John McLaughlin & The Free Spirits – Live at Umbria Jazz Festival 1995. McLaughlin appears as The Free Spirits, a jazz-blues trio based on the B-3 hammond organ, in which McLaughlin plays Johnny Smith on electric guitar, organist Joey DeFrancesco and powerful drummer Dennis Chambers.
This performance will disappoint those hoping for a classic 1970s version of McLaughlin. Listeners hoping to hear the plaintiff scream and distorted guitar will also be upset. McLaughlin’s blues tone is somewhat warm and processed, and is sometimes easy to lose in cascades of a busy B-3 barrage. Still, McLaughlin’s guitar remains vintage. He plays through and around, interweaving his unison lines with DeFrancesco so deftly that you have to work a little to distinguish them. His unison playing is always impressive though. And of course, the punchy drums of Dennis Chambers will not leave anyone indifferent.
John McLaughlin & The Free Spirits (1995)
Sing Me Softly Of The Blues
The Wall Will Fall
After The Rain
John McLaughlin – guitar
Joey DeFrancesco – hammond organ, trumpet
Dennis Chambers – drums