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McLaughlin: Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra "The Mediterranean"

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Album Review

Back in the classical arena, McLaughlin conceived an ambitious guitar concerto, unveiling it with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in November 1985, but waited until 1988 to record it with his old colleagues Michael Tilson Thomas and the London Symphony Orchestra. The big difference between this and the music on Apocalypse is that McLaughlin dispenses with jazz and rock entirely, writing a neo-Romantic classical piece (lushly orchestrated again by Michael Gibbs) quite obviously modeled in style and sentiment after Joaquin Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez. As such, it isn't nearly as important a statement as the bold pan-stylistic fusions of Apocalypse. But it is a notable personal achievement, for McLaughlin plays beautifully, and aside from a few awkward moments, the music's Spanish-tinged charms, especially in the first movement, grow richer upon further hearings. The rest of the CD is devoted to duos between McLaughlin and classical pianist Katia Labeque that speak volumes about intimacy and also heavy absorption in Keith Jarrett. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi

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 his best moments -- whether as a solo artist or bandmember -- represent some of fusion's greatest recordings. McLaughlin was born January...
Full Bio