Sunday, November 20, 2016

The John McLaughlin Trio, 1989

This fine John McLaughlin Trio concert was recently unearthed amongst my VHS tapes. Even if the tape contained absolutely no information, either on it or on the filmed concerts, as TV stations usually do (adding a logo, a date, end credit), it's not hard to guess it's coming from the 1989 European tour whose London wing (November 27, 1989) was recorded as Live at the Royal Festival Hall.

My second guess is that the concert is filmed at Continental Europe, most likely Germany. (If it's actually from 1989, then its Stuttgart gig can be viewed here.) Furthermore, the footage is from only the first set of the concert and even this first set is incomplete, missing the first song which is Blue in Green by Miles Davis.

There is a tight, often exciting interplay between the players whose performances are interlocked in more than oe way: John McLaughlin on acoustic guitar, Kai Eckhardt-Karpeh on electric bass, and Trilok Gurtu on percussions. Even for someone who is not so keen on acoustic guitar/electric bass combination in a jazz context, in which case I'm one of them, Gurtu is adding enough textures to make the music completely worthwhile. Surprisingly, the music is more leaned towards composition rather than the improvisatory traditions McLaughlin had previously demonstrated in his live concerts.

Thursday, November 3, 2016


Underline is a new quarterly journal of arts published by British Council. I'm the editor and glad to say that Underline is available for free download in both Persian and English editions. The first issue, dedicated to the 1960s, contains one music-related piece, giving an insightful overview of the British Invasion and Beatlemania in Iran of the 1960. Download here.