John McLaughlin Concerto for Guitar & Orchestra
"The Mediterranean"

Recorded in 1988 but not released until 1990, The Mediterranean was written by John McLaughlin and orchestrated by Michael Gibbs. Micheal Tilson Thomas conducted the London Symphony Orchestra as he had for Apocalypse fourteen years earlier. This concerto is nothing like Apocalypse and nothing like jazz. It is, however, yet another validation of McLaughlin's skills as an overall musician and composer-arranger. I saw the world premiere of the Concerto with McLaughlin and the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1986. The piece was very well-received by the crowd and by the critics. The concerto features many of McLaughlin's trademark riffs expanded into coherent streams and themes. His playing is, as always evocative and energizing.

Also appearing on the album are five pieces for guitar and piano. John is joined by Katia LaBeque, his girlfriend/fiance/wife/who knows?, who is truly a gifted musician. The most pleasing of the tunes is "Zakir" which McLaughlin has presented in several different recording contexts over the years. All in all, the album is an impressive body of work and is deserving of your listening time.

Walter Kolosky

Walter Kolosky is a jazz fan and founder of who lives in Braintree, MA, USA


Concerto for Guitar & Orchestra "The Mediterranean":

1. I. - Rhythmic - (11:58)
2. II. - Slow & Sad - (15:34)
3. III. - Animato - (8:36)

Duos with Katia Labeque:

4. Brise de Coeur - (7:45)
5. Montana - (4:28)
6. Two Sisters - (3:53)
7. Until Such Time - (4:29)
8. Zakir - (4:13)

John McLaughlin - acoustic guitar, composer.
On tracks 1-3 add: London Symphony Orchestra;

Michael Tilson Thomas - conductor;
Michael Gibbs - orchestrator.
On tracks 4-8 add: Katia Labeque - Yamaha Piano
and MIDI Grand Piano.
Guitars by Abraham Wechter.

Tracks 1-3 recorded at CTS Studios in Middlesex, England, 1988.
Tracks 4-8 recorded at Studio Davout in Paris, France, 1988.
Produced by Steven Epstein & John McLaughlin (tracks 4-8 only).

  CBS MK 45578 (p) 1990