John McLaughlin: Mila Repa
John McLaughlin (guitar, Photon MIDI-interface)
Que Alegria (Verve 837 280-2)
Dominique Di Piazza (bass).
Composed by John McLaughlin.
Recorded: Ludwigsburg, Germany, November 1991
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
Is there a more imaginative percussionist than Trilok Gurtu? The first minute of "Mila Repa" presents the rush of an approaching electrical storm, bubbles in water, the world's largest wind chime and the chirping of crickets from inside a cave. Those who have seen Gurtu in concert know that he was the creator of all these sounds. It is a wonder to watch him play. I suggest everyone does so.
"Mila Repa," named after a Tibetan poet and saint, is a good example of McLaughlin's more cosmic side. There are people out there, supporters and detractors alike, who think all of McLaughlin's music is out in space. But I would suggest that such McLaughlin tunes as "Mila Repa," and "Negative Ions" from Music Spoken Here, represent the cosmic side of an inner space. Both tunes lack a dominant theme. Instead they rely on beautiful soundbites that reverberate through your mind. McLaughlin uses a Photon MIDI- interface to accompany himself on acoustic guitar on this piece. The MIDI sounds are full of graceful echo. McLaughlin's pure notes are struck at a mile an hour. There is no attempt to show off. Instead, "Mila Repa" is about the inner contemplation of a simple spirituality.
There is large group of fans who think that listening to John McLaughlin is only about a trip to the races.
If I could lock those people in a room for awhile, I could set them straight.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky