Work From Home: Thoughts for employers and employees I have always been a huge votary of the work from home idea. I have never believed in having office timings, I have not ever bothered if people came into work or not. So long as the work got done, none of this should matter, I would argue. I believe that people should be mature enough to deliver on the responsibilities assigned to them and that managers should know how to make them accountable. But alas, that is not how the real world is. It does not have to be that way, but then that is how it is.
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Even though some of the previous members had moved on, there was never ever a Shakti without John McLaughlin. A few years after Natural Elements was released, Shakti made their way to Calcutta. The year old me attended his first major concert at the Maidan with some friends.
After injecting John M. Many of my friends did not like it. Suffice to say that I did not dislike it but I also did not wear out the grooves of the LP I borrowed from a friend. It was in college that some of my seniors, in particular two future architects, chose to fill in the gaps of my jazz education.
I listened to more Mahavishnu, and I was also introduced to yet another avatar of McLaughlin. If John had not been a part of Miles Davis ensemble, had not formed Mahavishnu or joined Shakti, his reputation as a jazz legend would have still been cemented purely on the basis of this one performance. Fast forward to a few years later. I am in the US spending whatever money I could afford from my graduate stipend and then my salary at used book and music stores.
The music was very dense and obtuse to my ears and subsequently I remember very little of that concert including who he played with it was a trio of guitar, bass and piano if I remember correctly. Later in that decade, he reunited with the other two guitar gods on a tour, including a stop at San Francisco 25 years later! This concert was not comparable to the original one, even the format was different. Each one played a solo set, did a duet with each of the others and then, in a short grand finale, all three played together.
It was still a very good concert, the opening bars of Frevo Rasgado made your heart dance, but it lacked the scintillating energy of the original. I know, since I was there in the audience. In , John McLaughlin announced that he would retire from touring after a final set of shows in the US, including one at the Wilbur Theater in Boston. It was a fitting tribute to his life-long contribution to jazz music which he has helped amplify on so many world stages in various genres.
After a set of old and new music, they were joined by Herring and his band and proceeded to run through a Mahavishnu catalog. For me, it was a culmination of my devotion to the work of my hero who I have deeply admired since childhood, a long way from my first concert at Now at 50, I have to thank John again for the opportunity to be able to hear the music made by a band that had disbanded before I joined first grade, at what was the last of his live shows.
There are still many more albums to buy and listen to, and my stereo has been stuck on McLaughlin-related items since the concert. However, never else will we have the pleasure of seeing and hearing him play on his PRS twin-neck that he brought out on this tour. There were no overtones of a twilight of an ageing star in the show. As John said, he wanted to go out on a high note while he still had the chops and true to his word, he amazed the sold-out crowd of mostly and year olds.
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