John McLaughlin: Do You Hear The Voices You Left Behind?


Do You Hear The Voices You Left Behind?


John McLaughlin (guitar)


Electric Guitarist (Columbia CK 46110)

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John McLaughlin (guitar), Chick Corea (piano, mini-moog), Stanley Clarke (bass), Jack DeJohnette (drums).

Composed by John McLaughlin


Recorded: North Hollywood, CA, 1978


Rating: 93/100 (learn more)

Somehow over the years the original and correct name of this album has been changed. This is irritating and bothersome. But I guess we just can't beat The Man.

Johnny McLaughlin Electric Guitarist, the actual name of the album based on the first business card McLaughlin used, was an all-star affair celebrating McLaughlin's return to the electric guitar after a two-year hiatus playing acoustic music with his Indo-jazz band Shakti. McLaughlin gathered past collaborators and a few new ones to run through some challenging new fusion material. The band for "Do You Hear The Voices You Left Behind" was comprised of four giants from the jazz and jazz-rock world.

"Do You Hear The Voices You Left Behind" is dedicated to John Coltrane, upon whose "Giant Steps" its changes are predominantly based. McLaughlin uses a new electric guitar that features a scalloped fretboard. This design, based upon the Indian stringed instrument the vina, allowed McLaughlin more room between frets to push down on the strings. This created note bends that you needed a decompression chamber just to fathom. At breakneck speed, each player skitters above the quickly paced chord changes. Chick Corea gets two solo turns one on piano, the other on mini-moog. Despite the electric nature of the tune, Clarke plays acoustic bass. The quartet is killing on this number, and you can bet that Coltrane knows it and appreciates it.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

Related Links

In Conversation with John McLaughlin by Walter Kolosky
The Dozens: John McLaughlin on Standards by Walter Kolosky

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