I am enthused that John McLaughlin is planning a tour for late next year 2017 that will encompass the music of The Mahavishnu Orchestra. Having seen The Mahavishnu Orchestra in 1973 and enjoying their seminal jazz fusion recordings lo these many decades I can’t wait to witness that music performed live by the master.
There are strong hints about special guest stars appearing during this tour. I wonder if they will include Billy Cobham, Jan Hammer or other Mahavishnu Orchestra members. Carlos Santana is a devout fan of John McLaughlin and I can visualize him playing Mahavishnu Orchestra selections. Well we have 13+ months before this tour commences so stay tuned.
Press Release – In a career that spans more than five decades, John McLaughlin has honed a personal vision that transcends all boundaries, becoming one of improvised music’s most influential guitarists, composers, and bandleaders. McLaughlin will be joined by the remarkable Jimmy Herring, who has been in the creative forefront of the thriving American rock-jam band movement for 25 years, for what has been dubbed The Meeting of the Spirits tour. Highlighting this musical adventure, will be John McLaughlin revisiting the pioneering music he introduced with his deeply influential, genre-defying Mahavishnu Orchestra. McLaughlin will be backed by his current band, the 4th Dimension – Ranjit Barot (drums), Gary Husband (keyboards, drums), and Etienne M’Bappé (bass) – each an established composer and recording artist in his own right.
Jimmy Herring, best known for his inspired contributions to the Aquarium Rescue Unit, The Allman Brothers, Widespread Panic, The Dead, and others, will be co-headlining each show with his own band. “Herring possesses the heart and soul of a rocker, the chops and harmonic awareness of a jazz artist, and the simpatico personality of a jam-band player,” according to Guitar Player magazine. 2017 also marks the return of Jimmy Herring as a bandleader since touring after his widely acclaimed “Lifeboat” (2008) and “Subject to Change without Notice” (2012).
On The Meeting of the Spiritstour, separate sets by Herring and McLaughlin will be followed by the two joining forces for an expansive closing jam based on classic Mahavishnu Orchestra material. The tour will feature the first extended collaborations between two of world’s foremost improvising guitarists. Expect special surprise guests to be added when available.
“The music of Mahavishnu is part of my personal and musical history, and as such it is inseparable from me,” McLaughlin reflects. “To return to these pieces with the experience I’ve had for the past 45 years, since the majority of those pieces were played all those years ago, is very exciting.”
Herring adds, “John’s influence on me is far-reaching. When first hearing him, I was struck by the raw emotion and technical prowess he has. If you listen to John long enough, the layers of all the things that make him unique will reveal themselves…Inner Mounting Flame changed my life and the way I heard music. By the time I heard it in 1980, John had long since moved on and recreated himself, as he has done many times throughout his career. It is an honor and a privilege to do this tour with John and the 4th Dimension.”
McLaughlin’s first extensive U.S. tour in seven years, The Meeting of the Spirits also marks his first extended exploration of the Mahavishnu Orchestra material from seminal albums such as Inner Mounting Flame, Birds of Fire, Between Nothingness and Eternity, Visions of the Emerald Beyond and more since the band’s original heyday in the 1970s.
“To play the music of Mahavishnu is not for the faint-hearted,” says McLaughlin, who celebrates his 75th birthday in 2017. “In fact, among the only people I know who have succeeded in interpreting Mahavishnu music are my two all-time favorite guitarists: Jimmy Herring and Jeff Beck. Jimmy is simply a great guitar player, and since we see so eye to eye in music, I know we will have some extraordinary musical experiences touring together.”
McLaughlin strongly feels that this will be his last American performances. He is hoping that all of his friends who have supported him over the years can come out to celebrate this tour with him. After all, it was in America that he met Miles Davis and Tony Williams and played on such trailblazing albums as In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew. America was the true birthplace of the Mahavishnu Orchestra.
This year’s Tribute will feature folk-rock legend Donovan, who will be honored as the recipient of the 2016 John Lennon Real Love Award. Having accompanied the Beatles on their historic journey to India, Donovan will perform a special extended set dedicated to John Lennon, which will include Beatles songs and his own classics.
“I am delighted to be honored at this year’s ‘John Lennon Real Love Award.’ And I am amazed to say that John has written a song through me which I will sing at the Tribute with special guests. Please support Theatre Within and remember, PEACE BEGINS WITHIN.” — Donovan
Dear Jerry: Let’s Play 2two epic concert events honoring the diverse musical talents of Jerry Garcia. Set to take place Friday, October 14, 2016 and Saturday, October 15, 2016 in the MD/DC/VA metropolitan area, the milestone events pay tribute to the iconic musician with two-nights of unprecedented performances by an extraordinary lineup of musicians. Dear Jerry: Let’s Play 2 follows Blackbird Presents’ and the Jerry Garcia family’s acclaimed 2015 concert, Dear Jerry: Celebrating the Music of Jerry Garcia, set for release on Friday, October 14, 2016 and currently available for pre-order.
Dear Jerry: Let’s Play 2 – kicks off October 14th at Washington D.C.’s DAR Constitution Hall with “Jerry Uncovered: Exploring Jerry Garcia through the JGB Songbook,”. Featuring performances by Warren Haynes (on lead guitar and vocals), Alison Krauss, John Medeski, Don Was, Jamey Johnson, Raymond Weber and more.
The following night, at Fairfax, Virginia’s EagleBank Arena, Haynes, the Avett Brothers and other special guests will lead “This Is 30!,” a performance that recreates a classic Jerry Garcia Band show from October 1986, a gig that marked the Grateful Dead singer’s return to the stage.
Pre-sale tickets go on sale, today, Tuesday, August 30, 2016 at 12PM via ticketmaster.com. Use code: JERRY to purchase pre-sale tickets.
The Nantucket Historical Association (NHA) is pleased to welcome special guests Paul Winter and Dr. Roger Payne for a legendary one-night concert on Wednesday, August 31, 2016 at 7 P.M. at the Whaling Museum, 13 Broad Street.
Paul Winter is a saxophonist and composer, and seven-time Grammy winner. Dr. Roger Payne is the biologist famous for the discovery of humpback whale songs in the 1960s, and an environmentalist who has played a major role in the worldwide campaign to end commercial whaling. The two have collaborated for decades in creating music inspired by the whales, interweaving these extraordinary voices into the fabric of the music.
This special “Whales Alive” concert features music based on themes from the songs of the whales, interwoven with the whales’ voices. It will include the finale from the Winter/Payne album Whales Alive, featuring Payne’s poem “The Voyage Home,” narrated by Leonard Nimoy. Dr. Payne will tell of his adventures recording whales since the mid-20th century, and also speak about the ongoing challenges whales still face, as well as pollution in the world’s oceans.
“In the past, whales were valued as a commercial product on Nantucket,” says Paul Winter. “It will be a privilege to come here now and celebrate the beauty of living whales and their iconic voices in the present day.”
As described by Winter and Payne in the “Whales Alive” album liner notes, “Whale songs, in this short while since they have come into our culture, have touched the hearts of a human audience so large that whale-watching is now a bigger business than whale-killing. We have come to value their living beauty more than their dead bodies. They have helped us mature, and to acquire humility, as our consciousness has grown from “Save the Whales” to “Saved by the Whale.” ‘Whales Alive’ is a celebration of optimism, and our song of gratitude to whales for the beauty and wisdom they have brought into our lives.”
Paul Winter’s musical odyssey has long embraced the traditions of the world’s cultures, as well as the wildlife voices of what he refers to as “the greater symphony of the Earth.” From the early days of his college jazz sextet, which toured Latin America for the State Department and performed the first-ever jazz concert at the White House for the Kennedys in 1962, to his later ensemble, the Paul Winter Consort, his concert tours and recording expeditions have taken him to 52 countries and to wilderness areas on six continents, where he has traveled on rafts, dog sleds, mules, kayaks, tug-boats and Land Rovers.
Winter has recorded 45 albums, of which 7 have been honored with Grammy® Awards. Since 1980, Paul and his Consort have been artists-in-residence at New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine, where they have presented over 200 unique events, including their famed annual Winter Solstice and Summer Solstice Celebrations. Paul’s current project is “Flyways: A Celebration of the Great Bird Migration from Africa through the Middle East to Eurasia” which will incorporate indigenous music of each of the sixteen countries over which the birds fly, interwoven with the voices of the birds.
Dr. Roger Payne is best known for his studies of whales in the wild. He has an AB from Harvard and a Ph.D. from Cornell. He is best known for his co-discovery (with Scott McVay) that humpback whales actually sing songs. His 1971 article in National Geographic magazine included a playable recording of whale songs.
Payne has led over 100 expeditions to all oceans and studied every species of large whale in the wild. He pioneered many of the benign research techniques now used throughout the world to study free-swimming whales, and he has trained many of the current leaders in whale research, both in the US and abroad. Payne has lectured at most major U.K. and U.S. universities, and from 1971-1990 appeared on most major TV and radio talk shows, as well as being the subject of more than 40 television films. Payne was also featured in the 2015 Jane and Payne, exploring his friendship with Jane Goodall.
This concert is being presented with the generous support of the Hall-Froelich Foundation.
Admission to this incredible evening is only $10 per person for the performance, with limited $50 tickets available for the performance and a reception immediately following. All tickets are on sale now at www.nha.org/tickets.
Doors open at 6:30 P.M., with the concert beginning promptly at 7 P.M.
We are privileged to receive invites to “free” private concerts at Mohegan Sun as Momentum members. The latest concert we thoroughly enjoyed was Peter Frampton on Sunday June 12th.
This was my third time seeing Peter Frampton in concert in 41 years. I always liked the Humble Pie Rockin the Fillmore live recording. I interviewed Peter backstage at Staples High School in 1975. He was promoting the Frampton studio album that started his meterotic rise the following year with Frampton Comes Alive. I found him gracious to grant an hour of his time while he tuned his guitar. I got a private concert before the rest of the audience that night 😉
(I scanned my past article from The Entertainer music newspaper that I wrote for in the mid-70s. I also sold ads for them, making 40% per ad in those days. Sorry it is grainy and has my ink edits.) —> Peter Frampton
I next saw Frampton with my son at the Sixth Annual Jammy Awards in 2006 at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden. Peter Frampton joined Guster and worked on material from Guster’s new album Ganging up the Sun. Martin Sexton also joined them for a version of Frampton’s “Do You Feel Like We Do.”
Considering that the June 12 show was free I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. He didn’t disappoint as Peter Frampton and his band played strong for 90 minutes plus a three song encore. His guitar playing has reached another dimension of excellence. He played a cover version of Black Hole Sun by Soundgarden that knocked me out.
I was quite impressed with the instrumental songs he played from the Fingerprints album, which was awarded a Grammy Award in 2007. Frampton was on the mark. He’s a true professional as was his stellar band.
Fans of the legendary Grateful Dead and John Mayer, get ready! These two forces are joining together to perform as Dead & Company for their #AmexUNSTAGED concert on 11/7 at 7:30PM ET. You can watch the livestream and the 24 hour rebroadcast at http://AmexUNSTAGED.com/DeadAndCompany.
This Webcast is going up on the living room wall via HiDef, Optimum, Macbook Pro, and Google Chromecast baby!! Thanks American Express and Dead & Company!
Reunited, The Zombies are back with a U.S. tour underway and a new album, Still Got That Hunger that drops next Friday October 9th.Still Got That Hunger features a new version of their 1965 single “I Want You Back Again” along with nine brand new songs!
A centerpiece of The Zombies tour is the performance of the superlative album, Odessey and Oracle in its entirety. I’ve seen The Zombies play pieces of this cult classic live in concert before but not with the four original members and a backing band.
Enthusiastic to see them live on Oct 13th, in Ridgefield, CT at The Ridgefield Playhouse. Hopefully I will be able to buy a couple of autographed recordings that night for my collection 😉
The year was 1969. I was a 17-year-old high school graduate living and working in Connecticut. I was a babe in the woods when it came to New York City and “Live” rock concerts. My music tastes were forged listening intently to progressive rock radio station WNEW-FM 102.7.
The Fillmore East was the goal I had to experience. Bill Graham’s magic venue was constantly advertised on WNEW which made that passion stronger in my soul.
A fellow Jethro Tull fanatic scored four tickets at $5.50@ for us to see The Jeff Beck Group, Jethro Tull and The Soft White Underbelly perform at The Fillmore East on July 3rd, 1969. I was pumped. I could finally see my first “live” rock concert and it would take place at The Fillmore East! Little did I realize it would be the first of 425+ concerts in the next 46 years I would attend. This concert changed my life from radio station listener to active music participant. I have loved and nurtured the role of concert attendee ever since that day.
Since none of us drove a car, we rode the train from South Norwalk, CT to Grand Central Station. All the way down to the East Village we held a lively debate about our favorite band Jethro Tull and their first album, This Was. We loved to argue competitively which was the best song on the album. My favorite choice was “Serenade to a Cuckoo” by Rahsaan Roland Kirk. I fought for it vehemently as others articulated their favorites. Tull fanatics were we enjoying our obsession!
We took the IRT Lexington Avenue subway line to Astor Place. It was a cool and comfortable July evening in the East Village neighborhood. Our anticipation grew as we approached The Fillmore East venue on 2nd Avenue. The smell of pot and incense filled the air. The sidewalks were crowded with long-haired hippies like us. I was approached several times before we went inside if I had a spare ticket. I never responded and just kept walking. The famous lighted marquee above showed in black letters, July 3 Jeff Beck/Jethro Tull. We surrendered our tickets at the door which the Fillmore usher proceeded to tear in half. He gave us each a program (which I have since lost, sigh) and then he escorted us to our seats under the balcony overhang. He had long hair to the middle of his back and was wearing a Fillmore East green basketball jersey. He used his flashlight to point out our four seats in aisle M. Then he smiled and said, “Enjoy the show.” I thought what a cool job wondering how many great shows had he seen?
The theater was bustling as people milled about. The banter of the crowd was loud and lively. The stage was smaller than I thought it would be. I was fine with that as it added to the intimate nature of the celebration.
Soon the lights went down and Kip Cohen (Managing Director) announced the opening act. “Ladies and Gentleman please give a warm New York City welcome for Soft White Underbelly.” The first act Soft White Underbelly was a local Long Island band. They would evolve to later become Blue Oyster Cult. I was not familiar with this band’s music at all. I loved their raw energy and loud, thrashing guitars. I watched as Light by Pablo set the backdrop for their set with lots of uses of white and grey graphics. At one point I saw an image of the great white whale Moby Dick thrashing in the ocean behind them. I loved witnessing the use of lighting and graphics accented the artist’s music as they played. This art form fascinated me. Soft White Underbelly played a short, 30 minute set and received a nice round of applause for their effort.
We started yelling, “Jethro Tull, Jethro Tull”, repeatedly. The guys in front of us gave us a look of disapproval but we didn’t care. We heard the announcer say, “From England, Jethro Tull”. Next thing you know Ian Anderson and the Jethro Tull band took the stage. Ian was a whirling dervish that night. Silver flute in hand wearing a red checkered bath robe with long suede boots laced all the way up to his knee. He had this wild look in his eyes and he often stood on one foot as he played the flute. Off they went into the first song from This Was, “My Sunday Feeling”.
I was jumping up and down with Tull as they rocked the house. Wow, I was really getting to see my favorite band perform right in front of me. They sounded fantastic, much more dynamic than their album ever conveyed.
We quickly learned that Mick Abrahams, original Tull lead guitarist, had been replaced by Martin Barre. I was disappointed because I loved Abrahams style and wanted to see him play. Martin Barre, as the new Jethro Tull took a bit of getting used to that night. (Martin Barre became a fixture with Jethro Tull for the next four decades.)
We did not know yet that we were about to be treated to several new tracks from their “unreleased” second studio recording, Stand Up.
The lighting for Jethro Tull was a thick, dark, wooded glen. The screen changed into fantastic shades of forest green and blue. I recall the leaves turning bronze and copper which offset the trees smartly.
The song I liked the best from Stand Up was “Fat Man”. It was Ian Anderson seated singing and playing mandolin and Clive Bunker on bongos with bells on his feet staying in time. It was a departure from the songs on This Was. I found the song about being fat enchanting and fun. Ian Anderson’s wry sense of humor came across on these lyrics.
The Fillmore East concert was held on the eve of the Newport Jazz Festival on July 4th. George Wein had decided that Newport Jazz would go Rock that year. Jethro Tull and The Jeff Beck Group along with Led Zeppelin were scheduled to change jazz festival history as part of a transformative lineup in Newport, Rhode Island. Ian Anderson mentioned to the audience how he couldn’t wait to perform with Rahsaan Roland Kirk.
Then Jethro Tull played my favorite song, “Serenade to a Cuckoo”. I was enthralled to get my private wish of hearing this song played live answered. Tull justified their place at Newport when they performed this jazz classic.
Their set ended too quickly for us. We yelled and screamed “Tull” as they excitedly vanished to wildly enthusiastic applause.
The Jeff Beck Group headlined The Fillmore East concert. Jeff Beck was a very skillful guitar slinger set against the light show extravaganza. The lighting effect for The Jeff Beck Group was the psychedelic bubble formed in a petri dish on an overhead projector. I was reminded of the cover of Iron Butterfly’s In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida as the bubble throbbed and mutated above the band. I was witnessing a member of the Yardbirds. How cool was that?
Rod Stewart was vocalist extraordinaire for Jeff Beck. He was the dandy with a long scarf that he threw about his neck as he strutted the stage like a peacock. He was very tall and the women were taken with him. He was the sex symbol we would later read about in the seventies. I loved his gravelly voice.
The Jeff Beck Group also featured Ron Wood (Small Faces, Rolling Stones) on bass guitar and Tony Newman on drums. They tore the roof off The Fillmore East venue that night.
After the concert we walked back to the subway stop, making a pit stop at Gramophone a record shop where I purchased Beck-Ola by The Jeff Beck Group. I wanted to become more familiar with the songs I heard them do that evening. I still own that album and play it when the mood strikes me.
Years later I ended up seeing Blue Oyster Cult right up the street from where I live, Jethro Tull six more times (not including the Ian Anderson Rubbing Elbow Tours, which is another story for another day) and Jeff Beck twice at Madison Square Garden.
The Fillmore East – 105 Second Avenue, East Village
The Fillmore East survived just four years. Rock music was moving to the arenas and stadiums. The Fillmore business model could no longer afford to pay the bands who made our music. The Greenwich Village Society for Historical Preservation commemorated The Fillmore East on October 9, 2014 with this plaque.