Carlos Santana & Mahavishnu John McLaughlin: Meditation
Love Devotion Surrender (Columbia Legacy CK 63593)
Composed by John McLaughlin.
Recorded: New York, October 1972 and March 1973
Rating: 89/100 (learn more)
It is not every day you get to hear guitarist John McLaughlin on piano. On "Meditation" he plays simple but dramatic backing chords on the keyboards. An occasional flourish arises, too. Overdubbed, or the other way around, are McLaughlin and Santana on acoustic guitars. They play a spare spiritual ballad that is similar in tone, but not intent, to their version of Coltrane's "Naima" that appeared on the flip side of the original LP. The two pieces provide quite a contrast to the LOUD cosmic electricity on the rest of the album. It was fitting that "Meditation" was the last cut. The guitarists' fluttering notes and mantra-like chords provide the perfect backdrop for a chill-out. After hearing the previous cut "Let Us Go Into The House of the Lord," you would need that.
I have never been able to confirm Larry Young's participation on this track. There is a sustained note that acts as an introduction to the song. It is either Young on B-3 or a studio trick with the piano. My educated guess favors the first theory.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky