70 Years of John McLaughlin

On this day in 1942 British guitarist and composer John McLaughlin was born.

US DownBeat Magazine dedicated it’s January cover to this author whose career started at the beginning of the 60’s. Until this day he has collaborated with the most important jazz artists, starting with Tony Williams and Miles Davis.

Two years ago guitarist Jeff Back called him “the best guitarist alive”, while Indian musician Zakir Hussain stated that he is “one of the greatest and one of the important musicians of our times”. Rolling Stone magazine list him as one of “50 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”.

This month’s DownBeat edition brings a comprehensive interview with McLaughlin remembering his beginnings and also talking about the current situation of his career. At age 70 this artist says he never felt better.

“In my mind, I’m still 29, but i do feel the machine getting a little older. I don’t feel any age. To play music, you gotta be a little bit in shape, you need some strength. It’s not really athletic, but it is physically demanding and I make an effort to stay fit. I bike, I swim, I play tennis, I do meditation, I do yoga. I don’t know how many more years I’ve got ahead of me, but whatever happens, I’ve never felt better than I feel right now”, said McLaughlin for the latest issue of DownBeat.

Listen to the composition Now Here This from McLaughlin’s 4th Dimension latest album, released in October last year.

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