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Response to panader0 (Reply #10)

Wed Mar 30, 2016, 05:09 AM

12. Miles' "Right Off" from "Jack Johnson"

My first awareness of John McLaughlin came via the Mahavishnu Orchestra. In the days of "Inner Mounting Flame" and "Birds Of Fire," he hit the rock audience like an early Eddie Van Halen. No one had heard that kind of playing before. It was a King Crimson Wetton-Bruford era dynamic...while the spirit of collaboration and improvisation was clearly present, these were individual musicians who were also in a "take no prisoners" form of competition with each other. Or to give one more example, Buddy Guy's walk-on for Muddy Waters' "Champagne And Reefer" during the Stones' "Shine A Light" concert film. As one observer put it, it wasn't a jam session, it was a reckoning.

That said, I discovered McLaughlin's work with Miles after the original Mahavishnu was long gone. I own every note he played with Miles, all of the box sets for "Silent Way," "Bitches Brew" (the "Complete Sessions" AND "40th Anniversary" boxes), "On The Corner," "Cellar Door," all of the box sets AND the individual albums...every note.

But I think "Right Off" offers the best playing of McLaughlin's career, largely due to its simplicity and deadly precision. Every chord is like a karate chop, it has the same blues-rock punch as when BB King teamed with a seasoned band of rock musicians for his "Completely Well" album and just tore up everything in sight.

I also enjoy Miles' "noise trilogy"..."Dark Magus," "Pangaea," and "Agharta." In all of those album-side length cacophonous explorations, there were jaw-dropping moments of clarity that reached out of the murk and grabbed you. Then there's the 30-minute "He Loved Him Madly" from "Get Up With It." There's just so much to discover in his catalog, more than people who think they don't like jazz could imagine.

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a kennedy Mar 2016 OP
jaysunb Mar 2016 #1
PasadenaTrudy Mar 2016 #2
sakabatou Apr 2016 #23
Sanity Claws Mar 2016 #3
hobbit709 Mar 2016 #13
grasswire Mar 2016 #4
panader0 Mar 2016 #5
Joe Shlabotnik Mar 2016 #7
panader0 Mar 2016 #8
callous taoboy Mar 2016 #17
Miles Archer Mar 2016 #9
panader0 Mar 2016 #10
LineLineLineLineReply Miles' "Right Off" from "Jack Johnson"
Miles Archer Mar 2016 #12
Codeine Apr 2016 #36
ghostsinthemachine Mar 2016 #6
cliffordu Mar 2016 #11
callous taoboy Mar 2016 #18
ProfessorGAC Apr 2016 #32
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panader0 Apr 2016 #37
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