Music is nature's language. What it is telling you is to shut up for once and listen.

 

Not that I have anything against bloody hippies, many times I was accused of being one. (Although I don’t wear white robes as it makes me look fat.)

 

 

You cant sell news stories that have data and cautious predictions. Where is the panic? Where is the impending doom? C'mon people , give me something to work with here…

    Opinions / Science / Theory of Relative Ignorance  
 

..and as I was a yuppy marketing and advertising executive for the better part
of a decade, I am not really impressed with stories of selling your soul to the devil...

    Art & Culture / Music / Blues / Robert Johnson  
   

John McLaughlin - Multicultured pick

John Mclaughlin is one those people I like to make fun of. White robes, beads, being one with some illusion of a universe and all in all very new-age even before there was new age and it was just called bloody hippies.
Not that I have anything against bloody hippies, many times I was accused of being one. (Although I don’t wear white robes as it makes me look fat.)

 
At the risk of sounding hopelessly romantic, love is the key element. I really love to play with different musicians who come from different cultural backgrounds. "
 

All in all I can say that I find a large part of Mclaughlin's work quite annoying and hardly listenable. I appreciate the spiritual journey he made with his guitar, and am always for creative outlets, exploring new dimensions in different cultures  and breaking known boundaries, but most of his work is way too 'out there' for me. Fusion is usually a very nice word and smells of intelligent process, but rarely makes good music.

 
 

On the other hand, the fact McLaughlin is a brilliant guitar player with amazing technique and a sensitive ear does produce pearls of notes which will resonate for years to come, just need to pick the right tracks to listen to.

 
Interplay and interaction are the integral parts of music - they're as important as the notes. "
 

Mclaughlin is known for two different sides of his work, the Mahavishnu orchestra and the famous Friday night in san-Francisco concert.  I will get the Mahavishnu part over with so I can get to the good stuff.

Mahavishnu orchestra was a monumental effort to combine Indian music with jazz and a dash of rock. If you are a guitar player, you should listen to it. If you go to meditation retreats, you should listen to it. If you smoke a lot of pot, you should listen to it.

 
The mathematics of rhythm are universal. They don't belong to any particular culture. "
 

Yes. I think I summed it up. The sad thing about this part of his musical career is that the only real album from that period that I really like and can relate to, both as guitarist and listener is the one he made with Carlos Santana. I guess that's because I like Santana.

And the is one of the conclusions I have come to while researching Mclaughlin over the years. He is great when he is playing with others. When he is not leading the way. Being a supporting actor is nothing to be ashamed of.

 
 
The moment you start to talk about playing music, you destroy music. It cannot be talked about. It can only be played, enjoyed and listened to. "
 

And this of course brings us to the fabulous, the amazing, the once in a lifetime, the gem , the diamond, the school of all acoustic guitar players – Friday night in san Francisco.

Together with Paco de Lucia, one of my all time idols on guitar, and Al de Meola, Mclaughlin shines, his technique reverberates, bounces of these two great guitarists and compliments the whole concert in a way no other guitarist could have done (and to prove the point the attempts to conjure up the same spirit in other arrangements with other players ended up in masticated second hand, second rate music)

Something in the combination of the three just worked perfectly, flowing, fast, energetic, powerful, harmonious.

My favorite track from that album, Mediterenian sundance is such an amazing feat of fantastic musical joy that it has put mclaughlin in my personal top guitar player list no matter what he did before or after. It was a lifetime of music summed up in six minutes of condensed cultural mix of beauty.

 
 

Love surrender http://youtu.be/7c9g7Gzg9Ew
Making music (Zakir Hussein) http://youtu.be/bfpgKLORWk0
Finding the way (SHAKTI) http://youtu.be/yrrBtAahALU
Mediterenian sundance hhttp://youtu.be/FWfKwzsSoFM