John McLaughlin: Desire and the Comforter


Desire and the Comforter


John McLaughlin and the One Truth Band


Electric Dreams (Columbia/Legacy CK 48892)

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John McLaughlin (guitar),

L. Shankar (violin), Stu Goldberg (keyboards), Fernando Saunders (bass), Tony Smith (drums), Alyrio Lima (percussion)


Composed by John McLaughlin


Recorded: New York, November 1978


Rating: 98/100 (learn more)

"The Unknown Dissident" and "Desire and the Comforter" are the best two cuts from Electric Dreams. "Desire and the Comforter" is a jazz-funk number pretending to be world jazz. A cymbal-induced trance and the sliding notes of a fretless electric bass begin the piece. McLaughlin and violinist Shankar then introduce the melody with a joyful bombast. The song has the semi-Latin and Indian flavors that marked this band's music, and also enjoys the full rhythmic arsenal drummer Tony Smith and percussionist Alyrio could supply. Fernando Saunders's bass helps on the rhythm, and his funky lines make the tune jump a bit. The piece employs several disparate themes, all upwardly mobile. McLaughlin, violinist Shankar and synthesizer player Stu Goldberg have fun trading before the music climbs a few more rungs toward pleasure. The players make their feelings known with some vocal cheerleading. This music is infectious and uplifting. In contrast to most of Mahavishnu and Shakti, naturally the band's main influences, the guys don't take themselves too seriously here. You get the sense that as the song ends the band is going to jump off the stage and share a few drinks and conversation with you.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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