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4.0 out of 5 stars
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4.0 out of 5 stars

on 18 June 2009
This monumental compilation features all the artist's concerts at the Montreaux Jazz Festival spanning the years 1974 through 1999. Featuring:

Shakti in July 1976 & 1977 (three discs)

John McLaughlin & The One Truth Band in July 1978

John McLaughlin & Chick Corea in July 1981

Mahavishnu Orchestra in July 1974 & 1984 (Four discs)

John McLaughlin & Paco DeLucia in July 1987 (two discs)

John McLaughlin & The Free Spirits in July 1993 & 1995 (three discs)

John McLaughlin & The Heart Of Things in July 1998

& John McLaughlin & Remember Shakti in July 1999.

The last disc is a bonus CD containing two tracks one featuring McLaughlin performing with Santana in July 1993 'Canto de Xango' & another with McLaughlin & Paco DeLucia in July 1996 'Frevo'. 17 CDs packaged in two CD books. Includes 50-page hard cover book with liner notes & many b&w photos.

MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA-July 7, 1974 Convention Center Montreux
With: John McLaughlin (guitar), Bob Knapp (flute, percussions), Steve Frankovitch (horns), Gayle Moran (organ, voc), Jean-Luc Ponty (violin), Steve Kindler (violin), Carol Shive (violin), Marsha Westbrook (alto), Phillip Hirschi (cello), Ralphe Armstrong (bass), Michael Walden (drums)

CD 1

1 Power Of Love (5:54)
2 Wings Of Karma (21:43)
3 Smile Of The Beyond (23:25)

CD 2

1 Vision Is A Naked Sword (26:04)
2 Hymn To Him (28:29)
3 Sanctuary (17:27)

SHAKTI-July 6, 1976 Montreux Casino
With: John McLaughlin (guitar), L. Shankar (violin), T.H. Vinayakram (ghatam, mridangam), Zakir Hussain (tabla)

CD 3

1 Joy (13:29)
2 India (22:47)

CD 4

1 Natia (? )
2 Kriti (4:10)

SHAKTI-July 8, 1977 ? Montreux Casino
With: John McLaughlin (guitar), L. Shankar (violin), T.H. Vinayakram (ghatam, mridangam), Zakir Hussain (tabla)

CD 5

1 La Danse Du Bonheur (11:29)
2 India (23:46)
3 Get Down And Sruti (28:38)
4 Joy (8:52)

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN & THE ONE TRUTH BAND -July 19, 1978 Montreux Casino
With: John McLaughlin (guitar), Stu Goldberg (keyboards), L. Shankar (violin), Tom Stevens (bass), W. "Sonship" Theus (drums)

CD 6

1 Meeting Of The Spirits (16:57)
2 Friendship (11:48)
3 Two Sisters (5:38)
4 Mind Ecology & Do You Hear The Voices We Left Behind (27:51)
5 Phenomenon Compulsion & Hope (8:16)

CHICK COREA & JOHN MCLAUGHLIN -July 15, 1981 Montreux Casino
With: Chick Corea (piano), John McLaughlin (guitar)

CD 7

1 La Baleine (9:21)
2 Waltze (8:42)
3 Romance (10:24)
4 Sketches (9:33)
5 Turn Around (10:43)
6 Thelonius Melodius (8:43)
7 Beautiful Love (dedicated to Bill Evans) (6:31)

MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA -July 18, 1984 Montreux Casino
With: John McLaughlin (guitar), Bill Evans (saxophone), Mitchell Forman (keyboards), Jonas Hellborg (bass), Danny Gottlieb (drums)

CD 8

1 Radio Activity (9:43)
2 Nostalgia (11:13)
3 East Side West Side (14:19)
4 Clarendon Hills (9:53)
5 Blues For L.W., It's The Pits & Living On The Crest Of A Wave (13:42)

CD 9

1 Jozy (13:28)
2 Pacific Express (21:06)
3 Mitch Match (7:47)
4 Mitch Match (reprise) (6:09)

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN & PACO DE LUCIA -July 15, 1987 Montreux Casino
With: John McLaughlin (guitar), Paco de Lucia (guitar)

CD 10

1 One Melody & My Foolish Heart (9:09)
2 El Panuelo (6:12)
3 Spain (10:11)
4 Chiquito (8:45)
5 Florianapolis (11:37)

CD 11

1 Frevo (7:55)
2 David (10:58)
3 Sichia (7:04)
4 Guardian Angels (6:31)

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN & THE FREE SPIRITS -July 4, 1993 Stravinski Auditorium
With: John McLaughlin (guitar), Joey DeFrancesco (organ, trumpet on "When Love Is Far Away"), Dennis Chambers (drums)

CD 12

1 Thelonius Melodius (7:04)
2 Matinale (16:18)
3 When Love Is Far Away (5:52)
4 Nostalgia (7:16)
5 Mother Tongues (13:50)
6 1 Nite Stand (4:35)

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN & THE FREE SPIRITS -July 18, 1995 Stravinski Auditorium
With: John McLaughlin (guitar), Joey DeFrancesco (organ, trumpet), Dennis Chambers (drums)

CD 13

1 Tones For Elvin Jones (9:21)
2 Matinale (20:18)
3 Sing Me Softly Of The Blues (7:55)
4 The Wall Will Fall (14:28)

CD 14

1 After The Rain (5:58)
3 Mother Tongues (20:50)
3 Old Folks (6:33)

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN & THE HEART OF THINGS -July 11, 1998 Stravinski Auditorium
With: John McLaughlin (guitar), Gary Thomas (saxophone, flute), Jim Beard (keyboards), Matthew Garrison (bass), Dennis Chambers (drums)

CD 15

1 Seven Sisters (14:05)
2 Social Climate (9:47)
3 Mr. D.C. (12:53)
4 Tony (7:21)
5 Acid Jazz (12:53)
6 Jazz Jungle (9:40)

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN - REMEMBER SHAKTI -July 8, 1999 Miles Davis Hall
With: John McLaughlin (guitar), Zakir Hussain (tabla), Uppalapu Shrinivas (mandolin), V. Selvaganesh (Indian percussions)

CD 16

1 5 In The Morning, 6 In The Afternoon (16:51)
2 Ma No Pa (11:16)
3 Anna (14:30)
4 Finding The Way (20:15)
5 La Danse Du Bonheur (4:50)

BONUS CD -CARLOS SANTANA with JOHN MCLAUGHLIN
July 4, 1993 Stravinski Auditorium
With: Carlos Santana (guitar), Alex Ligertwood (vocals), Chester Thompson (keyboards), Myron Dove (bass), Walfredo Reyes (drums), Armando Peraza (percussions), Raul Rekow (congas), Karl Perrazzo (timbales). Guest artist: John McLaughlin (guitar)

1 Canto de Xango (6:12)

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN & PACO DE LUCIA -July 8, 1996 Stravinski Auditorium
With: John McLaughlin (guitar), Paco de Lucia (guitar)

2 Frevo (9:00)

The Mahavishnu Concerts are the same ones which have seen the 2 DVD release a couple of years ago.

Claude Nobs and McLaughlin made a decision to not re-master or clean up the original source tapes. While this is called "brave" of McLaughlin in the liner notes, it was also probably cost effective. Because of this decision, some of the earlier concerts suffer from on-stage mishaps and some sound inadequacies and annoying clicks that either happened at the time of the recording or existed on damaged source tapes. The sound gets better as the concerts get newer, but audiophiles should be made aware of the sound issues. the sound is darn good. Like the previous reviewer has said some of the playing times on these discs are on the short side and often could have been fitted onto less disc space with some editing. Even though the sound is not up to todays standards and recorded live from personal sources it is still darned good and far better than bootleg standard.

Sadly a couple of Mclaughlin's Montreaux concerts could not be included because the other performing artists did not give consent (ie Al Di Meola)Even so this is a good retrospective of Mclaughlins career at the Montreaux festival over the years.
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