Fans of John McLaughlin have new reason to be excited this week. That is because Eagle Rock Entertainment and Montreux Sounds have released a new archived performance by the veteran guitarist. Paco An John Live at Montreux 1987 was released this Friday, June 24th. The triple-disc set is not the first of McLaughlin’s Montreux performances to be released by the companies. Five years ago, they released McLaughlin’s performance alongside fellow guitar virtuoso Carlos Santana at the 2011 Montreux Festival on Blu-ray. This latest recording takes fans even farther back in time and presents him with another guitarist—Paco de Lucia. There is plenty for fans of both musicians to appreciate in this new recording beginning with its set list. This will be discussed shortly. The duo’s stage presence is just as important to note. It will be discussed later. Last and most definitely not least of note in this set’s presentation is its companion booklet. It brings everything full circle with this presentation and shows together with the previously noted elements why this recording is one more must have for any John McLaughlin fan.
Eagle Rock Entertainment and Montreux Sounds’ new archived concert recording Paco and John Live at Montreux 1987 is a new must have for any fan of Paco de Lucia. It is just as much of a must have for any fan of John McLaughlin. It is not the first of McLaughlin’s Montreux performances to be released by Eagle Rock and Montreux Sounds. But it is unlike his previous released performances. That is evident in the first of the set’s most important elements—its set list. This concert’s set list features a mix of Mclaughlin and de Lucia’s own originals, and a number of covers, too. McLaughlin makes note of this in the set’s companion booklet. That will be discussed at more length later. In all, the nine songs (technically ten since the set’s opener is a two-song medley of sorts) that make up the body of the concert total ninety-one minutes. What’s important to note is that while nine (or ten) songs might not seem like much, each song’s arrangement is so in depth that each one must be truly experienced in order to be fully understood and appreciated. In other words, the set list presented here is not one that one can just have on in the background when experiencing it. It is one that requires full attention from one song to the next in order to be fully appreciated. It is just one of the recording’s most important elements. McLaughlin and de Lucia’s stage presence is just as important to note here as the show’s set list.
The set list featured in Paco de Lucia and John McLaughlin’s new live recording is an important part of the recording’s presentation in its own right. That is made clear simply by listening through the entirety of its ninety-one minute run time. It is just one of the recording’s most important elements. McLaughlin and de Lucia’s stage presence is just as important to note in this recording as the concert’s set list. The duo’s stage presence is so important to note because of how little the pair does throughout the course of its performance. Both men spend the length of their performance sitting down while they perform. There’s no walking around on stage, pacing back and forth. Even with this being the case, both men still manage to keep audiences entertained and engaged. That is done primarily through each musician’s display of musical talents. The precision and expertise exhibited in each man’s performance is impressive to say the very least. Actually getting to see that expertise in the set’s DVD reveals just how impressive their talents are. The pair’s facial gestures do just as much for their stage presence as their performance of the set’s featured songs. This includes the moments when each is alone on stage and when the pair is performing together. The sly little smiles that the pair share with one another as they perform speak volumes. Those motions do just as much to entertain as do those of any performer’s more active behavior on stage. That is a true testament to the power of the simplicity in the pair’s stage presence. It shows that just as the old adage states, big things sometimes do indeed come in small packages. Now, keeping this in mind, it should be clear why de Lucia an McLaughlin’s stage presence is so important to note in the overall presentation of this recording. Their stage presence is so simple. Yet it does so much for the experience even in (and perhaps thanks to) its simplicity. When that simple and so entertaining stage presence is set against the recording’s set list, both elements prove even more their importance to this recording. They are not its only important elements, either. The companion booklet that is included in the recording is just as important to its presentation as the recording’s set list and its performers’ stage presence.
The set list featured in Paco and John Live at Montreux 1987 is its own important element in the set’s overall presentation. The same can be said of de Lucia and McLaughlin’s stage presence. Both elements are each important in their own way to the recording’s presentation. They are, however, not its only important elements. The companion booklet that comes with the set is just as important to the set’s presentation as those other noted elements. The companion booklet should be noted in large part because of its liner notes. The notes in question were written by John McLaughlin. McLaughlin discusses in the notes the show’s set list and his friendship with de Lucia. There is even a very small music theory lesson of sorts in the liner notes as he discusses Bulerias, which he states are “one of the pillars of the Flamenco musical traditions.” The liner notes are brief, but also concise. In the end, it brings the presentation full circle. It rounds out the recording’s overall experience, proving once and for all why Paco and John Live at Montreux 1987 is one more must have for fans of both de Lucia and McLaughlin.
Paco and John Live at Montreux 1987 is a must have for any fan of Paco de Lucia and John McLaughlin. It is one of those rare presentations that does so much with so little. This is evident in the show’s set list, which runs a total of ninety-one minutes. It features compositions from McLaughlin and de Lucia but from their counterparts, too. Those that listen closely will note the difference in sound and style between each song, too. The duo’s performance on stage is so simple throughout. As odd as it may seem, that simplicity actually makes a big impact on the experience. The show’s liner notes are just as simple yet add their own depth to the experience, too. Each element proves in the end to be important in its own right to the whole of this recording. Altogether they make Paco and John Live at Montreux 1987, again, a live recording (and recording in general) that every one of de Lucia and McLaughlin’s fans should have in their own home music collections. It is available now in stores and online. More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:
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