As John McLaughlin says in his introduction to this album in the liner notes, the inspirations behind this recording are two fold; the first hearing John Coltrane's A Love Supreme, in the 1960s; and secondly, his own search and endeavors towards "The One" for the past 40 years. On To The One McLaughlin somehow manages to blend his amazing precision and speed pulling notes out of his guitar with an overall calm feeling; his fiery passion is there but the overall openhearted calm at the same time. Quite an amazing feat to maintain these two seemingly disparate elements of his guitar playing into a harmonic whole, they are a mirror to the fundamentals of the search on the spiritual path.
McLaughlin know for his fusion work with Tony Williams and Miles Davis went on to found one of the premiere fusion groups The Mahavishnu Orchestra; it's original lineup included violinist Jerry Goodman, keyboardist Jan Hammer, drummer Billy Cobham, and electric bassist Rick Laird. They went through a couple of incarnations, however this first group is generally the group referred to when speaking of them and they were known for their impassioned playing and extremely inventive use of sound and melody.
On this disc John McLaughlin has penned pen six original compositions that clock in at a fraction over 40 minutes. The The Fourth Dimension (his current performing outfit), is outstanding, consisting of Gary Husband on keyboards and upon a few cuts drums and percussion, Etienne M'Bappe on bass, Mark Mondesir drums. You can feel the unity in the group and McLaughlin allows plenty of room for the others to stretch out and show why they are in this elite assemblage. To The One is a disc that is filled with great beauty, at times gentle and calming, and at times incendiary, displaying some of the most impassioned playing to be heard in quite awhile.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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