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


Mahavishnu Orchestra


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.27 | 890 ratings

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3 stars "Inner Mounting Flame" is the debut full-length studio album by multi-national jazz rock/fusion act Mahavishnu Orchestra. The album was released through C.B.S./Columbia Records in August 1971. Mahavishnu Orchestra is the brainchild of prolific jazz rock/fusion guitarist John McLaughlin but features an all-star lineup with Jerry Goodman on violin, Jan Hammer on piano, Rick Laird on bass and Billy Cobham on drums. All five musicians were experienced session musicians who had among others played with acts such as Miles Davis, Tony Williams Lifetime and The Flock. After some years as a session musician John McLaughlin wanted to make his own group which would follow his musical vision. The band name Mahavishnu Orchestra derives from John McLaughlin´s spiritual name given to him by his guru Chinmoy Kumar Ghose.

The music on "Inner Mounting Flame" is instrumental jazz rock/fusion with especially John McLaughlin´s guitar as the lead instrument. Piano and violin leads are also present in the music. The eight songs on the album are all played with virtuosic skill and it´s definitely the musicianship that impress the most on "Inner Mounting Flame". The compositional quality of the tracks aren´t always that high as most tracks have an unfinished feel to them, focusing a lot on improvisational noodling and less on reoccuring themes and melodies. There are a few tracks which appear more like regular composed tracks and out of those "Meeting of the Spirits" is probably the strongest. Most other tracks are vehicles for soloing.

"Inner Mounting Flame" features a powerful and organic sound production with a great raw edge which suits the material well. But for the strong sound production and excellent musicianship, there simply aren´t enough material on the album that´s particularly memorable. These guys are phenominal players but "Inner Mounting Flame" could have prospered greatly from more focus on songwriting instead of endless improvisational noodling. Still it´s a quality release and for those who enjoy improvisational jazz rock/fusion with a focus on playing rather than on compositions, this is most likely a great release. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is warranted.

UMUR | 3/5 |


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