90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science

Guitar Legend John McLaughlin Has New Album

British guitarist John McLaughlin, left, and  and U.S. pianist Chick Corea, right, perform in Montreux, Switzerland, July 2004. (Laurent Gillieron/Keystone via AP)

British guitarist John McLaughlin, left, and and U.S. pianist Chick Corea, right, perform in Montreux, Switzerland, July 2004. (Laurent Gillieron/Keystone via AP)

Legendary jazz guitarist John McLaughlin is known for collaborating with greats including Miles Davis, Tony Williams and Carlos Santana. In 1971, he formed the seminal band the Mahavishnu Orchestra.

He’s now out with a new album, “Now Here This,” his second album with his band John McLaughlin & The 4th Dimension.

“I get to play music my whole life … And here I am still playing. Oh, I’m very fortunate.”
– John McLaughlin

Critics are saying it is his best album yet. McLaughlin agrees.

“It’s the most up to date picture of what’s going on inside of me,” he said. “It’s a reminder to myself as well as to everyone else: Now. Here. This. Because it’s not h-e-a-r. It’s h-e-r-e. This moment that we have is really the only moment we can cherish.”

McLaughlin says the members of The 4th Dimension are the most capable musicians he’s played with since Miles Davis and John Coltrane. The 4th Dimension are Gary Husband on piano, Etienne Mbappe on bass and Ranjit Barot on drums.

The musicians come from different musical backgrounds but are all trained in jazz, so they are able to integrate different traditions into a dynamic sound.

For example, jazz drummer Ranjit Barot grew up in India and is capable of integrating jazz traditions with the traditions of North and South Indian music in a way McLaughlin says he has never heard. And when Gary Husband switches from piano to drums, he and Barot can play off one another.

“It’s just marvelous what goes on,” said McLaughlin.

John McLaughlin "Now Here This"

McLaughlin is 71 years old and has not slowed down. He often gets comments about the speed at which he is able to play at his age, which he finds peculiar.

“Nobody ever really says to a saxophone player, ‘Wow, you play fast, man,’” McLaughlin said. “I see [playing fast] as an aspect of the way I hear music and an aspect of the way I articulate what spontaneous thing is going on inside me.”

Although McLaughlin is a celebrated jazz guitarist, he fell in love with music when he was a little boy, when heard the vocal quartet from Beethoven’s Ninth symphony.

“I just got goose bumps all over my body, and it was because of the music,” McLaughlin said. “That experience determined that I would be a musician.”

However, he became a guitarist because he fell in love with the sound of the open D major chord on the instrument.

“It is a happy chord,” McLaughlin said. “I’m a happy guy. I get to play music my whole life, I mean gee. And here I am still playing. Oh, I’m very fortunate.”

Guest:


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

October 22 12 Comments

Colorado Backs Away From Pot Edibles Ban

Critics say a ban would violate the state's voter-approved legalization of recreational marijuana, which took effect in January.

October 22 4 Comments

Modest Raise For Social Security Recipients

Economist Diane Swonk says the 1.7 percent cost-of-living increase falls short of the inflation older Americans actually see.

October 21 Comment

Jim Gaffigan’s Love Affair With Food

The stand-up comic gives his particular gastronomic take on the world in his new memoir "Food: A Love Story."

October 21 Comment

Jill Abramson Announces Plans For News Startup

The former New York Times executive editor said her goal is to create a news outlet that favors quality over quantity.