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AbstractLogix :: Abstract Logix Label :: John McLaughlin: Floating Point

John McLaughlin: Floating Point
John McLaughlin: Floating Point 

John McLaughlin (guitar); Hadrien Feraud (Electric Bass); Loiuz Banks(keyboards); Ranjit Barot (Drums); Niladri Kumar (Electric Zitar); Shashank, Sivamani (Percussion), Shankar Mahadevan (Vocals); U.Rajesh (Electric Mandolin); Debashish Bhattacharya (Hindustani Slide Guitar); Naveen Kumar (Bamboo Flute); George Brooks (Soprano Saxophone)


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2008 Release from guitar legend John McLaughlin. John has already said Floating Point "may be the best record I ever made." That's really saying something when you consider McLaughlin's prolific and trailblazing career. The guitarist and composer has appeared on some of the most important jazz-rock and world music albums in the last 40 years.

For Floating Point, which was recorded in India, McLaughlin used several of the best Indian musicians in the world. McLaughlin calls these players the "young lions" of India. They include keyboardist Loiuz Banks, drummer Ranjit Barot, electric sitarist Niladri Kumar, flautists Shashank and Naveen Kumar, percussionist Sivamani, vocalist Shankar Mahadevan, electric mandolinist U.Rajesh, and Hindustini slide guitarist Debashish Bhattacharya. Joining them were other Western stars saxophonist George Brooks and bassist Hadrien Feraud. With a line-up like that, you would expect a very Indian experience. But, McLaughlin says not necessarily so.

"Now while this CD features predominantly Indian musicians, we are in quite another form compared to the group Shakti," McLaughlin says. "The music is for the most part 'Jazz-Fusion' if a label has to be put on it. But with the musicians involved in this project, it has also a 'world' kind of atmosphere."

McLaughlin adds, "I really am happy with the outcome of this CD which actually came about quite spontaneously and without any real planning. You can hear in the music where I am in my development, and in which directions I'm moving. It was a real thrill to play with these players, and I offer my thanks to them for their unique contributions. I truly wish and hope that it brings something to the listeners. I also offer my deep thanks to them for their continued support to my dedicated work."

Reviews
This latest offering from John McLaughlin is a feast for fusion-lovers everywhere. It delivers not only in terms of the superb musicianship present on the CD, but also for its compositional quality and mesmerising improvisation. It really is a joyful, uplifting experience and an essential purchase. Go buy it! - Alloutguitar.com

Ken Micallef, Downbeat John McLaughlin has created many high notes in his career, and just as many superb albums: Devotion, The Mahavishnu Orchestra's Birds Of Fire, Shakti, Electric Guitarist and Friday Night In San Francisco. Add Floating Point to that rarefied list. Seemingly cut from the same cloth as last year's Industrial Zen, Floating Point is by far the superior record. Recorded in India with a resident cast (save exceptional bassist Hadrien Feraud and saxophonist George Brooks), Floating Point features similar guitar synth overtones as Industrial Zen, and similarly polished production, but this brilliant collective plays as a single unit, not a band of hired studio guns. A shared sense of exhilaration, intensity, joy and purpose emerged in tracks like Off The One, Abbaji, and Five Peace Band, much of the propulsive fury created by the team of drummer Ranjit Barot and percussionist Anant Sivamani. This is a case of Indian musicians using their extraordinary skills to explore U.S. fusion, giving the guitarist an amazing platform for compositional/improvisational development. Barot and Sivamani rattle and shake their tubs like mad in Abbaji; later Barot double-times the tempo below as keyboardist Louiz Banks blows above - a ferocious whirlwind. Vocalist Shankar Mahadevan leads The Voice, a dancing drill of willowy synth riffs and Barot's endlessly percolating drum conversation. Mahadevan's dark, melancholic tones spread like dark clouds as bassist Feraud spins decidedly Jaco-ish commentary. This is a landmark recording, marked by detail, subtlety, and extraordinarily moving performances.


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SKU SKU23547
Track 1 Abbaji (For Ustad Alla Rakha)
Track 2 Raju (LISTEN TO AUDIO)
Track 3 Maharina
Track 4 Off the One (LISTEN TO AUDIO)
Track 5 The Voice (LISTEN TO AUDIO)
Track 6 Inside Out (LISTEN TO AUDIO)
Track 7 14U
Track 8 Five Peace Band (LISTEN TO AUDIO)
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Author: eruption
Freaking amazing. I saw john at the crossroads guitar festival after many many years. Got this album this morning and its outrageous. THE DVD is even better. i havent got through the entire DVD..... but man to watch John Mclaughin in a studio with the killin indian dudes is freaking great. So when is he coming to the states to play


Author: joel P, memphis
When you hear the cd or see Meeting of the Minds, you know john mclaughlin is a revolutionary musician. Whether you like his music is personal but to see how fantastic and thoughtful this amazing guitarist is vivid in this two works of his. i hope that the dvd is an eye opener to many other musicians letting the windows in to show the process of creating their art. He is a true genius.


Author: Richard Heath (jazzrockwriter@yahoo.co.uk)
I’ve have been a keen fan of Indo jazz fusion after hearing, perhaps the first recording in the genre, Joe Harriott/John Mayer’s Double Quintet’s “Indo_Jazz Fusion”, in 1966 or ‘67. Compare the music and ideas on that with those found on “Floating Point”, and you should get a clear idea how the music has progressed and evolved in the intervening 40 years. Where once you had the exotic sound of a sitar or tabla, playing a westerner’s idea of raga punctuating 60’s modern jazz, you now have musicians from both western jazz and Indian traditional musics, coming together in more senses than one. A coming together, each having loved and absorbed both cultures’ music, and now giving out a seamless hybrid of the two. You really don’t need to ask the question: am I hearing jazz or raga?, since there is little to provide any clear demarcation- this is how I want it nowadays. Instead let the best fusion to arrive in quite some time, take you for 60 minutes plus into real grooving and novel pleasure.

I very much agree with what the previous reviewer has written. McLaughlin is the master Indo-jazz fusionist, and with him are two Indian musicians on keyboards and drumkit who love jazz, creating music without borders. The young French bass guitarist, Hadrian Feraud completes the list of four who are the common denominators through the whole album. The challenge is to guest musicians (one western saxophonist, the others playing instruments associated with India, percussion, flutes, slide guitar and electric(!) zitar (their spelling)), not to lose this subtle balance when making their often virtuoso contribution, and otherwise tip the fusion into straight Indian or straight jazz playing. They succeed and at the same time produce a music which is very fresh, exciting, and in no small way new to most listeners.

One minor moan is John McLaughlin’s use of guitar synthesiser on a couple early tracks. To my ears whether Mac or Holdsworth or Metheny play the guitar synthesiser, the result sounding like a poor man’s keyboards, or trumpet or whatever, leaves me wishing the guitarist played those bars sounding like a guitar. However, on the second hearing of “Floating Point” I stopped hearing the synth as something awkward to my ears, but rather integral to the whole.

McLaughlin is on record saying this the best recording he’s made. I’m not sure whether I would got that far straightaway, but it has grabbed me like no other McLaughlin recording for over a decade, in way that the much praised “Industrial Zen” didn’t. Equally I found the recently released ”Miles From India”, as a Indo-jazz fusion record, seemingly happy to stick with a 70’s concept of Indo jazz fusion, “Floating Point” in comparison is cutting edge.

I also recommend the accompanying DVD John McLaughlin’s “Meeting of the Minds” (the making of “Floating Point”), which gives plenty of insights into McLaughlin style of arrangement, production and cooperation with fellow musicians, building ideas to the point that a tune is then ready to be recorded.

Finally, praise must go to the specialist record label, Abstract Logix for releasing yet another excellent jazz fusion album with “Floating Point”– every one of their small catalogue of albums is worth sampling.


Author: Jazzbuff, Mumbai, India
Utterly sublime. True fusion with a lot of meaning. Have not been able to to listen to anything else for a while after this.

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