News, Notes and Pictures

                                                    Rick Laird

                                          Sandra Bernhard

                                           Stanley Clarke
                                              Christopher Cross
                               Gary Husband
                                                    Ranjit Barot
                                  Etienne M'Bappe
Larry Carlton

                                      The California Guitar Trio

                                              Dennis Chambers

                                             Felix Cavaliere


Turtle Island Quartet

Billy Cobham

Had a chance to listen to the new album "Groundswell" from Moraine (MoonJune Records) this morning. If a gun were held to my head, I'd call it "grunge jazz-rock swing." If not, I'd call it really good and well worth your time.

New Tony Williams Lifetime Images Emerge

A couple of months back, I was contacted by drummer Al Faaet. He was a fan of my Mahavishnu book. He wanted to help with the comprehensive Mahavishnu Orchestra gig list that we have been compiling for years. I get notes all the time from people who tell me they were at a concert that we don’t have listed. The problem is that many times they cannot prove it. Memories aren’t so perfect- especially memories from the 70s. (Those of you who lived through those years know what I mean.) So, I have learned to require some tangible proof before I place a concert in the gig list. A newspaper review, a ticket stub or some sort of provable record will do it. Well, Al had evidence in the form of the concert poster and he added, he had taken a few pictures. It turns out his photos were fantastic and historically important. They will soon be debuted in an eBook project I am currently working on.

Almost as an aside, Al mentioned he had some other photos too. Good previously unseen Mahavishnu Orchestra pictures are very hard to find. However, decent pictures of the Tony Williams Lifetime, the trailblazing jazz rock band that included John McLaughlin and helped pave the way for Mahavishnu and other jazz rock groups, were virtually nonexistent!

Al’s pictures were not of the first version of Lifetime with McLaughlin, organist Larry Young, and of course, leader Tony Williams.  By 1970, the trio had added bassist Jack Bruce straight after the demise of Cream. Still, to see Lifetime, in any incarnation, in color and performing live is a true jazz rock treasure.
Due to the position of the camera, only Larry Young’s sandals can be seen.  That is a shame. Still, these are the best pictures of that seminal band I have ever seen.

Al Faaet: I had been turned on to Lifetime’s Emergency album in 1969 by the drummer in the band I was with in college. So, I was already a huge fan by the time I saw Lifetime in August of 1970 at Ungano's. (In New York City.) I had received my draft notice for September and had been burning the candle pretty hard all summer long with regular applications of psychedelics. Nonetheless, it was still astonishing to me that the Lifetime show got me much higher than anything else I had been doing all summer!

(Click to enlarge)

I am currently hard at work on two new exciting Mahavishnu Orchestra related projects. Details soon!

The HuffingtonPost has picked-up the full story about the discovery of the long-lost Mahavishnu Orchestra Live in Seattle video!

See the homepage of this site for the exclusive viewing of the video Mahavishnu Orchestra Live in Seattle!

Jazz Rock guitar master Carl Orr really changes things up on Forbearance and what he gives us is a stunningly beautiful feast for the ears and the heart.  Joined by an empathetic group of musicians, Orr may be quieter this time out, but his composing and brilliant guitar playing scream out louder than ever.

I only wish The Kai Eckhardt Band’s infectious, funky and clever Zeitgeist  was the reality of everyday life. Luckily, its uplifting grooves, head-swaying melodies and witty lyrics are certainly the antidote for it.

I just finished writing the liner notes for an exciting upcoming Larry Coryell and Eleventh House album.

"This is not some nostalgia trip. This is not retro. This is contemporary hard-driving instrumental music sporting its own id. Diamond Dust is how a 21st century power trio should sound."-  That is what I have to say about Diamond Dust's It's That Time.

Guitar Channel interviewed me here.

Read my interview with Carlos Santana here.

I highly, highly recommend Wolfgang Schalk's remixed and remastered "The Second Third Man"... and not just because I wrote the liner notes! Wolfgang is one of the finest and most creative guitarists we have. Add legend Michael Brecker and a fine band interpreting Schalk's provocative compositions and you have a wondrous result! I would not lie to you... Buy it here.

Conduit, guitarist Greg Diamond’s latest album is aptly named. A swirling solution of disparate styles and genres flows all through this music. Diamond can lay down husky bebop lines, sound like a nasty Carlos Santana or play it gentle. (And that is just on the first 3 tunes!) Saxophonists Seamus Blake and Brian Hoggins, pianist Mike Eckroth, bassist Edward Perez, drummer Henry Cole and conga player Mauricio Herrara are more than worthy compatriots in the non-homogeneous mixture that will have your head on a swivel one moment and your heart in your hand the next. Conduit does not fit easily into any category except really good music. Check out Greg's website.

I just interviewed Steve Howe, the legendary Yes guitarist, for my upcoming updated Mahavishnu Orchestra eBook!

I spoke with drummer Carmine Appice after a fantastic performance with Vanilla Fudge at TCAN. What a nice guy! I learned that his two all-time favorite bands are The Police and The Mahavishnu Orchestra.

I have an article at the Guitar Channel about the 40th Anniversary of the rise of the Mahavishnu Orchestra! Go to

The exceedingly gifted guitarist Raul Mannola has a new album out. The album, Inner Visions of Flamenco, features both acoustic and electric guitars to produce a unique flamenco amalgam. Read about Raul, his new album and tour here

It was a real pleasure to be speak with Ian Patterson of allaboutjazz. The results are found in this in-depth interview.

I acted as guest blogger at Read the blog here.

I heard the great bass player Tony Grey and his band at the Regattabar in Cambridge.  Read more about this remarkable musician and his new album at his

Yet another fantastic review! I am so touched. This time out, the legendary rock critic and author Steven Rosen takes a turn. Read here.

Ian Patterson of loves the book! Read here.

A rave review from Guitar International! Read

I was on Tom Gagliardi's Philadelphia radio and Internet show. As usual, had a great time. The interview is archived here!

I point you to drummer Asaf Sirkis’ latest album Letting Go which  is marked by cerebral melodies played as cosmic echoes. Sirkus’ trio takes his finely honed compositions and sets them free to dance upon a universal landscape.

Both evocative and in the here and now, veteran guitarist Joe Guido Walsh's Nothing Left To Say will appeal to fusion fans, progressive rockers and any listener with a clue.