Friday, April 8, 2016

John McLaughlin - My Goal's Beyond

Technically, the acoustic guitar playing on 1970's My Goals Beyond does not approach the skill exhibited on most of John McLaughlin's recordings. Flubbed notes pop up here and there, and although this album is famous for McLaughlin's "solo" renderings of such classic tunes as Mingus' "Good-Bye Pork-Pie Hat," Bill Evans and Miles Davis' "Blue in Green" and his own wonderful composition "Follow Your Heart," Mclaughlin actually pre-recorded the chords and soloed over them. However, no small amount of flubbing or overdubbing can take away from the fact that this album is a true masterpiece. MGB set standards for acoustic guitar playing which remain today. McLaughlin's soloing and chord playing was a revelation even to those familiar with his electric guitar style. He snapped the steel strings with the confidence of a warrior. His playing was amazingly fast, yet still melodic, and his tune selection was unusually eclectic. He was coming from an entirely new place. The most impressive performance is the ensemble rendering of McLaughlin's "Peace One." Charlie Haden opens the composition with an infectious bass groove, and the tune features crisp, snapping acoustic guitar and Far Eastern tonal colors. Dave Liebman is especially up front on sax. Other members of the band included future Mahavishnu Orchestra band mates Billy Cobham and Jerry Goodman. Airto and Badal Roy also come along for the joyful ride. Violinist Goodman, in particular, makes some very strong statements. So popular has this record become over the years that several labels have purchased it from catalog and re-released it. You can't kill this thing with a stick. In addition to the original Douglas 9 production, MGB has also appeared on the Warner-Electra, Ryko and The Knitting Factory labels (the latter being its latest reissue, from 2000). MGB is considered to be a milestone in the career of John McLaughlin and the history of acoustic jazz guitar. To this day, there are many who claim it is still the greatest of all McLaughlin records. I recommend listening to this record once a month for the rest of your life. We shouldn't forget that it took guts to record an acoustic guitar album during the times of Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix. So although over the years the album has sold well through reputation, it totally bombed when it was released. MGB is a primary recording for any McLaughlin fan.
Walter Kolosky

Source :

John McLaughlin
My Goal's Beyond


1 Goodbye Pork Pie Hat (Mingus)  3:20
2 Something Spiritual (Herman)  3:29
3 Hearts and Flowers (Public Domain)  2:10
4 Phillip Lane (McLaughlin)  2:36
5 Waltz for Bill Evans (Corea)  2:01
6 Follow Your Heart (McLaughlin)  3:19
7 Song for My Mother (McLaughlin)  2:34
8 Blue in Green (Davis)  2:38
Peace One (McLaughlin)  7:18
10   Peace Two (McLaughlin)  12:11


John McLaughlin - ac g
Dave Liebman - ss
Jerry Goodman - vl
Charlie Haden - b
Billy Cobham - dr
Airto Moreira - perc
Badal Roy - tbl
Eve McLaughlin (as Mahalakshmi) - tbr

Recorded in New York City ; March 1971

After bouncing around on a couple of labels (Douglas/Polydor/Ryko,) the CD reissue of this album ultimately ended up on KnitMedia. The startling thing about this record is that it points the way toward two directions McLaughlin would take in the future — exploring Indian music and the acoustic guitar — and this while he was in the thick of the burgeoning electronic jazz-rock movement. The first half is a John McLaughlin acoustic guitar tour de force, where he thwacks away with his energetic, single-minded intensity on three jazz standards and five originals (including one genuine self-penned classic, "Follow Your Heart") and adds a few percussion effects via overdubbing. The second half is devoted to a pair of marvelously intricate fusions of Indian rhythms and drones called "Peace One" and "Peace Two," with jazz flights from flutist/soprano saxophonist Dave Liebman, a simpatico encounter with future Mahavishnu cohorts Billy Cobham on drums and Jerry Goodman on violin, and Airto blending his sounds seamlessly with the Indian tambura and tabla. Throughout, McLaughlin's acoustic lines faultlessly straddle the line between the subcontinent and jazz, and the ethereal results still hold up beautifully today.
Richard S. Ginell



Auggie said...

I think you have ESP; I've been looking for this in better sound quality than I've got. Thanks very much.

pedro s said...

Thanks very much for this post. I bought the original LP in London, back in 1974!

ita diegues said...

Thank you very much for this album.
I've been looking for this in better quality too.

lcbriza said...

Thanks, Mel, for the posting. I had this on vinyl and was also looking for better quality.

rio said...

Thanks...for this classic in great quality.

Melanchthon said...

Pedro del Castillo Alonso said...

Thank you very much.

migue said...


Gaetano Bevilacqua said...


Pee said...

This is one I haven't heard...thanks.

jazzandylan said...

Many thanks Mel!

mingusal said...

Heard this on the radio once a couple of years ago and have been looking for it ever since. Thanks so much!

Kovina Kris said...

And yet another fine upgrade. So nice to replace the old lossy versions of so many great jazz albums and its solely due to your hard work and kindness. Thank you so much Mel!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, much appreciated