This week William Price King shares selected music from John McLaughlin, guitarist, bandleader and composer.
John McLaughlin is an English guitarist, bandleader, and composer. His music includes many genres of jazz combined with elements of rock, Indian classical music, Western classical music, flamenco, and blues. He is a pioneer of jazz fusion.
After contributing to several key British groups of the early 1960s, McLaughlin made Extrapolation, his first album as a bandleader, in 1969. He then moved to the U.S., where he played with Tony Williams’s group Lifetime and then with Miles Davis on his electric jazz-fusion albums In a Silent Way, Bitches Brew, Jack Johnson, and On the Corner. His 1970s electric band, the Mahavishnu Orchestra, performed a technically virtuosic and complex style of music that fused electric jazz and rock with Indian influences. Read more at : Wikipedia
Now time for some tracks from some of John McLoughlin’s albums.
“My Goal’s Beyond”, released on Douglas Records in 1971, is greatly influenced by Indian music and dedicated to Sri Chinmoy, McLaughlin’s spiritual guru. The first half of the album spotlights McLaughlin’s energetic acoustic guitar. There are three jazz standards and five original songs including the classic ‘Follow Your Heart.’ The second part of the album explores the intricate fusion of Indian rhythms, notably ‘Peace One’ and ‘Peace Two.’ The album features heavyweights Dave Liebman on flute and soprano saxophone; Billy Cobham on drums; and Jerry Goodman on violin. On Billboard’s Top 200 “My Goal’s Beyond” peaked at #194 and at #34 on their Jazz Albums Chart. Here is ‘Peace One‘ from the second part of the album.
To listen to the full album: Youtube
“The Inner Mounting Flame” was recorded by the jazz-rock fusion band Mahavishnu Orchestra and released on Columbia Records in 1971. All of the original material was written by McLaughlin. Though this album was influenced by jazz improvisation, it is the rock element that predominates, reminiscent of the electronic innovations of Jimi Hendrix.
McLaughlin’s post-Hendrix edgy guitar riffs on the double-necked electric guitar and Jerry Goodman’s virtuosity on the violin are outstanding, not to mention Billy Cobham’s hard-charging drums, whose jazz-trained technique became the standard for all rock drummers. This album was designed for young rock fans and was very popular in its day. On Billboard’s Jazz Album chart it reached #11 and on their Pop Albums Chart it peaked at #89. The Mahavishnu Orchestra consisted of John McLaughlin on guitar, Rick Laird on bass, Billy Cobham on drums, and Jan Hammer on keyboards and organ. Here is Meeting of the Spirits from the album.
To listen to the full album: Youtube
“Shakti”, released on Sony International in 1976, was recorded live at South Hampton College in New York State. This record presented a hybrid of jazz and far Eastern modes that helped set in motion the commercialization of ‘World Music’ by opening up the ears of many jazz-rock fans to sounds they had never heard before. « Shakti » created an amazing fusion with virtuosic guitar runs; unison playing among all the musicians; mesmerizing percussion duels between Hussain and Raghavan; and Shankar’s Far Eastern violin which matched McLaughlin’s guitar in call and response. All of this made « Shakti » one of the most exciting live albums around. “Shakti” peaked at #37 on Billboard’s Jazz Albums chart in 1976, and at #194 on Billboard’s Top 200.
“Friday Night in San Francisco” was recorded live by John McLaughlin, Al Di Meola, and Paco de Lucía at the Warfield Theatre on December 5, 1980, a musical event compared to that of Benny Goodman at Carnegie Hall in 1938 by critics. This album brings together three of the greatest guitarists at that time in a very relaxed and spontaneous performance, and has been considered one the most influential of all live acoustic guitar albums. This album is divided into three duo and two trio performances, filled with the fire and virtuoso that one expects from guitarists of this caliber at the peaks of their careers. The quality of the compositions and the sensitivity and dynamic variation coming from their performances stand out on this album and exemplifies the and artistry of these three great musicians. “Friday Night in San Francisco” peaked at #6 on Billboard’s Top Jazz Albums chart and #97 on Billboard’s Top 200 in 1981. Here is Mediterranean Sundance from the album.
You can listen to the full album here: Youtube
Buy the albums by John McLaughlin: Amazon US
And: Amazon UK
To find out more and check for tour dates: John McLaughlin Official Site
William Price King is an American jazz singer, crooner, and composer.
His interest in music began at an early age when he studied piano and clarinet in high school. At Morehouse College in Atlanta where he grew up, he sang in the Glee Club and studied classical music. After graduation he went off to the Yale School of Music where he earned a Masters degree. From there he journeyed to New York where he created a jazz trio ‘Au Naturel’ which performed in some of the hottest venues in Manhattan including gigs on Broadway and the famous ‘Rainbow Room.’ These gigs opened doors for performances in Montreal and a European tour.
While touring Europe he met a lovely French lady, Jeanne Maïstre, who, a year later became his wife. King left the group ‘Au Naturel’ and settled in the south of France where he started a new life on the French Riviera, opening his own music school – the “Price King Ecole Internationale de Chant.” He has had the pleasure over the years of seeing many of his students excel as singers on a professional level, and some going on to become national celebrities. He continues to coach young singers today, in his spare time.
His debut jazz album was entitled “Home,” and was a collection of contemporary compositions he composed, with lyrics written by his wife Jeanne King. His second album was a Duo (Voice and Guitar) with Eric Sempé on the guitar. This album included original songs as well as well known standards from contemporary jazz and pop artists. The “King-Sempé” duo toured France and thrilled audiences for more than three years before going their separate ways. King has formed a new duo with French/Greek guitarist Manolis, and is now exploring new ideas, in a smooth jazz/soul/folk direction.
In addition to singing and composing, King has been collaborating with author Sally Cronin over the past few years on her blog “Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life,” with the series “A Man And His Music – Jazz, Contemporary, Classical, and Legends” and now, the “William Price King Music Column.” Working with author Sally Cronin has been an exhilarating experience in many ways and has brought a new dimension to King’s creative life. King has also created a micro blog, “Improvisation,” which features and introduces mostly jazz artists from across the jazz spectrum who have made considerable contributions in the world of jazz; and also artwork from painters who have made their mark in the world of art. This micro blog can be found on Tumblr.
His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Tormé. King has a distinctive wide-ranging voice which displays a remarkable technical facility and emotional depth.
William Price King on Tumblr – IMPROVISATION – https://williampriceking.tumblr.com
Buy William’s music ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/william-price-king/id788678484
Connect with William
You can find all of the Music Column series in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-music-column/
Thanks for dropping in today and as always William looks forward to your feedback. Thanks Sally.