Consumer Guide Album
John McLaughlin: Devotion [Douglas, 1970]
McLaughlin reminds me as much of Duane Eddy as of John Coltrane--he loves electric noise for its own sake and rocks more naturally than he swings. Here Buddy Miles provides his usual ham-handed thump, a universe away from Tony Williams's sallies, and McLaughlin just marches along on top, his tone supremely heavy by choice. But like Coltrane, though in a much more detached way, he can get enormous mileage out of harmonic ideas whose simplicity is probably one source of the spirituality he generates. Rarely has a rock improvisation been more basic or more thoughtfully conceived than on the title track, where he and Larry Young trade the same elemental motif for so long it turns into an electric mantra.