Door Sessions”.

However, as is well known Davis’s producer Teo Macero edited the recordings down to the double set “Live Evil” released in the 70’s. With Davis’s recognition of MCLAUGHLIN with many guests live and recording appearances, and indeed naming tunes after him, JOHN MCLAUGHLIN’s reputation rapidly grew as the essential guitarist to have on board recording sessions: during the early 70’s recordings were with. Larry Coryell, Carla Bley (her 3 LP set “Escalator Over The Hill”) and many others.

Like many fellow guitarists, Jimi Hendrix’s appearance on the scene had had a major effect on MCLAUGHLIN. In 1970 Mitch Michell, (who had been in Georgie Fame’s band with JOHN, and also a serious Lifetime fan), invited MCLAUGHLIN to a New York recording session to meet Hendrix: unsurprisingly jamming resulted. Like of lot of Hendrix jams this impromptu session was recorded and eventually appeared in a semi-bootleg form.

MCLAUGHLIN’s “Devotion “reflects both Hendrix’s influence and some late period psychedelia applied to the electric jazz, playing with Larry Young (from Lifetime) and Buddy Miles (ex. Hendrix’s Band Of Gypsies). The eastern influence can be heard on a largely acoustic album “My Goal’s Beyond”, when MCLAUGHLIN first played with Billy Cobham, recorded in 1971.

Arguably the most popular of the second wave jazz rock bands, with respect to albums sales and concert audiences was the Mahavishnu Orchestra, which came into being late 1970. This featured violinist Jerry Goodman (MCLAUGHLIN’s first choice Jean-Luc Ponty was to appear in the second line-up), keyboardist Jan Hammer (subsequently Gayle Moran, then Stu Goldberg), bassist Rick Laird (followed by Ralphe Armstrong), and drummer Billy Cobham (then later Narada Michael Walden).

The band was respected by both the rock and jazz audiences for their technical virtuosity and complex fusion of jazz, eastern music and jazz rock, usually played at high speed involving both soloing from one of the three lead instruments, and more often complex interplay of the three as a trio.

In such a cauldron of experimentation, where individual brilliant talents produced a group synergism that exceeded the parts, then it was perhaps it is inevitable that eventual discord lead to a parting of the way of the original line-up, this after three very successful albums. “The Lost Trident Sessions” was to appear many years after, while it is known Columbia Records archives houses many unreleased live recording – the live 1971 Cleveland recording has been mastered for some time with the intention of release.

With the folding of the original Mahavishnu Orchestra, MCLAUGHLIN headed in quite a different and less frenetic direction with Shakti, one of the first popular Indo – jazz fusion bands (although John Mayer/John Harriott had released a couple of albums in the genre in the mid 60’s). MCLAUGHLIN was a follower of the guru Sri Chinmoy, as was Carlos Santana, leading to an album in 1973 “Love Devotion Surrender”; (tracks were later remixed by Bill Laswell on the album “Divine Light”). JOHN MCLAUGHLIN’s interest and use of other world musics has been broad.

In the early 80s and again in the 90s, McLaughlin worked with flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucía and Al Di Meola (Larry Coryell in some outings) as the Guitar Trio, playing what got to be known as “flamenco” or “Latin jazz fusion”. In recent times, he has toured with Remember Shakti, which may be suggested to be more Indian classical music and less jazz.

In part because of his partnership with classical pianist Katie Labecque, JOHN MCLAUGHLIN has written and performed a guitar concerto (“Mediterranean Concerto”) and most recently in 2003 wrote and recorded the ballet score, “Thieves and Poets”.

However, throughout the period between the split of the original line-up of Mahavishnu Orchestra and now, JOHN MCLAUGHLIN has worked on numerous jazz and jazz fusion projects as indicated by the discography below (for instance, we are promised a belated release of the Trio Of Doom’s – MCLAUGHLIN, Pastorius, Williams – late 70s recordings in the next year).

There have been a number of great line-ups that have not recorded in the recording studios, e.g. in 1978/9 my personal dream-line-up of the time, Cobham Bruce MCLAUGHLIN and Goldberg, 1986 MCLAUGHLIN and Jonas Hellborg as a duo. A sample of the range of musicians MCLAUGHLIN plays with and the variety of musics he plays can be heard on the monster CD set “The Montreaux Concerts” (2003).

He is a great believer in jazz rock fusion as a continuing innovative force of jazz, as illustrated by his latest recording “Industrial Zen”. He attracts the very best musicians to record with him (e.g. Michael Brecker, Jonas Hellborg, Jeff Beck, Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke) while always seeking new talent. A number of tributes have appeared covering the music of the bands MCLAUGHLIN has lead or been part of, reflecting the strength of the music: e.g. Mahvishnu Project, The Trio Beyond. JOHN MCLAUGHLIN is one of the most important guitarists of both the 20th and now the 21st Century, greatly regarded by all as a very versatile, influential and innovative musician.

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