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Mahavishnu Orchestra - Birds Of Fire CD (album) cover

BIRDS OF FIRE

Mahavishnu Orchestra

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.36 | 857 ratings

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con safo
Prog Reviewer
5 stars For me, the pinnacle of jazz/fusion. This was the second album of the infamous first line-up of MO, and each player brings their own unique style to the music. From the lightning fast fingers of John McLaughlin to the awesome drumming power of Cobham - the whole band overflows with talent and energy. With Birds Of Fire, the band interaction had reached almost un-human levels - playing in such a way that had never before (or since) been matched. Spit-fire solo trade offs and much tighter composition set this album apart from it's more free-form counterpart Inner Mounting Flame, yet the band never loses it's improvisational edge. Even at it's most precise moments the album always has an essence of spontaneity. Some highlight's include the blistering title track, where John and Jerry play the main melody in unison, their instruments coming together to sound like something not of this world - face melting intensity! The first half of the album is rather heavy, before taking a meditative intermission with the beautiful little track "Thousand Island Park" - some very nice acoustic guitar and violin runs, very eastern feel. And of course one cannot ignore the jaw-dropping "One Word" a blistering intro followed by an atmospheric funky jam - soon overcome by some of the most awe inspiring solo trade off's in rock history - it is like the musicians are no longer several people, but one musical entity. Billy also gets to show off his chops in this track - listen for the powerful and complex drum solo (it's hard to miss!).

A mind-bending mixture of jazz, rock, and eastern influence, this album IS the defining moment in jazz fusion. 5/5

con safo | 5/5 |

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