Mahavishnu: When Blue Turns Gold


When Blue Turns Gold




Mahavishnu (Wounded Bird Records WOU 5190)

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John McLaughlin (acoustic guitar, vocals), Katia Labeque (keyboards),

Hariprasad Chaurasia (bamboo flute), Zakir Hussain (percussion, vocals)


Composed by John McLaughlin


Recorded: Paris, France, April-May 1984


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

If you can always count on getting thrown a curve, is it still a curve? I ask because you can always count on John McLaughlin to throw you a curve. Take, for example, "When Blue Turns Gold." Tacked on to the end of the electric fusion debut of the new Mahavishnu group, this acoustic Indian-inspired song literally came out of nowhere. Katia Labèque introduces the piece with a frantic piano run whose notes are doubled by tabla master Zakir Hussain. Instantly the tune becomes meditative. Flutist Hariprasad Chaurasia is the core of the melody. He is one of the greatest Indian musicians. His playing defines deep emotion. McLaughlin strums chords as Hussain carries the rhythm and adeptly places tabla bass-toned accents. McLaughlin and Hussain add Indian Konokol vocals as the tune fades out. It was fitting the album ended with this gorgeous piece. It was three minutes of meditative music that could carry you for the next hour or so.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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