John McLaughlin and the Heart of Things
Saratoga Jazz Festival
Saratoga, NY

John McLaughlin-guitar
Gary Thomas-sax
Jim Beard-keys
Matthew Garrison-bass
Dennis Chambers-drums

Source- ? either exc. audience (DAT?) or SB> cdr trade > EAC Rip > TLH for WAV to FLAC conversion and torrent creation> DIME

1-Seven Sisters
2-Social Climate
3-JM band intros
4-Mr. D.C.
5-Acid Jazz

McLaughlin's Heart of Things from the late 90's is seemingly one of his projects from that time that gets less love and attention than I think it deserved. I see and hear it as a pretty logical successor to the mid 80's Mahavishnu, but with a few rougher edges. Gary Thomas on sax brought the front line solos and melodies into a different place than Bill Evans had in the previous decade. Mixing in the harmonic and sonic input from Jim Beard, and his compositions, was a holdover from the mid 80's MO's 2nd round of touring. Then, there was the total kick-ass rhythm section with Matt Garrison and Dennis Chambers. This was a great band that didn't last too long.
Jim Beard didn't last into 1998's tour, when Ottmaro Ruiz was on keys and a percussionist was added. I plan to seed another show from that band soon. John was soon off to Remember Shakti, the short lived Five Peace Band with Chick Corea, and eventually a somewhat similar project to this H.O.T. in his long running 4th Dimension of the last decade or more.
I got this in a snail mail trade of cd-r's, so thanks to the trader who made it available to me, and to whoever first put it into circulation. Please support these great artists by purchasing their commercially available material and paying to see them live (when that happens again!). In the meantime, John just put up a "name your own price" new version of the first MO's 'You Know, You Know' played with his 4th Dimension for the Music Cares foundation that's helping players unable to gig make ends meet during the pandemic. That video and audio download is on his bandcamp site.