John McLaughlin - To the power of zen

John McLaughlin draws on the energy of the music he created with the Mahavishnu Orchestra to weld it on to everything that has gone since for his eagerly awaited “zen” project. With its hard driving, abrasive edge at times, it is hardly a fluffy product of some dreamy new age.

While there are respectful nods to esteemed colleagues such as Wayne Shorter and Michael Brecker, the spiritual strength of the Dali Lama informs McLaughlin’s concept as the guitarist hits new improvisational peaks and challenges the growth of conservatism in jazz. Exclusive interview: Stuart Nicholson

John McLaughlin - To the power of zen
There’s no doubt about it. On his latest album Industrial Zen, John McLaughlin is getting something out of his system. One of the greatest guitar players on this planet is angry. He says: “This conservatism in jazz is just a pain in the neck, especially in America where a guy can write in The New York Times, ‘Thank God this pestilence known as fusion is dead’!” Industrial Zen is his answer that jazz-rock fusion is far from dead and still remains a potent force in jazz. “I hope it disturbs critics like the one in The New York Times who wrote this nonsense. Actually it’s not my intention to shock the critics, I just want to play good music. This is the whole part of my life, the whole part of my being.”

The intensity of his feelings boils over into Industrial Zen which captures some of the most exciting, dynamic and brilliantly executed guitar playing since, well, his Mahavishnu Orchestra days in the early 1970s. “It’s great to be doing that again!” he laughs.

To read the rest of this article subscribe here


This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website

If you do not change browser settings, you consent to continue. Learn more

I understand

Featured Artists

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Prev Next
Classic interview with Hugh Masekela: “Hey, instead of rhythm and blues, how about ghetto and Bach?”

Classic interview with Hugh Masekela: “H…

In 2010, Hugh Masekela, the great South African musician and an inspiration in the cultural and political struggle against apartheid, spoke candidly to Jazzwise's Marcus O'Dair about his continued to fight...

Read More.....
Frank Zappa's jazz legacy

Frank Zappa's jazz legacy

Frank Zappa left a huge legacy of pioneering music and outspoken opinions that has proved obliquely influential in shaping the style and attitudes of generations of rock and jazz musicians...

Read More.....
Across the tracks: Ella Fitzgerald's recording of Duke Ellington's ‘I Ain’t Got Nothin’ But The Blues’

Across the tracks: Ella Fitzgerald's rec…

Brian Priestley takes the opportunity to put Ella Fitzgerald’s soulful 1957 version of Ellington’s ‘I Ain’t Got Nothin’ But The Blues’ under the microscope It’s well known that Ella Fitzgerald had...

Read More.....
Life-changing jazz albums: 'My Song' by Keith Jarrett

Life-changing jazz albums: 'My Song' by …

Pianist Gwilym Simcock talks about the album that changed his life, 'My Song' by Keith Jarrett. Interview by Brian Glasser The biggest turning point I’ve ever had, it was a life-changing...

Read More.....
The shape of jazz to come: who to look out for in 2018

The shape of jazz to come: who to look o…

Photo: Rohey It’s time to divine the divine, as we ask our crack unit of writers and assorted other taste-formers to gaze into their crystal balls and reveal the intel on...

Read More.....
Top 20 Jazz Albums of 2017

Top 20 Jazz Albums of 2017

In another turbulent year of head-spinning change, much of it unwelcome, jazz has once again proved itself as resilient and inspirational as ever. Jazzwise’s prestigious Albums of the Year New...

Read More.....
John Etheridge interview: “We never got paid for Soft Machine. God knows what happened to the money”

John Etheridge interview: “We never got …

AJ Dehany caught up with Soft Machine’s John Etheridge and spoke to him about his formative fretboard influences and approaches to guitar playing, as well as penetrating the complex chronology...

Read More.....
Introducing: Quincy Jones’ Qwest TV

Introducing: Quincy Jones’ Qwest TV

Quincy Jones is many things – a 27-time Grammy award winner, TV and movie producer, actor, record company head honcho, magazine founder, and arranger and music producer of the biggest...

Read More.....
Life-changing jazz albums: 'Charlie Parker with Strings'

Life-changing jazz albums: 'Charlie Park…

Keyboard-player Lonnie Liston Smith talks about the album that changed his life, Charlie Parker With Strings, by Charlie Parker. Interview by Brian Glasser I know the one straight away – it...

Read More.....


Subcribe To Jazzwise

Advertisement

Call 0800 137201 to subscribe or click here to email the subscriptions team

Get in touch

Jazzwise Magazine,
St. Judes Church,
Dulwich Road, 
Herne Hill,
London, SE24 0PD.

0208 677 0012

Latest Tweets

Elaine Mitchener Delivers Dramas Of Defiance At St. George's, London https://t.co/n8JLsBikZW @ElaineMitchener… https://t.co/PDWcAEBv0N
Follow Us - @Jazzwise
Hasidic New Wave and Yakar Rhythms at Littlefield, Brooklyn, NY https://t.co/HbkYnrCfYb @littlefieldnyc @WMInyc… https://t.co/0zQgU9Hpsy
Follow Us - @Jazzwise

Newsletter

Sign up to the Jazzwise monthly E-Newsletter

 

© 2016 MA Business & Leisure Ltd registered in England and Wales number 02923699 Registered office: Jesses Farm, Snow Hill, Dinton, Salisbury, SP3 5HN . Designed By SE24 MEDIA