Song:A Love Supreme
Album:The Best Of John McLaughlin
Guitarist John McLaughlin was a significant figure in jazz fusion of the early 70s. He is probably best known for his band The Mahavishnu Orchestra. A Love Supreme is from a 1973 album McLaughlin recorded with Carlos Santana when Santana was a big rock star. McLaughlin was born Jan. 4, 1942 in Doncaster, Yorkshire, England. His mother was a concert violinist so he studied violin and piano as a child until he took up the guitar at age 11. He moved to London in the 60s and played with guys like Alexis Korner, Georgie Fame and Brian Auger. Then he moved to New York City as a member of The Tony Williams Lifetime. Williams was in Miles Davis' band and McLaughlin appeared on Davis' pioneering jazz fusion album Bitches Brew. Of course he went solo and this led to the formation of The Mahavishnu Orchestra. At the time, McLaughlin was a disciple of guru Sri Chinmoy and called himself Mahavishnu John McLaughlin. McLaughlin introduced Carlos Santana to Chinmoy and Santana was called Devadip. Of course Santana was a big rock star but he wanted to record jazz. Columbia Records head Clive Davis warned Santana that recording jazz would hurt his career. He had already gone in a jazz fusion direction with the 1972 album Caravanserai. Of course Santana didn't listen to Davis. McLaughlin and Santana recorded the 1973 album Love Devotion Surrender as a tribute to Chinmoy and John Coltrane. A Love Supreme kicks off the album. The musicians are a mix of guys from Santana and The Mahavishnu Orchestra led by pianist Larry Young who played with McLaughlin in The Tony Williams Lifetime. Also Jan Hammer on organ, Doug Rauch on bass, Billy Cobham, Don Alias and Mike Shrieve on drums and Mingo Lewis and Armanda Peraza on percussion. The album sold well but it was heavily criticized by reviewers and especially Santana fans who thought he shouldn't play jazz. Try out this budget comp which has a couple of tracks from the album. Of course both guys have done plenty of things individually that are impossible to cover in one post. I've written about both of them in the past and I will probably do so again. McLaughlin and Santana reunited at the 2011 Montreux Jazz Festival and that concert is available on DVD. Here's John McLaughlin with Carlos Santana, David K.Mathews on keyboards, Etienne Mbappe on bass, Cindy Blackman (Santana's wife) and Dennis Chambers on drums and Raul Rekow on congas performing A Love Supreme at the 2011 Montreux Jazz Festival. This is from the DVD Live At Montreux 2011: Invitation To Illumination.