John McLaughlin: Earth Bound Hearts
Earth Bound Hearts
John McLaughlin (guitar)
Where Fortune Smiles (One Way Records OW 29312)
Recorded: New York, May 1970
Rating: 87/100 (learn more)
This slow, melancholy ballad is one of only two straightforward jazz cuts on Where Fortune Smiles. It is performed in duet by guitarist John McLaughlin and saxophonist John Surman. The two had quite a history with each other, which among other things included their critically acclaimed collaboration on McLaughlin's Extrapolation. McLaughlin would eventually rise to superstardom. (That fame resulted in the re-release of this record under his name. In reality it had been a group project.) Surman's fame would become notable as well, but was limited to the European side of the pond. Their empathy and mutual understanding comes through every note and measure of this performance. Even though "Earth Bound Hearts" was written by McLaughlin, he never takes a solo turn. Instead he offers dark and sad shadings to help Surman deliver his lament. Where Fortune Smiles is not easy to get comfortable with. "Earth Bound Hearts" would be more at home on many other McLaughlin or Surman albums. Here it is a strange but welcome visitor.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky