Saturday, April 13, 2013

Nice ones

John McLaughlin is a gifted musician who has that strange knack for either delighting me to no end with his guitar playing, or giving me pause to fall asleep  The latter condition is not a compliment. This is a swinging, energized set from the man; he manages to stay out of the riff-ruts he sometimes favors and moves ahead, straight ahead.When the master guitarist gets away from his neurally entrenched riffs (which, dazzling though they are at first listen, become repetitive and fail at bringing us the melodic theme and variations that would keep a solo interesting) and sets himself in a more straight ahead  context, free of devices, pedals, and other digital distractions, McLaughlin is a fleet, quick witted improvisor. His customary ratta-tat-tat style , a huge influence on a generations of guitarists who were more obsessed with speed than inspiration, becomes enjoyable. This is alacrity in service to ideas.

  I did not go to sleep.

1 comment:

  1. SpiderWTF2:37 PM PDT

    I used to go down to Tug's Tavern on Tuesday nights and see Zeke and the Peons do 20-minute jams on "Blueballs Pts. I and II," which was actually one long song but they needed a piss break and saying it had two different segments gave it a kind of dignity and that for me was where the "alacrity in service to ideas" came in because after a couple of Ballantines and a fist full of Beer Nuts you wanted to hear ideas played alacritarily or not at all, which is why the guitarist eventually bailed on Zeke and joined a glam-funk band called HermAFROdite that had a minor local hit called "Go Funk Yourself" which really said it all, I thought, cause Nixon had just fired Archibald Cox and my girlfriend stole my copy of Crabby Appleton's killer first album and my Datsun crapped out in front of an abandoned DeFalco's Food Giant, all on the same fuckin afternoon...

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