Exposé Online banner

John McLaughlin — Thieves and Poets
(Verve B0000137-02, 2004, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2006-05-01

Thieves and Poets Cover artThe solo acoustic works of guitar icon John McLaughlin have been in a world class category for the past thirty-five years. Thus finding a suitable compatriot in former student Yan Mareze with a similar mindset to arrange orchestral charts fitting for one new three-part suite and four covers is an amazing feat in itself. McLaughlin himself describes the three movements as steeped in the old world, then new, then a merger of the two. Part one is Spanish influenced with military style themes; it’s moody but wide, sweeping in scope and enthusiasm. Other pieces include a performance of Chick Corea’s “My Foolish Heart” that comes as a cool relief from the outright impassioned drama of the opening of the disc. “The Dolphin” is another song of note as it works for two guitars doing up a piano-based track. “My Romance” is probably the most familiar piece on the disc as popularized by Carly Simon’s recent rendition. In this form the song easily transcends vocal boundaries. The guitarist nods to Bill Evans’ piano arrangement as the main inspiration for this linear and light performance. Cover art shows the guitarist barefoot at home with his dog in a favorite chair lounging in what looks to be a vast library. At this point in his career there is little doubt that the guitarist has rightfully attained a level most performers can only dream of.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2004 releases

Related artist(s): John McLaughlin

Latest news

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ivanhoe - Polarized – Can't get enough of that Iron Maiden? Check out Polarized. There is no doubt, as musicians, Ivanhoe are first rate. The singer, Andy B. Frank is very good, if he's a German singing in English,...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues