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Mahavishnu Orchestra - The Inner Mounting Flame CD (album) cover


Mahavishnu Orchestra


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.28 | 1045 ratings

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Analog Kid
5 stars The Inner Mounting Flame was the second Mahavishnu Orchestra album that I purchased, after a friend recommended Birds of Fire to me. These two albums are some of the first Jazz Rock Fusion I ever heard and I think the Mahavishnu Orchestra is unequaled in this arena. I agree with most of the other Prog Archive reviewers that consider this, and Birds of Fire, essential masterpieces. Here are my impressions of each song as I listened to them:

1. Meeting of the Spirits (6:52) - After a traditional multi-break introduction, and a slow buildup, things start rolling with Hendrix-esqe guitar flourishes, fast-paced drumming, a sprinkling of keyboards, and violin filling in the gaps. Midway thru we have some time changes (and some mood changes). Each of the instrumentalists in the band get to stretch out a bit, Jan Hammer almost gets in a brief solo, then, Jerry Goodman's violin is prominent in the mix before it all fades down to the end. A good start.

2. Dawn (5:10) - Slowing things down a bit, we move into the Dawn. Smooth guitar notes hover in the air above a solid drum & bass track. Things quickly pick up. After some ferocious licks by McLaughlin on the electric guitar, Goodman's violin comes in, almost screaming for attention! Then it all settles down again to a soft roar, before slowly fading out.

3. Noonward Race (6:27) - Race indeed, these guys kick things off so fast you'd swear they had jumped the tracks! Oh my God, once they get this train a rolling, it is nothing short of spectacular! McLaughlin is fantastic on electric guitar and Cobham's drumming is out of this world. Practically beyond words of description. A real standout track.

4. Lotus On Irish (5:39) - This is an acoustic number featuring violin, guitar, and piano. It is simply beautiful. And talk about the stark diversity on this album, especially right after Noonward Race.

5. Vital Transformation (6:16) - Basically a fast-paced all out jam session kicked off with some quick paced percussion by Cobham. The other players eventually catch up to him, almost as if he had to slow down for them to catch him. Once they do, it all takes off seemingly faster than before. Hold on to your hat! You are in for a thrill ride.

6. The Dance of Maya (7:17) - Another great piece, almost "mellow" compared to the track before it. Lots of interplay between all the musicians and at a much slower pace.

7. You Know, You Know (5:07) - Another premier track. This one's different from the usual formula. From whisper quiet and slow moving, it ponders on making the listener wonder what's coming next? Are they about to break out into another musical assault of the ears? It continues on this way, kind of teasing the listener with the tickling of Jan Hammer's keys, subtle violin sounds, soft percussion and cymbals. Eventually some sharp guitar notes slice through the mellow atmosphere. Very unique.

8. Awakening (3:32) - And now comes the onslaught of sound. This time coming from every instrument/musician in the band. Sometimes all at once, sometimes separately.

I would recommend this music to anyone who shows any interest in Jazz Rock Fusion.

Analog Kid | 5/5 |


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