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John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension: Now Here This

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John McLaughlin’s doctor, if he were to hear Now Here This, would likely tell this new member of the septuagenarian club to hang up the guitar, relax and buy a condo in Florida. But McLaughlin is having none of that: His second album with the 4th Dimension-Gary Husband (keys, drums), Ranjit Barot (drums) and Etienne M’Bappe (electric bass)-is a largely furious affair. Nearly a half-century after he first started gigging in the U.K., McLaughlin retains the dazzling technique and articulation that established him as a guitar hero with Miles in the late ’60s and stunned with Mahavishnu Orchestra in the ’70s.

Now Here This, in fact, treads as close to classic Mahavishnu fusion territory as McLaughlin has ventured in many a year. Where the group’s 2010 debut, To the One, was McLaughlin paying tribute in spirit to A Love Supreme, this latest outing is a seemingly random collection of new, unrelated songs, the only apparent threads the top-shelf musicianship and songwriting (all McLaughlin originals) throughout.

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