John McLaughlin: No Blues
John McLaughlin (electric guitar)
The Free Spirits – Tokyo Live (Verve 314 521 870-2)
Composed by Miles Davis.
Recorded: Tokyo, Japan, December 1993
Rating: 94/100 (learn more)
McLaughlin's organ trio group The Free Spirits released its one and only album, Tokyo Live, in 1993. It is not one of my favorite McLaughlin groups because I was never really happy with the sound of John's guitar. In person and live it was a great band because you could see John playing. But on record, his sound was too close to Joey DeFrancesco's organ to tell them apart during unison playing. With that caveat out of the way, the band, with Dennis Chambers on drums, did a killer version of "No Blues." With unison playing less of a role in this tune, McLaughlin's blues chops are front and center. They are somewhat traditional in sense of form, but his bending of the notes downward in pitch and not upward creates yet another John McLaughlin trademark sound.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky