Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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John McLaughlin, Dave Holland, John Surman, Stu Martin, Karl Berger

  • Where Fortune Smiles [Pye, 1971] B+

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Where Fortune Smiles [Pye, 1971]
Recorded in New York in 1969, when McLaughlin's studio appearances were amazing everyone from Jimi to Buddy to Miles, this prefigures Mahavishnu's fusion at an earlier, jazzier stage. Pretty intense. The rock guy (drummer Martin) sounds a lot more original than the jazz guys (keyboard player Berger and--especially--saxophonist Surman), but only the justifiably ubiquitous Holland (on bass) can keep up with McLaughlin. And believe me, even if in historical fact it's McLaughlin who's trying to keep up, that's how it sounds. B+