Spirits Meet: John McLaughlin & Jimmy Herring Bring Tour To Albany – Photos & Review

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Words & Images: Bryan Lasky

John McLaughlin & Jimmy Herring
Meeting Of The Spirits Tour
11.2.17 :: The Egg :: Albany, NY

View Bryan’s photos below his recap.

The show ended with all nine members of both bands on stage, wowing the crowd for over an hour with songs from Mahavishnu Orchestra. Guitarists John McLaughlin and Jimmy Herring were smiling at one another and the crowd was hanging on every note being played. If the show would have been three hours of this, I think most in attendance at The Egg in Albany on Thursday wouldn’t have complained, but the 2017 Meeting of the Spirits Tour presents much more than that.

The evening started off with Herring and The Invisible Whip playing about 45 minutes of music that could stand toe-to-toe with any improvised music out there today. Jimmy’s band is an all-star outfit with Jeff Sipe on drums, Matt Slocum on the organ and clavinet, Kevin Scott on bass and Jason Crosby on additional keys. This band has so much talent in it that sometimes you forget Jimmy is the one steering the ship. A mid-set “Les Brers In A Minor” shot a jolt of electricity into the crowd. The band showed an unbelievable amount of patience in every song they played.

McLaughlin and The 4th Dimension came out next and before playing a note, he thanked the crowd for keeping his music alive all of these years. He spoke of wanting to go around the country one more time to thank everyone for all of the love they have shown him over the years. From there the band proceeded to explore their instruments together for an hour of unreal psychedelic fusions of jazz and rock. Throughout their set the audience remained quietly attentive to what the band was playing. Watching McLaughlin handle his guitar is something every music lover should be able to witness. The man is still flawless on his instrument after over 40 years of playing professionally .

Without a set break Herring and The Invisible Whip joined McLaughlin and The 4th Dimension on stage for a breathtaking hour. Gary Husband, McLaughlin’s drummer, handled vocals. It was fun to watch everyone share smiles with one another on stage and trade licks with their respective counterpart in the other band. There were multiple bows on stage and the audience showered extra love on McLaughlin, which he appeared to take to heart. The bands played a one song encore and again were given a grand ovation from the audience. It’s just the beginning of the Meeting Of The Spirits tour, but all nine members are already completely in sync with one another.

Setlist

Setlist

John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension at Hart Theatre @ The Egg Center for the Performing Arts

  • Kiki
  • Miles Beyond  
  • Gaza City
  • El Hombre Que Sabia
  • Senor C.S.
  • Echos From Then
  • Meeting of the Spirits  
  • Trilogy  
  • A Lotus on Irish Streams  
  • Eternity's Breath  
  • Birds of Fire  
  • Earth Ship  
  • The Dance of Maya  
Encore
  • Be Happy  
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