John McLaughlin (born 4 January 1942), also known as Mahavishnu John McLaughlin, is an English guitarist, bandleader and composer. His music includes many genres of jazz which he coupled with elements of rock, Indian classical music, Western classical music, flamenco and blues to become one of the pioneering figures in fusion.
After contributing to several key British groups of the early 1960s McLaughlin made Extrapolation, his first album as a bandleader, in 1969. He then moved to the U.S., where he played with Tony Williams‘s group Lifetime and then with Miles Davis on his electric jazz-fusion albums In a Silent Way, Bitches Brew, Jack Johnson, and On the Corner.
His 1970s electric band, the Mahavishnu Orchestra, performed a technically virtuosic and complex style of music that fused electric jazz and rock with Indian influences.
McLaughlin has been cited as an influence by a number of prominent musicians. He is a Grammy Award winner and has been awarded multiple “Guitarist of the Year” and “Best Jazz Guitarist” awards from magazines such as DownBeat and Guitar Player based on reader polls. In 2003, he was ranked 49th in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time“. In 2009, DownBeat included McLaughlin in its unranked list of “75 Great Guitarists”, in the “Modern Jazz Maestros” category. In 2012, Guitar World magazine ranked him #63 on its top 100 list. In 2010, guitarist Jeff Beck called him “the best guitarist alive”. McLaughlin was also referred to as the best guitarist alive by Pat Metheny.