CD review: John McLaughlin & The 4th Dimension

Now Here This
(Abstract Logix)

There is an immediacy in the title, and its matched by an immediacy in the music from this explosive four-piece.

The guitarist has always had had the speeding heartbeat of a hummingbird – how else could he play at that tempo? – and, remarkably, he shows no signs of slowing down even though he is celebrating his 70th birthday.

He is joined again by English keyboardist/drummer Gary Husband and Cameroon/French electric bassist Etienne M’Bappe from the first 4th Dimension album, with the Indian drummer Ranjit Barot the new man in the band.

Of course Indian drummers have no problem with speed which is why McLaughlin has always been drawn to them,and Barot is no exception, mixing quite a splashy cymbal sound with that tight jazz/rock fusion drum timbre elsewhere on the kit.

M’Bappe pumps in the funk tradition, while Husband can shimmer with the best of synth carpet-layers and match the leader for solo single note articulation. But it is the “old man” who really shines throughout. He might have rediscovered the visceral nature of fusion but that spiritual, transcendent element to his playing is still there, albeit a little hidden in the more bombastic moments.

Whatever you do, don’t go for this as relaxation music. Try this sample:

Categories: CD review

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