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Mahavishnu Orchestra - The Lost Trident Sessions CD (album) cover


Mahavishnu Orchestra


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.17 | 194 ratings

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4 stars Quite an amazing album this one ... it was on course to be The Mahavishnu Orchestra's third studio album, but then half the tracks (Dream, Trilogy and Sister Andrea) were released in extended versions on the live Between Nothingness And Eternity and the studio album got shelved as the classic incarnation of this group imploded. Some 26 years after this album was recorded it was released at The Lost Trident Sessions, and I'll be damned if it isn't just as good as Birds Of Fire. That's right, as good as Mahavishnu were, I think they were getting better and better as they got on, and this album is ultimate proof.

The opener Dream is simply awesome. It has a contemplative acoustic guitar intro with Jerry Goodman's violin joining in the fun after a while. Around about the 3 minute mark, band takes off on the back of one of Jan Hammer's best solos ever. His lyrical jazzy electric piano then leads into one of those explosive rapid fire soloing over heavy rock backing that Mahavishnu patented, but it's done with a better balance than most of the Inner Mounting Flames tracks, and by 5 minutes John McLaughlin is riffing away in a manner that Tony Iommi would have been proud of while Goodman laws down the law.

The three part (is that redundant?) Trilogy is another amazing piece. The Sunlit Parth begins with McLaughlin's guitar seducing his listener, while Hammer throws in some ascending lead lines, before a wonderful exchange of lines between the two ensues (McLaughlin's classical Indian lines here foreshadowing his eventual forming of Shakti). It then switches rather abruptly to the sounds of the sea for the second part La Mere De La Mer which has a laid-back vibe with Goodman shining once again. The concluding part Tommorow's Story Not The Same is one of Mahavishnu's best hard rockers ever with the effervescent drummer Billy Cobham doing what he does best! Towards the end McLaughlin's opening seductive guitar returns to great effect.

Sister Andrea is a multi-dimensional masterpiece that starts off with potent barely reined-in Mahavishnu style funk that then breaks down into a great pseudo-psychedelic break (although I must say that McLaughlin's guitar screeches when I wish it wouldn't) there's also a another heavier wah-wah filled funk bit before a nice little proggy riff takes the piece home.

I Wonder is beautiful, simply beautiful. It reminds me a bit of the first album's You Know You Know in the sense that there is a simple haunting bassline that underpins the whole song. Here the layering is heavenly, although I think Hammer's Moog seriously outclasses McLaughlin's guitar. Stepping Tones is similar in style, except that it's ominous where I Wonder was beautiful. I love the way Goodman and Hammer blend with each other on this one. The closer John's Song #2 is perhaps a little too similar to other Mahavishnu jams for my tastes, but this is still one whopping album, perhaps the greatest "lost studio album" of all time. ... 88% on the MPV scale

Trotsky | 4/5 |


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