John McLaughlin: David
John McLaughlin (guitar)
Music Spoken Here (WEA 0630-17157-2)
John McLaughlin (guitar),
Katia LaBeque (keyboards), Francois Couturier (Fender Rhodes), Jean-Paul Celea (bass), Tommy Campbell (drums).
Composed by John McLaughlin.
Recorded: Paris, June 1982
Rating: 93/100 (learn more)
This was the second release for John McLaughlin with his band the Translators. Even more so than on the previous Belo Horizonte, this band provided soothing and sometimes contrapuntal background for McLaughlin's wonderful acoustic guitar. They were all fine musicians, but keyboardist LaBeque did not improvise, leaving most of the improvisatory melodic chores to one John McLaughlin. That's fine with me.
"David" is a heartfelt tribute to John's older brother David. It was David who gave an 11-year-old John his first acoustic guitar. For that, we are all indebted because it set John on the path. McLaughlin plumbs the depths of despair with his introduction. The feeling of loss is palpable in the resonance of his strings. But with sadness, there is also joy that must be recounted. McLaughlin and band convey that joy with an upbeat middle section dominated by hornlike calls from LaBeque's synthesizer and John's light and airy speed runs. The coda is a return to mourning.
"David" also appears on the Guitar Trio's (McLaughlin, De Lucia, Di Meola) Passion, Grace and Fire, but this performance is more touching.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky