The Music Lounge

Eduardo Kusdra Plays John McLaughlin

Eduardo Kusdra’s version of Shakti’s ‘Face to Face’…

edI never thought I would be writing about an alternative version of my favourite instrumental of all time. As a lifelong fan of guitarist John McLaughlin I adore the album by him and the Indian group, Shakti called ‘Natural Elements’. It is without doubt one of the finest ‘crossover’ albums of all time and the level of musicianship is on another level. McLaughlin took the mantra of Ravi Shankar and elevated Indian music to a wider audience beyond its own subcontinent and showed how effortlessly the music can blend with jazz.

The stand out track for me is ‘Face to Face’, a beautiful, uplifting piece with one of the greatest acoustic guitar solos I have ever heard. So for me to find another version and actually like it is really quite surprising. Who then, is Eduardo Kusdra, a man with the courage to take on such a track? Well, he hails from Brazil and is an extremely accomplished multi-instrumentalist and record producer, he has recorded six albums to date and for this particular track managed to secure the services of the brilliant drummer, Terry Bozzio, a man I first heard of via Jeff Beck in the early 90s. Interestingly for this recording, Bozzio treated it as a film and sound recording for younger, novice drummers to watch and learn how Bozzio works in a session environment. He recorded a number of takes using the Pro-Tools recording system which allowed Kusdra to mix and choose each specific element.

Anyway, here it is. It’s not extraordinary, but perfectly enjoyable and a very respectful version of an original classic which is winning many admirers here in the UK. You can follow Eduardo on Facebook or his website via

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