John McLaughlin: Waltz for Katia


Waltz for Katia


John McLaughlin (acoustic guitar)


Belo Horizonte (Warner Bros. 2292 57001-2)

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John McLaughlin (acoustic guitar), Katia Labeque (keyboards),

Francois Jeanneau (sax), Francois Couturier (keyboards), Augustin Dumay (violin), Jean Paul Celea (bass), Tommy Campbell (drums), Jean Pierre Drouet, Steve Sheman (percussion)


Composed by John McLaughlin


Recorded: Paris, France, June 1981


Rating: 99/100 (learn more)

"Waltz for Katia," written for John McLaughlin's love at the time and keyboard player in this band, has a fun Gypsy spirit running through it. McLaughlin does his usual stuff on acoustic guitar. You know … he bends time, alters dimensions, and things like that. I would have liked to hear him play this piece with Stéphane Grappelli. That is not meant as a slight to Augustin Dumay. He plays fantastically on this cut. The honoree herself plays an impressive section of piano runs. Although Katia Labeque was a world-renowned classical pianist, jazz wasn't her bailiwick. She did not improvise in McLaughlin's band. John wrote all of her music out as if it were improvised. It is quite remarkable to listen to. I must also mention that this performance contains a John McLaughlin career guitar-playing highlight. At the 2:46 mark, he defies all the laws of space, time and gravity, the axioms of propulsion and momentum and the Pythagorean Theorem.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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