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Mahavishnu Project - Phase 2 CD (album) cover


Mahavishnu Project


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.09 | 4 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

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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