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John McLaughlin

“I am at the mercy of inspiration,” reflects guitarist and composer John McLaughlin. “In 2009, I had no intention of making a recording – but then this music started to come, without any call from my part.” In fleeting, unexpected moments, the music arrived: a riff, a chord progression, a rhythmic fragment. “I would be in a restaurant with my family,” he says, “and I’d have to reach for a napkin, just to write down an idea. When an idea comes, you have to get it down, or else, before long, it’s gone.”

The music that appeared to him was strangely, hauntingly evocative – its roiling rhythmic swells, modal expanses, and telepathic group interaction echoed back to him a formative influence, and another time in his life. “It reminded me of a very powerful inspiration,” McLaughlin recalls, his voice still filled with wonder over four decades later. “It took me back to 1965, to when I first heard A Love Supreme.” The resultant album, To The One, will be released via Abstract Logix and Mediastarz Monaco on April 20, 2010. No slavish imitation or sentimental tribute, To The One is a fiery yet open-hearted work, taking on the artistic and spiritual challenges first offered by Coltrane’s jazz masterpiece while making extensive use of the pioneering musical and technical vocabulary that McLaughlin has honed since the beginning of his storied career.

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