Devotion - 1970
Recorded immediately following John McLaughlin's tenure in Miles Davis' band, yet before he formed the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Devotion was the result of a session with Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Miles (drums), Larry Young (organ) and Billy Rich (bass). The recordings featuring Hendrix have never seen an official release, and rightly so -- matched up against Jimi's prowess, McLaughlin's playing is meek, careful and downright out of character -- plus, his guitar was on the fritz throughout. But during the sessions without Jimi, his guitar work is a monument of powerful jazz rock psychedelia that lays the foundation for one of the greatest fusion albums of all time. With his tremendous influence on Davis' Tribute to Jack Johnson still lingering, McLaughlin's focus is on creating tension and dynamics with his cohorts while he plows his way through genres and toys with several themes that he would eventually flesh out to a greater degree with his Mahavishnu Orchestra. An essential document for fans of McLaughlin or the adventurous side of early 70s fusion.