Vinnie Colaiuta: John's Blues


John's Blues


Vinnie Colaiuta (drums)


Vinnie Colaiuta (Stretch Records STD -1110)

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Vinnie Colaiuta (drums),

Jeff Beal (trumpet), Steve Tavaglione (tenor saxophone), David Goldblatt (synthesizers), Dominic Miller (guitar), Mike Miller (guitar), John Patitucci (bass)


Composed by Vinnie Colaiuta


Recorded: July 1994


Rating: 91/100 (learn more)

Most recently playing with Herbie Hancock, but having starred with many jazz and rock giants such as Chick Corea, Jeff Beck, Frank Zappa and Sting, Vinnie Colaiuta is one of the most in-demand drummers on the contemporary music scene. Over his career, he has been favorably compared with Tony Williams and Steve Gadd. His strength lies in his ability to take the most intricate and complicated rhythm lines and make them seem natural. But of more interest on this outing are his composing abilities.

"John's Blues" is a perfect example of Colaiuta's writing skills. It is a tribute to John McLaughlin. Its themes, and even its soundscapes, seem to allude to every McLaughlin tune there has ever been and to almost every musician McLaughlin has played with. This is despite the fact there has been no lifting (stealing) of any of McLaughlin's melodies. Jeff Beal plays the part of Miles Davis. John Patitucci is Michael Henderson. The Millers' guitars employ many of the arpeggio-inflected sound swathes that McLaughlin used in his second Mahavishnu band. Goldblatt's synthesizer work is reminiscent of Mitchel Forman. Steve Tavaglione plays the role that Bill Evans (sax) did in the '80s. And of course, direct from the Actors Studio, Colaiuta stars as Billy Cobham, Danny Gottlieb and Dennis Chambers. This engaging tune is more than worthy of its namesake.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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