After the Rain: John McLaughlin

Confession: I was not a Mahavishnu Orchestra fan. There I said it. Oh, I recognized the technical excellence and the energy of the playing, and the groundbreaking new melding of jazz and rock. But, for me, as jazz it didn’t swing and as rock I couldn’t get past McLaughlin’s note-y style and what I considered an inferior guitar tone to legends like Clapton, Beck and Hendrix. In fact, I never really got into the British jazz legend and fusion pioneer until his Coltrane tribute album, After the Rain, with Elvin Jones and ¬†Joey DeFrancesco. I loved the sound of his full-bodied archtop through a chorus and his use of the Bigsby to make the end of notes fall off plaintively.

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