John McLaughlin: Arjen’s Bag


Arjen’s Bag


John McLaughlin (guitar)


Extrapolation (Polydor 841598-2)

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John McLaughlin (guitar), John Surman (soprano sax, baritone sax), Tony Oxley (drums),

Brian Odgers (bass)


Recorded: London, January 16, 1969


Rating: 93/100 (learn more)

The regular bass player in this short lived quartet had been Dave Holland, who a few months earlier responded to the call to join Miles Davis. Odgers is an able deputy, but it’s the luminous interplay between Surman, McLaughlin and Oxley that make this album so memorable with its arresting melodies that effortlessly segue one into another – despite unusual time signatures (13/8, for example) – and its time-no-changes approach to improvisation. Surman takes a leading role and is majestic, while Johnny Mac’s (as he was then known on the UK scene) phenomenal articulation, sense of time and space combine to create superior jazz, regardless of postcode.

Reviewer: Stuart Nicholson

Related Links

In Conversation with John McLaughlin by Walter Kolosky
The Dozens: John McLaughlin on Standards by Walter Kolosky

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