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Meeting of the Minds - The Making of Floating Point by John McLaughlin

Recorded at an East Indian studio and of course featuring native musicians, this documentary provides a five-day snapshot of guitar great John McLaughlin’s 2008 CD, titled Floating Point. In effect, the guitarist looms as a seasoned leader, but also instills camaraderie and focus while showing a little tenderness and self-effacing attributes during the processes. Otherwise, the album itself is relatively remarkable in a sense where true-to-form Indo/jazz-fusion seems to have spiraled to loftier heights. Here, McLaughlin works out the parts with his excellent keyboardist Loiuz Banks and the spectacular electric zitarist Niladri Kumar among several other superb instrumentalists.

At times, the film crew enables the Indian artists to expound upon the symbiosis of Eastern and Western musical formats while bestowing praise among McLaughlin’s extensive discography and impeccable talents. Moreover, the players are shown conversing and reviewing musical matters in front of the mixing board and laptops. There are also several invigorating clips of the ensemble performing/recording these pieces spanning the five-day session.

Anecdotes include mention of Banks’ recommended enlistment for the project, as he also iterates that jazz itself, symbolizes freedom. Ultimately, this is insightful footage. And when the band plays, you’ll see McLaughlin embarking upon impossibly complex modal and unison parts with electric mandolinist U. Rajesh and Kumar while the rhythm section pursues complex, polyrhythmic frameworks. Musically speaking, it’s a harmonic feast for the heart and soul. But the artists’ upbeat interaction and acute collaborative procedures spawn gobs of interest throughout.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: John McLaughlin
  • CD Title: Meeting of the Minds - The Making of Floating Point
  • Genre: Jazz DVD / Video
  • Year Released: 2008
  • Record Label: Abstract Logix
  • Musicians: John McLaughlin (Guitar, Guitar Synth), Loiuz Banks (Keyboards), Ranjit Barot (Drums), Niladri Kumar (Electric Zitar), Shashank (Bamboo Flute), Sivamani (Percussion), Shankar Mahadevan (Vocals), U.Rajesh (Electric Mandolin), Debashish Bhattacharya (Hindustani Slide Guitar), Naveen Kumar (Bamboo Flute)
  • Rating: Four Stars
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