John McLaughlin: Five Peace Band


Five Peace Band


John McLaughlin (guitar, guitar synthesizer)


Floating Point (MediaStarz and Abstract Logix ABLX 011)

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John McLaughlin (guitar, guitar synthesizer),

Louiz Banks (keyboards), Niladri Kumar (zitar), Hadrien Feraud (bass), Ranjit Barat (drums), Sivamani (percussion)


Composed by John McLaughlin


Recorded: Chennai, India, April 2007


Rating: 94/100 (learn more)

Floating Point is John McLaughlin's latest musical adventure. Recorded in India, it features many of that country's finest young musicians. McLaughlin affectionately calls them the "young lions of India." He is quick to point out that this is not an album of Indian music. It is a jazz-fusion production. Though certain Indian musical elements are present because of the nature of the cast, McLaughlin wrote Western music and that is what is being played. All the performances were recorded live in the studio except bassist Feraud's, which were later overdubbed.

"Five Peace Band" is introduced by the skittering organ sounds of Louiz Banks and the kinetic percussion of Barat and Sivamani. McLaughlin and zitarist Kumar double-up on the energetic theme. Kumar's zitar, an electric sitar, has a fascinating sound. He is able to stretch the strings past the limits of their tensile ratings. The electrification of his instrument also gives it a melodious sustain to die for. Feraud adds a long impressive solo in the tune's break. Throughout the piece Kumar and McLaughlin go at it toe to toe. Their volleys are explosive. "Five Peace Band" is an exhilarating jazz-rock rave-up that opens yet another door of opportunity in East meets West collaborations.

Meeting of the Minds is an elucidating companion DVD on the making of the album. Viewing it will give you much insight into the album's recording process and the social and cultural flow taking place as each Indian master is introduced to the material. It would be good to view it before you listen to the music for the first time.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

Related Links

In Conversation with John McLaughlin by Walter Kolosky
The South Asian Tinge in Jazz by Ted Gioia
The Dozens: John McLaughlin on Standards by Walter Kolosky

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