John McLaughlin & The Fourth Dimension mastery at Vicar St

McLaughlin is truly phenomenal. His speed, stamina, profound lyricism and his very presence in sound – all of this is wrought through his sublime mastery of the guitar. Yet the true force of his music is divine, and believably so – an experience of pleasure and energy, and yet sincere and exhilarating worship as well. – Down Beat
Five decades into a career spent entirely at the summit of musical artistry, defining new genres for jazz and new frontiers for the guitar, the iconic John McLaughlin is at last making a Dublin debut.
He’ll be greeted by many devotees, for this is a guitar town with a connoisseur’s appreciation of the instrument, and McLaughlin is perhaps its most sublimely gifted exponent, and a source of inspiration to musicians the world over irrespective of genre.
The artistry was manifest on his earliest recordings, beginning with 1969’s Extrapolation, remarkable for its technical fluidity coupled to ceaseless invention and rhythmic intelligence, hallmarks of his playing still, and if anything, made more potent over time.
Within the year, he was playing with Lifetime, Tony William’s groundbreaking group, itself a precursor to towering studio contributions for Miles Davis on Bitches Brew and In A Silent Way. Those recordings forever altered the jazz landscape, ushering in fusion and jazz rock, but McLaughlin was already moving forward, with beautiful acoustic statements like My Goals Beyond foreshadowing the personal journey to come. The road led east, to Mahavishnu Orchestra and Shakti, pioneering groups that brilliantly illuminated Indian music.
With McLaughlin, each decade yields further milestones, and this remarkable feat of creative stamina, sustained itself throughout the 90’s with organ trios like The Free Spirits, where the rhythmic thrills came cascading forth with irresistible clarity.
The sense of life force, of volatile materials mastered but not subdued, is everpresent, none more so than in this latest group with fellow Englishmen Gary Husband and Mark Mondesir, and introducing the prodigiously young and gifted French bassist Hadrien Feraud. With them, he’s let loose the reins and fashioned a bold and invigorating new fusion, distilling a lifetime of music with more to come.
John McLaughlin & The Fourth Dimension Live @ Vicar St. May 30th. Tickets are €49.20 (inc booking fee) on sale now through Ticketmaster and other usual outlets nationwide. Booking Line: 0818 719 390.

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