John McLaughlin – The Road Back to Ronnie’s

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From his humble beginnings discovering the blues as a teenager in post-war Doncaster, guitarist John McLaughlin was soon at the very heart of the international jazz scene thanks to his timely late 1960s stint in the house band at Ronnie Scott's jazz club. Playing with forward-looking UK musicians, as well as jamming with the likes of Jack DeJohnette (who later recommended him to Tony Williams), he was serendipitously discovered by Miles Davis and his subsequent move to the US saw his career rocket into the stratosphere. As he prepares for his 'farewell' tour of the US later this year, once more playing incendiary Mahavishnu material, he also makes a welcome return to his "old stomping ground" for a two-date stint at Ronnie's as part of Jazzwise's 20th Anniversary celebrations. Stuart Nicholson discovers how deep the musical ley lines run in the guitar great's groundbreaking career and how Scott and his club were powerful agents for musical change between Britain and America

This is an extract from Jazzwise Issue #217 – to read the full article click here to Subscribe, save money and get a fantastic jazz CD FREE