John McLaughlin has lived in Monaco for years, having recently been given the distinct honour of gathering a new legendary band before the Monte-Carlo Jazz Festival: 4th Dimension. The crew features Etienne M’Bappe on bass, Gary Husband on keyboard and Ranjit Barot on drums. Their music mixes Western and Indian influences and techniques, but in a way which is totally different from what he experimented on with Shakti.
To do so, the British guitarist worked with Indian singer and composer Shankar Mahadevan, who will be present on stage with the band for this highly exceptional evening. At 76 years old, John McLaughlin is considered to be one of the greatest guitarists alive. His career truly began when recording Miles Davis’s famous track “In a Silent Way”, heralded as the beginning of jazz-rock fusion. In 1970, he formed the Mahavishnu Orchestra and recorded a handful of masterpieces, which together gave the jazz-rock musical genre a badge of honour. In 1975, McLaughlin unplugged his guitar to concentrate on studying Indian music and Shakti form.
For that acoustic ensemble, he played a guitar with a grooved neck, offering him sound not unlike a sitar. In the early ‘80s, he collaborated with guitarists Paco de Lucia and Al di Meola to add a flamenco touch to his very “fusion” music. After several different bands, participations and band re-formations, it was with 4th Dimension that the British guitarist found the balance and inspiration to begin the final part of his career, one of utmost creativity! After a goodbye tour in the US during which the band replayed Mahavishnu Orchestra classics before ecstatic crowds, John decided to associate the band with a project several years coming with Shankar Mahadevan.
The Monte-Carlo Jazz Festival is particularly pleased and proud to welcome their collaboration. We will finally discover the music that now occupies the “guitar genius’s” spirit, as he permanently reinvents his art.