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John McLaughlin Premieres "Sanctuary"

(Image credit: Alessio Beloni)

Jazz fusion guitar legend John McLaughlin and his band—the 4th Dimension—are set to release their new live album, Live @ Ronnie Scott’s, September 15. Today, presents the exclusive premiere of one of the album's signature cuts, a beautiful version of the Mahavishnu Orchestra classic, "Sanctuary."

"The word Sanctuary is itself a powerful word. Every human being seeks sanctuary at some point in their lives. The word 'sanctuary' breathes peace, calm and place and time to restore well being," said McLaughlin of the song.

"My tune, 'Sanctuary,' shows my particular vision: there is not only time to breathe deeply, but there are internal dynamics as well as a certain longing. For me as a musician, from another point of view, I can say categorically that music has been my 'Sanctuary' for all my life."

Live @ Ronnie Scott’s was recorded by McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension—Ranjit Barot (drums, konokol), Gary Husband (keyboards, drums) and Etienne M’Bappé (bass)— in March 2017, and features Mahavishnu classics like “Vital Transformation” and “Miles Beyond” re-interpreted through the unique lens of the 4th Dimension, along with some of McLaughlin's more recent compositions.

The September release of Live @ Ronnie Scott’s will be followed by the Meeting of the Spirits Tour, a series of November and December shows undertaken in collaboration with one of McLaughlin’s favorite musicians, American guitarist Jimmy Herring.

Separate sets by Jimmy Herring and the Invisible Whip and McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension will be followed by the two joining forces for an expansive closing jam based on classic Mahavishnu Orchestra material. These special concerts will also mark McLaughlin’s final shows in America.

You can listen to "Sanctuary," and check out McLaughlin's full upcoming itinerary below.

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Meeting of the Spirits Tour

  • Nov 01 University at Buffalo Center for the Arts Buffalo, NY
  • Nov 02 The Egg Albany, NY
  • Nov 03 Town Hall New York, NY
  • Nov 04 Capitol Theatre Port Chester, NY
  • Nov 05 Rhode Island Center for the Performing Arts Cranston, RI
  • Nov 08 The Wilbur Theatre Boston, MA
  • Nov 09 Keswick Theatre Philadelphia, PA
  • Nov 10 Prudential Hall, NJPAC Newark, NJ
  • Nov 11 Lincoln Theatre Washington, DC
  • Nov 12 Duke Performances at DPAC Durham, NC
  • Nov 15 Michigan Theatre Ann Arbor, MI
  • Nov 17 Vic Theatre Chicago, IL
  • Nov 18 Vic Theatre Chicago, IL
  • Nov 19 Clowes Memorial-Hall-Butler University Indianapolis, IN
  • Nov 21 Laura Turner Concert Hall Nashville, TN
  • Nov 22 Atlanta Symphony Hall Atlanta, GA
  • Nov 24 Florida Theatre Jacksonville, FL
  • Nov 25 Ruth Eckerd Hall Clearwater, FL
  • Nov 27 The Joy Theater New Orleans, LA
  • Nov 30 Paramount Theatre Austin, TX
  • Dec 01 Riviera Maya Jazz Festival Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
  • Dec 05 Moore Theatre Seattle, WA
  • Dec 06 Revolution Hall Portland, OR
  • Dec 08 The Warfield San Francisco, CA
  • Dec 09 Royce Hall-UCLA Los Angeles, CA

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Jackson is an Associate Editor at He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player (opens in new tab). Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder (opens in new tab) and Unrecorded (opens in new tab). Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.