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Various Artists (Tributes) - Visions Of An Inner Mounting Apocalypse (Mahavishnu Orchestra) CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Tributes)

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5 stars "Better than the originals !" - here's what a big Mahavishnu fan could say - and this is what I say myself..

John McLaughlin's exceptional compositions are interpreted with the power and the sound that can be expected from all the talented musicians (mainly guitarists) that feature on this album. Thanks to Mike Varney for the concept and the production, which reminds me of the two exceptional Mahavishnu Project live-in-the-studio releases, full of inspiration and technically overwhelming. This one is a jewel, so that I might even say that I prefer some of the versions on this album to the Mahavishnu originals, which is a lot to say. Steve Morse is colossal on "Celestial Terrestrial Commuters", Mike Stern tears everything apart on "Can't Stand Your Funk" (here's a man with perfect phrasing), Frank Gambale gives a lesson in violent improvisation on "Dawn", John Abercrombie embroiders "Follow Your Heart" quite formidably (it would take a Metheny to compete with this magnificent intrerpretation. John is fantastic here), Jimmy Herring pulls out all the stops on "Meeting of the Spirits". Jeff Richman interprets "Jazz" with old-fashioned style and heaps of feeling, Warren Haynes goes heavily for the blues on "Lila's Dance", David Fiuczynski as usual unleashes a powerful, almost noisy fusion style on "Faith", Greg Howe goes purely metal on "Dance of Maya", and - wonder of wonders (Jimmy and McLaughlin are not alone in the pantheon of the holy ones) - Steve Lukather presents us with the most beautiful version of "Birds of Fire" that I can personally imagine.. Simply explosive, extraterrestrial. a really progressive effort from the great Luke, something he's never given us in the 30 years he's been in Toto (the ultimate example of the band who plays - Luke, we'll never thank you enough).

The Colaiuta/Eckhardt/Forman/Richman quartet is fantastic, with a very big sound, extremely changeable - Mitchell Forman being one of the best keyboardists in the world - and the presence of Jerry Goodman is proof of the fact that Mahavishnu is not dead. He smashes everything in his way - with the help of age, one gets the impression that the natural violence of his expression reaches new heights. This sounds very wicked, a cyclopean emulation. it is really a Mahavishnu tribute.

A wonderful album, which I highly recommend, as it hasn't disappointed me one bit. Mike Varney's productions keep to a very high standard of quality. I think that the challenge is now issued, and that Mahavishnu Orchestra should reform in order to try to do better than this tribute album - utterly awesome!

Only one minor complaint: evidently, the symphonic orchestra on 1974's "Apocalypse" was a heavenly dream. here, there is no orchestra, but I'm not going to hold a grudge because of that. maybe next time?

John McLaughlin's arrangements are always worth their weight in 24-carat gold.

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Posted Wednesday, August 23, 2006 | Review Permalink

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