Jazz fusion John McLaughlin has announced that he will release his latest album, Liberation Time, through Abstract Logix/Mediastarz on July 16.
Liberation Time sees McLaughlin reflecting on both the perils and potential of this challenging moment as the world reels from the social, emotional and spiritual toll of the ongoing viral-induced global lockdown.
Recorded in the Autumn of 2020, the album is characterised by both joy and reflection, Liberation Time finds McLaughlin harnessing his frustrations and redirecting that energy. “The result,” he explains, “was an explosion of music in my mind.”
Liberation Time features Gary Husband on piano along with Julian Siegel (tenor saxophone) Oz Ezzeldin (piano), Jerome Regard (bass) and Nicolas Viccaro (drums). McLaughlin’s current 4th Dimension ensemble (McLaughlin, Husband, bassist Etienne Mbappe and drummer Ranjit Barot) also feature.
“I have a certain experience playing drums, piano, and bass,” he says, “so it’s not difficult for me to create a session that not only gives the structure melodically, rhythmically and harmonically -- along with the atmosphere of the piece. I set this up and send it to the musicians, giving very broad outlines of the piece, and ask them to be themselves in their improvisations and in the way they accompany the themes. Several pieces came back to me transformed, and I would then re-record my part in response.”
The album also features two solo piano pieces from McLaughlin, Mila Repa and Shade Of Blue, an instrument he has not recorded on since his 1973 collaboration with Carlos Santana, Love Devotion Surrender.