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John McLaughlin

Artist Info
John McLaughlin

John McLaughlin
Guitarist (Miles Davis, Tony Williams, The Rolling Stones)

Born January 4, 1942, John McLaughlin is a jazz fusion guitar player from Doncaster, Yorkshire in England. He came to prominence with Miles Davis' electric jazz-fusion groups from the late 1960s and is widely regarded as being one of the most influential and technically gifted guitarists of all time.

Before moving to the United States in 1969, McLaughlin recorded Extrapolation, in which he showed technical virtuosity, inventiveness, and the ability to play in odd meters. He moved to the U.S. to join Tony Williams's group, Lifetime. He subsequently played with Miles Davis on his landmark albums In A Silent Way, Bitches Brew, On The Corner, Big Fun and A Tribute to Jack Johnson. McLaughlin returned to the Davis band for two recorded nights of a weeklong club date, which was released as part of the album Live/Evil.

His reputation as a "first-call" session player grew, resulting in recordings as a sideman with Miroslav Vitous, Larry Coryell, Wayne Shorter, Carla Bley, The Rolling Stones and others.

McLaughlin's 1970’s electric band, the The Mahavishnu Orchestra, performed a technically virtuosic and complex style of music with fused eclectic jazz and rock with Eastern and Indian influences. This band established fusion as a new and growing style within the jazz and rock worlds. After the Mahavishnu Orchestra split, McLaughlin worked with Shakti, an acoustic group. This group combined Indian music with elements of jazz and thus may be regarded as a pioneer of world music.

Along with Carlos Santana, McLaughlin was a follower of the guru Sri Chinmoy, and in 1973 they collaborated on an album of devotional songs, Love Devotion Surrender, which included recordings of Coltrane compositions including A Love Supreme. He has also worked with the jazz composers Carla Bley and Gil Evans.

In 1979 he teamed up with flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucía and Larry Coryell (replaced by Al Di Meola in the early 1980s) as the Guitar Trio, the virtuoso talents of all three musicians equally on display. The Trio, again featuring McLaughlin along with de Lucía and Di Meola, reunited in 1996 for a second recording session and a world tour.
In the early 1990s he toured with his trio on the Que Alegria album. The trio consisted of John McLaughlin, Trilok Gurtu and Dominique DiPiazza. In recent times he has toured with Remember Shakti.

Other recent recording projects include a ballet score, Thieves and Poets, released in 2003 along with arrangements of favorite jazz standards for a classical guitar ensemble, a three-DVD instructional video on improvisation and a hard bop/jazz fusion album titled Industrial Zen, released in June 2006.