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Mon May 24, 2021, 01:28 PM

John McLaughlin & Friends: "Straight No Chaser" (Benefit performance for India COVID relief)

Released May 7, 2021

Guitar icon releases exclusive video to raise awareness and funds for COVID relief in India, asking all to donate to Project Hope (www.projecthope.org) today.

Musicians: John McLaughlin (Guitar); Roger Rossignol(Piano); Jean Michel. ‘Kiki’ Aublette (Bass); Nicolas Viccaro (Drums)

John McLaughlin has made no secret of the musical and spiritual debt that he owes to the people and nation of India. Whether explicit (the unprecedented east/west hybrid of his beloved Shakti ensemble) or implicit (the daring rhythmic structures he transmitted via the Mahavishnu Orchestra), India has exerted a gravitational pull on McLaughlin’s life and music, and his gratitude is boundless.

Now, with India suffocated by a rampant outbreak of the deadly COVID-19 virus, McLaughlin is asking all of us to give just a little in support of relief efforts there. To encourage donations to the global health and humanitarian organization Project Hope (www.projecthope.org) -- who are providing essential supplies and personnel to the Indian people -- he has gathered a group of musician friends in Monaco to film an exclusive version of Thelonious Monk’s immortal blues “Straight No Chaser.” This fiery performance is his humble offering, a beacon beaming out to his many admirers with the hope of helping to offset the terrible blight now ravaging India.

Captured live, the performance features McLaughlin alongside pianist Roger Rossignol, bassist JM Kiki Aublette, and drummer Nicolas Viccaro, investing Monk’s timeless, knotty blues theme with an innovative spark and infectious abandon. Through his improvisation, alternately soaring and keening, McLaughlin delights in paying tribute to Monk’s deft rhythmic constructions and cunning use of dissonance. His compatriots are with him at every step, resulting in a conversational, refreshingly human treatment of this timeless standard.

“The world is in dire straits,” McLaughlin implores, “but India is just catastrophic: People dying outside hospitals because there are no beds, there is no oxygen. We recorded this video thinking of them. It is our gift to you in the hope that you will make a small gift.”

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Reply John McLaughlin & Friends: "Straight No Chaser" (Benefit performance for India COVID relief) (Original post)
Pinback May 24 OP
patphil May 24 #1
Pinback May 24 #2

Response to Pinback (Original post)

Mon May 24, 2021, 01:55 PM

1. The Inner Mounting Flame

I remember owning this album back in the early 70's. It was like nothing I had ever heard.
I wasn't a fan of jazz back then, and certainly not with a mystical, metaphysical bent.
His style and virtuoso performance is outstanding. Together with the Mahavishnu Orchestra this album is still on my all time favorites list.

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Response to patphil (Reply #1)

Mon May 24, 2021, 02:51 PM

2. Yes, amazing stuff.

I'm actually not so much a fan of "jazz fusion," but McLaughlin's music is on a different level. Here he is in a 1999 live performance with Shakti:

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