Brilliant record. McLaughlin told me - in an interview around 1999 - that he hadn't studied Indian music when he recorded My Goals Beyond, and this might have surprised me more if he were a lesser musician.
Zakir Hussain, the tabla-player with whom McLaughlin later collaborated on Making Music and in Shakti, once advanced the theory that JM had been a percussionist (presumably Indian) in a previous life, so maybe that's it.
But the Indian 'feel' interacts with the influences from Bill Evans (and other jazzers, eg Lester Young) that McLaughlin would explore on later records.
As ever, though, with McLaughlin this is no self-conscious "fusion" but something that flows from his spirit and musicianship. Seems to be unavailable at the moment, but well worth tracking down.
on 13 September 2002
I have owned this on record and CD for the last twenty odd years, and I never tire of it. The first eight tracks (about half the album's running time) feature John McLaughlin playing overdubbed acoustic guitar plus occasional percussion on a variety of original and standard compositions. The performances of McLaughlin's own "Follow your Heart" and Charlie Mingus' "Goodbye Pork-pie Hat" are particular favourites of mine with "Blue in Green" following closely behind. Great melodic playing.
The last two longish tracks are both of Indian feel played by what looks like an early Mahavishnu Orchestra "unplugged" lineup featuring Dave Liebman, Jerry Goodman, Billy Cobham and Charlie Haden. Fantastic.
If I could only have one John McLaughlin album, this would be it.
on 15 April 2016
Beautiful album, long been a favourite of mine. Dazzling playing throughout and i especially love peace 1 and 2 can highly recommend it just for those tracks alone. Many have commented on his acoustic over electric pieces and generally i sit on the fence, i cherry pick the best of each phases of his experiments with is art. When i don't sit on the fence is when i hear this album and natural elements / shakti, the playing on these albums is like nothing else and makes his electric albums seem insensitive by comparison. They can move me to tears and wonder at how a human can create such beauty, it feels like it comes from beyond and is very spiritual.
on 12 June 2003
I came across this album 10 years ago, I was looking to purchase a John Mclaughlin Mahavishnu Orchestra album, but the record store only had My Goals Beyond, so I settled for that.
On first listen I was surprised, but immediately captivated, never before had an acoustic album caught my attention as this one did. The first 8 tracks contain the most beautiful and accomplished guitar playing I had ever heard, inspiring me to pick up my acoustic guitar again. The last 2 tracks feature a group performance, a chilled out, indian influenced jam.
I own most of John Mclaughlins albums now and this is easily his finest work. I'd also have to say this is one of my favourite jazz albums(almost as good as Miles Davis's "A Kind of Blue").
'My Goal's Beyond' is an essential purchase for any fan of John McLaughlin and 70's fusion. The album focuses on McLaughlin's acoustic work,but that is not to suggest that this second solo outing from the great man is in any way underpowered or lacking in variety,far from it. Musically the album veers from free -formish Indian jams that students of Shakti will appreciate,to hints of flamenco and some beautifully realised accounts of standards like 'Goodbye Porkpie Hat' and 'Blue in Green'. McLaughlin plays with his customary verve and awesome technique throughout,yet he remains musical in all he does. His supporting musicians-Charlie Haden,Airto Moreira , Billy Cobham and co provide fine support,but really it's the great man's show from start to finish.
Unsure,whether to shell out for this album? Try the stunning ,'Follow Your Heart' . If it appeals,then you know what to do. This is a very well put together set: good remastering, tasty digipack and worthwhile sleeve notes makes this a worthwhile for anyone's hard earned money. My only reservation is that the original production job is just a tad dry sounding-at least to my ears, but that is a minor failing in what is otherwise a great album.