“Ronnie Scott’s,” mused the boundary-shattering guitarist John McLaughlin, “where would I be without them?” The venerable London jazz club and its charismatic namesake gave so much to McLaughlin’s career, the roots of which extend as far back as McLaughlin’s stint as a member of the club’s house band in the 1960s.
On September 15, Abstract Logix issues a recording of John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension, recorded live at the club in March of 2017. Titled “Live at Ronnie Scott’s”, the album is a souvenir of a sold-out, two-night stand at the beloved venue. On the album McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension explore everything from early Mahavishnu Orchestra classics to compositions from their most recent studio LP, Black Light.
Most striking about Live @ Ronnie Scott’s is the restraint and fluidity on display: So connected are the band’s four members that the interplay approaches telepathic levels, making for powerfully evocative performances without any wasted gestures. Longtime fans will be thrilled to hear favorites like ‘Vital Transformation’ (from Mahavishnu’s 1971 Inner Mounting Flame album) and ‘Miles Beyond’ (from 1973’s Birds of Fire) reexamined through the lens of the 4th Dimension’s unparalleled sensitivity and facility. Hearing such standards alongside recent compositions like ‘El Hombre Que Sabia’ and the moving ‘Gaza City’ serves to demonstrate the breadth and scope of McLaughlin’s vision, honed over a career now spanning fifty years.
The September release of Live at Ronnie Scott’s will be followed by the Meeting of the Spirits Tour – a series of November and December shows undertaken in collaboration with one of McLaughlin’s favorite musicians, American guitarist Jimmy Herring. Separate sets by Jimmy Herring and the Invisible Whip and McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension will be followed by the two joining forces for an expansive closing jam based on classic Mahavishnu Orchestra material. These special concerts will also mark McLaughlin’s final shows in America.
See the band live at the Leverkusener Jazztage in Germany 2012:
Release date: 15 September 2017
Format: CD | Digital
Label: Abstract Logix
1, Meeting of the Spirits | 2, Miles Beyond | 3, Gaza City | 4, Here Come the Jiis | 5, New Blue Old Bruise | 6, El Hombre que Sabià | 7, Sanctuary | 8, Vital Transformation | 9, Echos from Then
John McLaughlin: guitar | Gary Husband: keyboard and drums | Etienne M’Bappé: bass | Ranjit Barot: drums and konnakol
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Last modified: July 15, 2018