The years have given the eminence grise silver hair.
They have not diminished the eternal good humor of this silky jazzman.
The 80-year-old British guitarist John McLaughlin performs his electric jazz fusion steeped in blues on Monday at the Seine Musicale.
At the head of the 4th Dimension, his group formed in 2004, the former collaborator of David Bowie and Miles Davis blew 80 candles in January.
And he does not yet intend to bid farewell to the stage.
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“80 is a number! What does it mean ? I have a brother who is ten years older than me and who rides his bike every day,”
“80 is a number!
What does it mean ?
I have a brother who is ten years older than me and who rides his bike every day,”
the Englishman who has lived in Monaco for forty years told AFP in almost perfect French.
Vegetarian, practicing meditation and yoga daily and walking and cycling regularly, John McLaughlin barely concedes that
“after 80 circles around the sun, things start to change a little, especially on the body side” .
Pioneer of jazz fusion
Despite the aches, this elegant Briton, who started in the 1950s in rhythm and blues groups before branching off into jazz and then Indian music and flamenco, is eager to take the stage on Monday.
"Zero concerts in 2020, one in 2021, cancellation of everything that had been planned since the beginning of the year... we can't wait to play",
underlines this jazz fusion star, who took his guitar, an instrument towards which the pointed one of his brothers at the age of 11, in various directions.
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Carlos Santana, Chick Corea or Paco de Lucia… John McLaughlin has played with the greatest.
He was also part of the early adventures of electric jazz, joining Miles Davis in 1969 to record Bitches Brew, the cult founding stone of jazz-rock.
Two formations that he then set up have left their mark on contemporary jazz: the Mahavishnu Orchestra and Shakti.
John McLaughlin owes much to a supportive family environment growing up in a small village in the northeast of England.
“Thanks to my older brothers, I was introduced to a real potpourri of music, my mother was a classical violinist,”
recalls the musician, who had a real shock when he discovered Django Reinhardt.
For fifteen years, he has offered within the 4th Dimension a synthesis of these different influences: the Cameroonian bassist Étienne Mbappé for the funk and African touch, the drummer Ranjit Barot for his science of Indian polyrhythms, form a launching pad there. ideal for the guitarist.
The blues, that of the first hour, always irrigates his long improvisations.
His velocity and his way of playing staccato, detaching the notes, are other characteristics of his style.