Mahavishnu John McLaughlin: Hearts and Flowers


Hearts and Flowers


John McLaughlin (acoustic guitar)


My Goal's Beyond (Rykodisc RCD 10051)

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John McLaughlin (acoustic guitar).

Composed by P.D. Bob Cornford


Recorded: New York, March 1971


Rating: 92/100 (learn more)

My Goal's Beyond can't be killed with a stick. Every few years it is re-released and a new generation experiences the joy of listening to John McLaughlin's compositions and jazz standards played beautifully on acoustic guitar. When the album was first released, it was a revelation and in some ways started a revolution. The world was awash in electric guitar solos. Now here was a guy, who had put forth his share of mind-bending electric solos, performing sensitive music that had to be expertly executed on acoustic guitar. It changed a lot of people's perceptions about that instrument. You can't fool people with music like this.

"Hearts and Flowers," irritatingly mislabeled on my Ryko CD release as "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat," is a prime example of what has always separated McLaughlin from other practicing jazz-rock guitarists. He has never been afraid to offer elements of grace and beauty in his performances. He is likely to play a mind-melting fusion number in concert and follow it up with "My Romance." The opening bars of "Hearts and Flowers" are gorgeous. He plays the melody with ease and confidence. His prerecorded bassline and chords accompany him as his melody lines and solos offer a European classicist flair. There is a bit of Gypsy in him, too. He supplies tension by varying his string attack. The song is a little over 2 minutes of quickly paced smiling satisfaction. You will want a spot of tea afterward. Or perhaps a bouquet.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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