Jul 02, 2011 l By Viggo Hasseltvedt
John McLaughlin and Carlos Santana opened the Montreux Jazz Festival this year performing the first concert. The band comprised Etienne Mbappe (bass), Dennis Chambers (drums), Cindy Blackman Santana (drums) as well as keyboards, vocals and additional instruments.
They covered a vast musical territory mostly from the 19060s and the 1970s, Bob Dylan's It's a hard rains gonna fall, James Patrick Page's tour de force, Stairway to heaven, Tony Williams Lifetime's Vuelta Abajo and Vashkar, John Coltane's A love supreme and Naima, Pharoah Sanders, The Creator has a master plan, as well as a great portion of blues, e.g. Sam Lightnin' Hopkins and John Lee Hooker boogie plus compositions by Sonny Sharrock and Miles Davis.
Festival boss Claude Nobs joined the band on harmonica for the ancore, yet another blues. John McLaughlin played his Godin, however both guitarists played two numbers acoustically, nameley Naima and a flamencolike composition where Paco de Lucia and Al di Meola could have joined.
This was a one off occation at The Igor Stravinski Hall, and the mood was very nice, lots of humor involved.