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Mahavishnu Orchestra - Birds Of Fire CD (album) cover

BIRDS OF FIRE

Mahavishnu Orchestra

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.36 | 885 ratings

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crimson87
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Since I am no musician and I can't count time signatures I can't fully enjoy this release which is full of technical prowness. But " Birds of Fire " goes beyond being complex for it's own sake and showing off , this guys were breaking barriers at the time and that's a fact.

This record is a bit more polished than " The Inner Mountain Flame" but it offers the same features: Godspeed solos by John Mc Laughlin and Jerry Goodman , incredible precision on the kit by Billy Cobham and Jan Hammer including the Mini Moog on the record. The opener is one of the most fierce and earthshaking numbers ever. The interplay between Cobham Mc Laughlin and Goodman is insane!! The good thing about the album is that there are some shorter and more relaxing numbers in the middle like "Thousand island park" which includes acustic guitar and piano work.

Setting a contrast "Hope" has quite a frightening mood , mostly given by the violin and the subtle crescendo the song has. "One Word" is probably the less structured number of the bunch , as well as the longest taking 1/4 of the album. The song reminds me of the "Get up With it" album by Miles. Jan Hammer and the Mini Moog get a solo spot here , but the bass lines are the main feature to keep me entertained for 10 minutes Rick Laird stoles the show here! There is a little drum solo in the middle until the groove returns , nothing special about it.

On the first couple of times I heard "Birds of Fire" I was kind of dissapointed because the last 3 songs smelled like filler and lacked the intensity of their debut. But listen after listen I realized that their goal is to keep some balance on the record. My favourite of them is "Open Country Joy" because it has a pastoral mood that is quite rare in a MU record.

In the end , I can't say that Birds of Fire is the best Jazz Fusion record of all time since I have some other favourites first. But sure is a genre defining album and lives up to it's expectations.

crimson87 | 5/5 |

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