John McLaughlin: Extrapolation
John McLaughlin (guitar)
Extrapolation (Polydor 841598-2)
Brian Odgers (bass), Tony Oxley (drums).
Composed by John McLaughlin.
Recorded: London, January 18, 1969
Rating: 98/100 (learn more)
McLaughlin's first album was a classic some feel he never topped, a precursor to the jazz-rock movement, and a showcase for his improvisational and composing skills. Those who weren't convinced by his playing soon after on In a Silent Way or Bitches Brew, or with The Tony Williams Lifetime, would usually be referred by those in the know to this relatively obscure release. The 4-minute title track is a miniature gem on which McLaughlin and Surman each display glimpses of their power, energy, sensitivity and inquisitiveness. It sets the stage for the further brilliance that follows on this session. The guitarist's characteristic rushes of notes, effective use of space, and richly chorded passages were to be among his trademarks from here on out. Surman's swaggering baritone with its thick, rough-edged tone makes quite an impression as well.
Reviewer: Scott Albin