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John McLaughlin announces new studio album

John McLaughlin
(Image credit: Proper)

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.

John McLaughlin

(Image credit: Abstract Logix/Mediastarz)

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock, as well as sleevenotes for many major record labels. He lives in North London and happily indulges a passion for AC/DC, Chelsea Football Club and Sydney Roosters.