John McLaughlin Shakti YouTube

2008 May 8

John McLaughlin and Shakti came to the fore in the mid seventies, at the time they had John McLaughlin on a guitar with a scalloped fretboard, some drone strings and an Indian gentleman L Shankar on violin both playing at an awesome speed.  John was known for his explorations into electric improvised music with Mahavishnu Orchestra.  John McLaughlan studied Indian music with Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, at one point Ali was rated the greatest musician in the world by Yehudi Menhuin (one of the worlds greatest classical viloinists) . 

Unless a person has studied Indian music it could be difficult to miss how complex it is and in a way this playing is a part of guitar history because it took the guitar into new areas and created new possibilities and raised the standard of guitar playing way above what we had considered possible.

My favourite Shakti album was Handful of Beauty

The folowing John McLaughlin youTube was from 1974. The interplay between musicians is of an unbelievably high standard

To show the diversity of this musician I’ve added a youtube of him playing a jazz standard for the fun of it.

By the way he’s still playing.

3 Responses leave one →
  1. 2008 May 16

    Thanks for posting this. I really appreciated listening to it. Unbelievable talent. His music in the first video blew me away. :)

  2. 2008 May 23

    the talent of mr. Mclaughlin is out of question,i started
    listning to him since the time of mahavishnu orchestra,
    where he was backed up by carlos santana and at the drums mr cobham,the thing that fascinates me is that i can listen to him for hours and dont get bored,becouse
    in the same session the coctail always reserves surprices
    he never repeats himself,he is amazing.
    thanks steve

  3. 2008 September 12
    Steve H. permalink

    Well, haven’t seen him or heard him for a long time. I heard him in the early seventies, and was quite a master then.

    He was eastern spiritual…but I am now more tending toward Bach’s to the glory of God and benefit of man. Chi Rho

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