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

THE LOST TRIDENT SESSIONS

Mahavishnu Orchestra

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.18 | 124 ratings

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Phil
4 stars The "lost" album from the Mahavishnu Orchestra although if you're familiar with the live album "Between Nothingness & Eternity" then you'll have already heard versions of Dream, Trilogy, and Sister Andrea, and its these that are the meat of this album. I prefer the versions on this "sessions" album - they still sound live and raw, but the production quality is so much better. "Dream" is 5 star Mahavishnu, one of their very best tracks, starting quietly and contemplatively with bass, acoustic guitar & violin playing quietly over splashes of cymbals, leading to a riff before breaking out into McLaughlin soloing furiously over Cobham's manic drumming. It all builds to a final climax reminiscent of the end of "Dance of Maya" from their first album, with two different themes fighting against each other for supremacy. "Trilogy" is unsurpisingly in three movements, the last being superfast, Goodman's violin solo followed by a McLaughlin/Hammer duet; and "Sister Andrea" is written by Hammer, with soaring Moog, a liitle like "Sanctuary" (from Birds of Fire).

This album saw each member - except Cobham, who declined - write their own composition but with the exception of Jan Hammer, it's only McLaughlin who can really cut the mustard. According to the informative if slightly overblown sleeve notes the other members were starting to resent that it appeared to be only McLaughlin who contributed creatively to the band; yes it was unfair but as with all creative groups, time does not stand still, and you get the idea this incarnation of the Mahavishnu Orchestra was starting to run out of time, despite the protestations of the writer of the sleeve notes, that they could have gone on forever.

At its best, as good as anything they ever did, in particular the interplay between them; but not as consistent as either of their previous albums. The final track, "John's Song" - by McLaughlin - was very different from anything done by Mahavisnu before and perhaps indicates that their leader was already heading in a different direction.

Phil | 4/5 |

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