Jazz Pioneer - guitarist John McLaughlin
He fell in love with a guitar when he was 11 years old, and this love affair continues to this day.
The legendary guitarist was born on January 4, 1942 in Yorkshire (England). His family has always loved music. Mother was a violinist, and John had been learning to play the piano since 9 years old. A little later he began to master the guitar and became interested in the blues, which at that time was at the peak of popularity. At age 14, McLaughlin became interested in flamenco and began to study this complex technical style. A few years later he became acquainted with jazz music.
John McLaughlin graduated from British rhythm and blues school. This is one of the most brilliant guitarists masterfully owning both acoustic and electric guitar, performing music from different directions - jazz, rock, blues. John likes to mix these styles, to combine the incompatible. For example, he connected flamenco with jazz, Indian national music with avant-garde.
As McLaughlin himself says, he was lucky that he had the opportunity to play with the great masters of each of the main musical styles,which helped him to better study different directions and influenced his work.
The first talented guitarist noticed Sir Miles Davis, it was thanks to him that John McLaughlin became famous.
John McLaughlin's first album was Extrapolation. He was recorded in the musician's homeland, in England, and became a famous event there. By the time he recorded his debut album, John had already become an experienced guitar player and had taught Jimmy Page himself. In the early 60s, McLaughlin was already Alexis Corner’s lead guitar. Three years before the album was released, the legendary guitarist joined the band, assembled by Jack Bruce.
My Goals Beyond (1970)
My Goals Beyond is the second solo and first acoustic album. The album includes covers of plays that, according to John, had a particularly strong influence on him. During this period, the guitarist met Miles Davis, and also met the Hindu preacher Sri Chinmoy, who became the teacher (guru) McLaughlin. John has always been interested in the culture and music of the East. This album highlights the track "Follow Your Heart."
The guitarist himself considers this album unsuccessful. But it's worth listening to it anyway.The album was recorded in the psychedelic fusion genre with Jimi Hendrix. In this collective improvisation McLaughlin's acoustics faded into the background, but he still came off in full. After the release of Devotion, John decided to create his own team and left alien, albeit great, groups.
The inner vounting flame (1971)
The inner vounting flame is the first record of John McLaughlin’s own band called Mahavishnu Orchestra. This name was given to the group on behalf of Mahavishnu ("Guardian of the Universe"), which was given to the guitarist by his friend and teacher Sri Chinmoy. In this album, the guitarist was finally able to present his style to the public - fusion, combining jazz and rock. After that, his team became one of the most advanced and famous rock bands. He brought its creator the glory of a virtuoso and master of musical meditations.
Love Devotion Surrender (1973)
Love Devotion Surrender is a joint work with Carlos Santana, who, like McLaughlin, was a student of Sri Chinmoy. The genre in which the album is recorded can be called the first post-rock. Many years later, in 2011, when Carlos and John McLaughlin decided to play it live at one of the concerts, the performance caused an unprecedented stir.
There are only three compositions in this album, created together with Indian virtuoso musicians. Even John’s guitar sounds like a mystical Indian sitar here.In this album, the talent of McLaughlin, capable of penetrating into the musical culture of another nation, was revealed to the full. The album has strengthened the glory of the group.
Trio of doom (1979-2007)
In the "Trio of Doom", besides John McLaughlin, such great musicians as bassist Jacquard Pastorius and drummer Tony Williams played. This band had a single concert in March 1979. The performance took place in Havana. The album was digitized only in 2007.
Saturday night in San Francisco (1981)
This is an album in which the magnificent flamenco music is combined with jazz variations. John, Paco de Lucia and Al Di Meola play with great inspiration. Such music is simply impossible not to love.
Guitarist John McLaughlin is proud and loves all his ever-created pieces. His whole creative life is a constant experiment.
John was married twice. The first time - in the French Kate Labek. She was a pianist and in the early 1980s she was part of his group. His second wife was Ina Behrend. Currently, John and Ina bring up two sons.