JOHN MCLAUGHLIN - BLACK LIGHT
As a musician, composer, and bandleader, John McLaughlin's vast contributions to contemporary improvisational music are only just beginning to be fully understood, appreciated, and absorbed by artists and enthusiasts alike. From Mahavishnu Orchestra, Shakti and his collaboration with Paco De Lucia, to his current band the 4th Dimension, McLaughlin's music has extended across the boundaries dividing jazz, rock, and innumerable global traditions, encompassing a number of genres while emerging fully formed as his own, uniquely personal expressive medium. Now, McLaughlin is prepared to break through yet again, with what he feels is his most personal statement today: Black Light. Black Light includes 8 original McLaughlin compositions, including a heartfelt homage to his departed colleague, collaborator, and friend Paco De Lucia - with whom McLaughlin had intended to compose an album's worth of new material just before De Lucia's untimely passing. McLaughlin has returned to acoustic guitar for a tribute to his friend, entitled 'El Hombre Que Sabia' and brings forth from the instrument a depth of sadness and admiration beyond words. Mclaughlin adds, 'I have explored ways in music and recorded them with happiness. 'Black Light' has opened a portal that is neither Jazz nor Rock, nor Indian nor Blues, and yet all of these: it's an open door. Otherwise electric, Black Light features the 4th Dimension - 'my three favorite musicians,' in McLaughlin's word - in full flight, with their empathy and precision honed on stage and in the studio. The 4th Dimension is composed of the remarkable multi-instrumentalist Gary Husband on keyboards and drums, Etienne Mbappe's nimble, effervescent electric bass, and the powerhouse drumming of Ranjit Barot. ~ Amazon
PAT METHENY / JAN GARBAREK / GARY BURTON / SCOTT COLLEY / DANNY GOTTLIEB / PAUL MCCANDLESS / MICHAEL GIBBS / HELGE SUNDE / SWR BIG BAND - HOMMAGE A EBERHARD WEBER
In January 2015 musicians and listeners converged upon Stuttgarts Theaterhaus for two consecutive nights to celebrate the 75th birthday of Eberhard Weber. The concerts centered around a specially commissioned 35-minute suite by Pat Metheny, with whom Weber had played and recorded back in the 1970s. Featuring Metheny, the SWR Big Band conducted by Helge Sunde, Gary Burton, bassist Scott Colley and Danny Gottlieb on drums, the composition was arranged around recordings of solos by Weber. Other performers during the two nights playing selections from Webers vast body of work were Webers longtime companions Jan Garbarek, Paul McCandless, Manfred Schoof and arranger Michael Gibbs, all drawing ovations from the packed house. A truly special event, this. - Michael Tucker, Jazz Journal.
CHICK COREA / BELA FLECK - TWO
Chick Corea & Béla Fleck, two master songwriters, musicians, and band leaders meet once again in a historic duet of piano and banjo. The Grammy-winning duet, combine Corea and Fleck s classic tunes with the music from their Grammy-winning album The Enchantment! With a mix of jazz and pop standards, crossing a myriad of genres, from jazz, bluegrass, rock, flamenco and gospel, this album captures the casual, intimate playing by both legends from different musical worlds. Fans of legendary jazz pianist Chick Corea and bebop and bluegrass banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck are well aware of the pair's previous collaborations (Corea guests on two Flecktones albums, and Fleck appears on Corea's Rendezvous in New York DVD), but on their full-length release in 2007, The Enchantment, the two went into the project with an intense seriousness of purpose. On Two, they continue to push each other in a live setting, adapting their instruments to genres (bluegrass, country, Latin, ragtime, classical, blues, and world) normally outside their idioms, Corea playing 'grassy banjo patterns on the piano on Fleck's mournful "Mountain" and Fleck stretching on Corea's suite-like "Joban Dna Nopia." With few exceptions, the compositions are only frameworks for vast improvisation, which might be expected. But instead of setting each other up for extended solos, Corea and Fleck join together with breathtaking precision and verve, weaving and intertwining through remarkable contrapuntal excursions, only to break and meet up again in perfect sync. ~ Amazon