John McLaughlin: Peace Two


Peace Two


John McLaughlin (guitar)


My Goal's Beyond (Rykodisc RCD 10051)

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John McLaughlin (guitar),

Dave Liebman (flute, soprano sax), Jerry Goodman (violin), Charlie Haden (bass), Billy Cobham (drums), Airto Moriera (percussion), Eve McLaughlin (aka Mahalakshimi) (tambura), Badal Roy (tablas)


Composed by John McLaughlin


Recorded: New York, March 1971


Rating: 85/100 (learn more)

"Peace Two" blends classical extrapolations, progressive expression and Eastern themes. Featuring only acoustic instruments and a single horn, the track hosts a variety of groovy, eclectic instruments generally unheard in jazz and not limited to the sitar that ushers in the cut and shadows its entirety. However, you should approach this recording expecting to hear music more reflective of hippies and San Francisco than of Ravi Shankar and Yehudi Menuhin. While definitely not rock 'n' roll, given the absence of vocals and electricity, this music has a similar pathway as McLaughlin's work with Tony Williams Lifetime. Instead of the whimsy of Lifetime, though, we are met with a deliberate, ponderous intensity that sows the seeds of the Mahavishnu Orchestra. This track's apexes were revisited in abundance on the first two Mahavishnu albums, and despite that group's focus being mainly electric, many of their sonic elements are already present here in the song structure, the inclusion of violin, and McLaughlin's distinctive guitar flair. More overtly dissonant, obtuse and versatile than most recordings in his catalog, this is an early example of John McLaughlin's genius.

Reviewer: Marcus Singletary

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