John McLaughlin: The Translators
John McLaughlin (guitar)
Music Spoken Here (WEA 0630-17157-2)
Francois Couturier (Fender Rhodes), Jean-Paul Celea (bass), Tommy Campbell (drums).
Composed by John McLaughlin.
Recorded: Paris, France, June 1982
Rating: 89/100 (learn more)
On the back of the original LP jacket, and later in the CD notes, McLaughlin's band is referred to as The Players. In reality the group never had an official name. But by the end of its run the band, comprised of Europeans, was actually most commonly referred to as The Translators.
In McLaughlin's old Mahavishnu days, a tune such as the barely 3-minute "The Translators" would have been part of a much longer piece. Here it stands alone. It is a reverb-filled slow-moving ballad designed to showcase some gorgeous acoustic riffs from McLaughlin. His notes are played over a droning synthesizer and backed by a rather simple percussion and the sliding notes of a double bass. McLaughlin is extremely laid back. You can afford to be that way when the notes you play sing out this way. The riffs are so mesmerizing that the song seems to last all of 10 seconds.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky