Friday, March 8, 2013

A "meeting of the spirits"

Finally, I've set aside some time to watch a video from 1979 that a guitar-playing friend loaned to me a couple of weeks ago after we'd been chatting and sharing videos about favorite guitar players, just in time for me to return it to him later today.

The video was recorded in 1979, featuring some legendary members of "The Guitar Trio" (not to be confused with my friends from the California Guitar Trio, featuring Utah's own Paul Richards whose flying fingers have been featured in this blog's main photo above since Day One of this blog).  This guitar trio was formed by jazz fusion pioneer Larry Coryell, also featuring another jazz fusion pioneer in John McLaughlin as well as Spanish flamenco guitar legend Paco De Lucia.

Larry Coryell (left), John McLaughlin (middle), and Paco De Lucia
The video is titled "Meeting of the Spirits."  It's a remarkable blending not only of guitar giants, but of guitar styles.  It's heavy on that marvelous Spanish style that De Lucia has helped to revolutionize, but the highlight for me is the extended interplay between the three men on the title song -- taking McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra classic "Meeting of the Spirits" and giving it a whole new feel, minus the keyboards, drums, bass and violin that helped make the song so memorable.

It's also memorable when three players at the top of their game rip into it, either with flying picks from Coryell and McLaughlin to De Lucia's amazing finger picking style.  The fretboard work is jaw-dropping as well.

I'd long been a fan of the trio that came after this one, featuring McLaughlin and De Lucia playing with Al Di Meola.  This was my first exposure to the trio in this formation.

It's well worth sharing with my own friends here.

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