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Mahavishnu Project - Phase 2 CD (album) cover

PHASE 2

Mahavishnu Project

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.09 | 4 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Phil
3 stars An intriguing proposition....from their reputation, a band "approved" by McLaughlin himself, the Mahavishnu Project appear much more than a mere tribute band. And there is no doubting the quality of the musicians here, or their ability to not just play, but to make a valid re-interpretation of one of McLaughlins's finest ventures. However I suspect this live album is really best appreciated if you've already seen the band - I mean the "Project" - live, and then buy this to remind you of what I imagine is a powerful stage performance. It's a double CD based on a 2 hours + live concert, and that's some going for music of this intensity. Unfortunately I paid top whack for this (£15.99) and that affects my view on this, because the sound quality is just about acceptable, but not great. The music itself is based almost exclusively on the MO's first two - and best - albums, with the exception of a version of "Lilla's Dance" and a track penned by the "Project" leader, drummer Greg Bendian, "Within the Womb of Night", that is really rather good. The disappointment is that the MO's keynote tracks - like Birds of Fire, and Meeting of the Spirits - don't work so well; much better are the lesser tracks like "You Know You Know" that allow the band - all of them fine players, but for me especially Rob Thomas on violin stands out - to improvise around Mclaughlin's often simple riffs. At the end of the day though there are just a few too many shortfalls to wholly convince - the music often lacks the pace and energy of the original; for one thing, you realise just how damn good Cobham was /is at stretching a beat - something lacking here. 3 stars as a valid attempt, but to anyone that hasn't yet experienced early Mahavishnu, this is no substitute for the real thing. For those that have and crave more, I suspect seeing the Mahavishnu Project live - rather than listening to a "live" CD - is where to put your money.
Phil | 3/5 |

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