John McLaughlin: Every Tear From Every Eye


Every Tear From Every Eye


John McLaughlin (guitar)


Johnny McLaughlin: Electric Guitarist (Columbia CK 46110)

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John McLaughlin (guitar), David Sanborn (alto sax),

Patrice Rushen (piano), Alphonso Johnson (bass), Tony Smith (drums)


Composed by John McLaughlin


Recorded: New York, January 1978


Rating: 89/100 (learn more)

"Every Tear From Every Eye" is a mournful ballad from McLaughlin's all-star album Johnny McLaughlin Electric Guitarist. Of note is saxophonist David Sanborn's participation. How he and McLaughlin first hooked up is unknown. But over the years, Sanborn has appeared on three McLaughlin albums and is even known to have sat in on a live show. The modern jazz saxophonist is not really known for his fusion licks. That is why I so look forward to these collaborations because we hear a different side of him. McLaughlin's compositions require something apart from the commercial jazz for which Sanborn is best known.

On this track, Sanborn often doubles the melody with McLaughlin. McLaughlin was using his scalloped-fretboard guitar at this time. Sanborn matches the guitarist's stretched-out bends in a series of moving phrases that climb up and down the registers. McLaughlin solos first in fits and starts. Over a melancholy Patrice Rushen keyboard and slow-tempo rhythm section, Sanborn takes his turn. His playing is emotive. This is very affecting stuff. It would be tough not to be touched by it in some way.

I want to be fair to Sanborn. He is a musician worth respecting. He has made a career out of playing mainstream pop jazz whose most obvious attribute was a commercial hook. That is not always the most challenging music. But from time to time Sanborn has released albums such as Another Hand or appeared on less commercial recordings that showcase his true musicianship. He has done a lot for the genre.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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