John McLaughlin / The One Truth Band

Electric Dreams

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At this point, it is easy to see that the John McLaughlin story has become a peripatetic journey of electric-acoustic switchbacks, with the formation of the One Truth Band that plays on this LP being just another short chapter in the saga. And this time, McLaughlin is thoroughly in charge: there is little of the competitive dueling or tightly drilled, high-volume unison lines of the past; it's the guitarist and his sidemen, although sometimes keyboardist Stu Goldberg steps out with some wicked chops. McLaughlin returns Miles Davis' favor of naming a piece on Bitches Brew after him by turning the tables, and indeed, "Miles Davis" often has the loose, jamming feeling (and a quote of "It's About That Time") of the maestro's own jazz-rock sessions. There are also some aftershocks from the Shakti experience on "Love and Understanding." For the most part, though, McLaughlin conforms to the controlled funk and electronic sounds of the times, with generally more restraint and a considerable musical payoff.

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