John McLaughlin is releasing To The One, coming in April. The album features bassist Etienne M’Bappe and the rest of the current 4th Dimension line up, including Gary Husband on keyboards and drums, and Mark Mondesir on drums.
The album is described as taking on the “artistic and spiritual challenges first offered by John Coltrane’s jazz masterpiece A Love Supreme, while making extensive use of the pioneering musical and technical vocabulary that McLaughlin has honed since the beginning of his storied career.”
“This music started to come to me,” McLaughlin explains, “without any call from my part. The sound and feel of this new music took me back to 1965, to when I first heard A Love Supreme. I was 23 years old at that time, and struggling with questions of existence that we all confront sooner or later. Some of us discard them or don’t bother to delve deeper, but that’s not my nature. I was asking big questions: What is the meaning of life? What is this word ‘god’? What is this spirit? It was then that Coltrane came along and single-handedly brought this dimension of spirituality into jazz…it was a pivotal experience to me. It was so encouraging to me in both my musical and spiritual quests. To The One, as an album, is about those two aspects of my life – music and spirituality – crystallized by this recording of Coltrane’s, and how A Love Supreme coincided with my search for meaning in life.”
McLaughlin never gave up on that search, taking him from session work in the UK to recording with Tony Williams and Miles Davis in the US, later forming Mahavishnu Orchestra, and exploring Indian music and spirituality.
The album includes six original compositions written in the summer of 2009 and recorded in November and December.
To The One will be released by Abstract Logix. Look for the No Treble review soon.