Release date June 26th 2007
Nothing about this Sony Legacy release should have worked. The "Trio Of Doom" band (the mouthwatering prospect of John McGlaughlin(guitar), Jaco Pastorius (bass) and Tony Williams (drums)) was so short lived it hardly had time to be formed. There was a 25 minute "live" set in Havana in 1979 (as part of "Havana Jam", a US State Department sponsored concert) that was a minor disaster in that the microphones were misplaced and on one of the numbers ("Dark Prince") Jaco Pastorius had seemed to be playing something quite different to the other musicians. And there was the attempt to improve matters by reassembling the band a few days later in the CBS New York recording studio to play the material again and overdub audience sounds for the "live" album release "Havana Jam". That studio session ended in high tension with Jaco Pastorius' behaviour (fueled by mounting personal problems) so enraging Tony Williams that he responded by easing his frustration in trashing and all but destroying his drum kit before walking out of the studio. The band did not convene again.
Against these odds, John McGlaughlin and producer Marcus Wippersburg have salvaged a great album from the wreckage. The "live" session burns with the same intensity as early "Lifetime" on "Emergency!" except, of course, Jaco Pastorius' bass now replaces Larry Young's Hammond B3. The opening drum improvisation points to Tony Williams' central role in the line up. His drumming on "Are You The One, Are You The One" is nothing short of startling in its intensity. The same could be said of John McGlaughlin's slash guitar throughout much of the set, especially on his composition "Dark Prince". In contrast the Jaco Pastorius composition "Continuum" (taken from his solo debut album) successfully aims at a more tranquil place. As in the constricted time allowed for the concert slot, time is short, just twenty five minutes. But the impact is almost the greater for that.
The studio takes, reprising "Dark Prince", "Continuum" and "Para Oriente"(now cleaned up and minus the overdubbed audience sounds) though strong have nothing like the same intensity but are a valuable addition to the 'complete works' of this remarkable and short lived band.
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