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.