First heard by many music fans in America as a sideman to Miles Davis, British-born John McLaughlin was the original guitar hero of '70s electric jazz. By infusing the music of his own band, Mahavishnu Orchestra, with rock tone, volume and aggression, McLaughlin helped expand the acceptable sonic palette for jazz guitarists everywhere. Along the way, he also induced more than a few prog-rock fans to start listening to jazz. Formed in 2007, 4th Dimension offers an updated take on fusion that reflects McLaughlin's diverse musical experiences — from neo-classical to various world traditions — since that early success. While downplaying the bombast and overly frenetic quality associated with the genre's worst excesses, the group still provides ample opportunity for the leader to show off his distinctive, rapid-fire soloing.
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