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Album Review

Although it is tempting to think that The Free Spirits (the trio featured on this CD), due to the similarity of the instrumentation (guitarist John McLaughlin, organist Joey DeFrancesco and drummer Dennis Chambers), would be an updating of Tony Williams's groundbreaking fusion group Lifetime, the reality is somewhat different. McLaughlin may get top billing but this music sounds very much like a Joey DeFrancesco-led Jimmy Smith revival date with most of the selections being blues-based. There are some introspective moments for the guitarist (who plays strictly electric here) but DeFrancesco dominates the ensembles and takes the lion's share of the solo space. The music is enjoyable enough although none of the compositions (all but Miles Davis's "No Blues" are by McLaughlin) are all that memorable.

Customer Reviews

Desert Island

Yep. If I hadda pick ten efforts, this one'd be in there. Listen superficially and it's "happy feet", dig a wee bit deeper and the musicianship here will blow your mind. A veritable Nexus of Awesomeness. Three cats replete with the Extra Arms (and fingers) of Vishnu!! Forget that other BS in the "review" (stupid, stupid comments there!) and just dig it...

Biography

Born: January 4, 1942 in Yorkshire, England

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of fusion's most virtuosic guitar soloists, John McLaughlin placed his blazing speed in the service of a searching spiritual passion that has kept his music evolving and open to new influences. Whether shredding on electric or simmering quietly on acoustic, McLaughlin's intensity and underappreciated versatility have nearly always kept his playing vital, and...
Full Bio

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