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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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5 stars When Jimi Hendrix died suddenly in 1970, connoisseurs of high decibel sounds unheard on the electric guitar were faced with a search for a new messiah. The The British guitarist-composer John McLaughlin, they found one. Mc Laughlin (b. 1942) arrived in America early in 1969 to join the pace-setting drummer Tony Williams and organist Larry Young in the Tony Williams Lifetime. This new venture fused jazz improvisational daring with rock'n'roll's sheer energy. After leaving Lifetime, McLaughlin became a disciple of the guru Sri Chinmoy, began calling him "Mahavishnu" .. [CD liner notes].

I purchased the 20-bit digital remastered edition quite a long ago and I rarely spin this CD. It was actually an upgrade from a cassette version. But this remastered set is truly excellent because it's very informative and inspiring. Inspiring? Oh yeah . At the first page of liner notes you can read a poem or a philosophy - whatever you call it - by Sri Chinmoy (McLaughlin spiritual guru?) titled "Aspiration". Every single word penned by Sri is a powerful word. For me, having this CD is like owning two things: great music by Mahavishnu Orchestra and great book that inspires me. The soul aspires through the perfection of God's manifestation Chinmoy writes the last sentence of that poem. It's inspiring, isn't it? It is!!!!

Pssstt . intermezzo . by the time I'm writing this review I got a call from my prog guru who taught me prog when I was in Bandung in early eighties. Guess what? His son would get married next Sunday and he invited to attend the wedding ceremony. Yeah! Why bother I share this with you? It's because this gentleman (my guru) is special for me. He taught me the kinds like Mahavishnu, The Flock, Return To Forever, and the like. And most importantly, his son who is getting married soon is my prog mate as well! So he is the second generation of prog, inherited from his dad. Great! And now I'm writing this review of Mahavishnu debut album! What a coincidence! Sorry for this intermezzo - hope you skip it . [Jkt 21 April 2006 - Kartini Day, Our National Lady Hero, 10:45].

Now let's talk about the music. It's awesome overall! It blends all elements of rock and jazz with great improvisations through solos of guitar, violin, drum as well as keyboard. It's ahead of its time. "Meeting of The Spirits" resembles the search of the divine power which John MacLaughlin lerned from his spiritual journey before he formed the band. It blasts off the music in a great way demonstrating Billy Cobham dazzling drum work, Goodman's powerful violin as well as Laughlin's stunning guitar. "Dawn" starts off with a softer style using combination of soft guitar and keyboard. Violin provides its shot excellently. The song moves into higher points with great guitar solo. "Moonward Race" contains heavier elements of rock performed in fast speed. So I can sense how great Billy Cobham is and how fast Laughlin plays his guitar. Electric violin takes is solo job wonderfully. "A Lotus on Irish Streams" starts with an excellent combination of violin, bass, piano and acoustic guitar. No drum is used here.

"Vital Transformation" brings the music into a full speed again with great combination of guitar, drums, violin, bass that sound harmoniously. It's an energetic track. "The Dance of Maya" is another jazz rock fusion which moves from silent part into more complex arrangements. "You Know, You Know" is another relaxing track - this time with drums - featuring soft electric guitar fills intertwined with keyboard work by Jan Hammer which occasionally augmented with violin. "Awakening" concludes the album with another energetic arrangement and the music is sometimes complex. Violin solo is really great. Billy Cobham also plays drum solo, excellently! There is something similar between Mahavishnu music here in this track, especially, with the sounds of Return To Forever.

Hmm . with such a long review plus long intermezzo, how could I rate this album? Five stars is a must! Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 5/5 |


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