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Mahavishnu Orchestra - Birds Of Fire CD (album) cover

BIRDS OF FIRE

Mahavishnu Orchestra

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.33 | 1315 ratings

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sgtpepper
5 stars Another 5-star masterpiece by Mahavishnu Orchestra quite similar to the predecessor although slightly more refined and with more quieter moments. The gong start sounds promising and bursts into a similar opening "Birds of fire" as on the previous album. Compositionally, it is a bit better than the previous opening. Violin, guitar and drums are most prominent and play a nice melody, Cobham keeps himself busy all the time. "Miles Beyond" starts somewhat simply with Hammer's leading motive on Fender Rhodes, then acoustic guitar noodling reminds of Asian landscape. Cobham's drums are so powerful even when he is restrained, with floor toms and snare drum sound is unique to Cobham. We will stay with Cobham, because in the next track, "Celestial Terrestrial Commuters" he keeps us out of breath with the killing drum pattern, I guess in 5/4. The duel between the violin and guitar is equally astonishing and worth mentioning is Moog soloing, too. So much happening under 3 minutes! " Thousand Island Park" offers time to relax with acoustic sublime sounds. "Hope" has a typical cresciendo flow powered by violin/guitar. The highlight is the ten-minute 200km/h hurricane in "One word" announced by Cobham's snare drum's solo before the crazy fiery fusion rhythm starts the fire. The song has many facets and lengthy drum solo is one of them before reaching the peak in the end with all players playing animously loud and hard. A blistering piece! "Sanctuary" may have Asian influence in it, it is a quieter piece with soothing melody. "Open country Joe" is more consumable and accessible than other fast pieces but McLaughlin's soloing is not in any way slowlier, Hendrix escapades are hearable. On the other hand, there' s a country feeling with calm violin and Rhodes that act radio friendly. "Resolution" is wrongly placed on the album - it makes the listener expects something breathtaking and long, however it quite abruptly finished in just 2 minutes. A masterpiece of jazz fusion.

sgtpepper | 5/5 |

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