My Goal’s Beyond is the fourth solo album (after Extrapolation and Devotion) by John McLaughlin. The album was originally released in 1971 on Douglas Records in the US. It was later reissued by Douglas/Casablanca (1976), Elektra/Musician (1982), and in 1987 by Rykodisc on CD and LP.
The music is strongly influenced by music of India, and was dedicated to McLaughlin’s spiritual leader, Indian guru Sri Chinmoy. Side one has two longer pieces for the whole band, including soprano saxophone, flute, violin and Indian percussion. Side two of the album features eight short compositions (three standards and five originals) played by McLaughlin on double-tracked acoustic guitars, with occasional punctuation on various cymbals by Billy Cobham.
“The startling thing about My Goal’s Beyond is that it points the way toward two directions McLaughlin would take in the future — exploring Indian music and the acoustic guitar — and this while he was in the thick of the burgeoning electronic jazz-rock movement. The first half is a John McLaughlin acoustic guitar tour de force, where he thwacks away with his energetic, single-minded intensity on three jazz standards and five originals (including one genuine self-penned classic, “Follow Your Heart”) and adds a few percussion effects via overdubbing. The second half is devoted to a pair of marvelously intricate fusions of Indian rhythms and drones called “Peace One” and “Peace Two,” with jazz flights from flutist/soprano saxophonist Dave Liebman, a simpatico encounter with future Mahavishnu cohorts Billy Cobham on drums and Jerry Goodman on violin, and Airto blending his sounds seamlessly with the Indian tambura and tabla. Throughout, McLaughlin’s acoustic lines faultlessly straddle the line between the subcontinent and jazz, and the ethereal results still hold up beautifully.” – Richard S. Ginell/AllMusic.
1. “Peace 1” John McLaughlin 7:15
2. “Peace 2” John McLaughlin 12:18
1. “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat” (Charles Mingus) 3:15
2. “Something Spiritual” (Dave Herman) 3:35
3. “Hearts and Flowers” (Theodore Moses Tobani) 2:05
4. “Phillip Lane” (John McLaughlin) 3:35
5. “Waltz for Bill Evans” (Chick Corea) 2:00
6. “Follow Your Heart” (John McLaughlin) 3:17
7. “Song for My Mother” (John McLaughlin) 3:30
8. “Blue in Green” (Miles Davis/Bill Evans) 2:37
John McLaughlin – acoustic guitar
Billy Cobham – drums
Charlie Haden – bass
Jerry Goodman – violin
Dave Liebman – flute, soprano saxophone
Airto Moreira – percussion
Badal Roy – tabla
Mahalakshmi (Eve McLaughlin) – tanpura (Indian drone instrument)
Released: June 1971
Recorded: New York City, March 1971
Producer: John McLaughlin