****RINGER OF THE WEEK****DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME…Paco De Lucia & John McLaughlin: Paco and John Live At Montreux 1987

I remember watching this concert on TV and wondering to myself “Is this even possible, or am I experiencing an optical illusion?” The mix of legendary fusion guitarist John McLaughlin taking up the acoustic guitar with flamenco legend Paco DeLucia produced a truly classic night on July 15, 1987 at the Montreux Jazz Festival. This 2 cd-dvd set captures the inspired evening. Even now, I can’t believe what I’m hearing!

The concerts begins with McLaughlin doing a solo piece, actually showing restraint on a gracious “One Melody/My Foolish Heart” with de Lucia responding in kind with a sensuous “El Panuelo.” After that, it’s every man for himself, and no holds barred, making you wonder how they can go at frenetic paces in various directions as on “Spain” and “David” and reunite in sync as if they’ve been playing written notes. The two do wonders with the Brazilian flavored “Frevo” while the frets get frantic during “Florianopolis” and “Guardian Angel.” This is not a simple chop fest, however; these guys do wonders with lyricism, space, accents and above all, they are listening to each other with a depth that is palpable. If you’re a guitarist, this will either inspire you to keep practicing, or make you smash  your Gibson against the wall. Prefer the former, as it’s nice to know there are ultimate goals to reach.



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