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Mahavishnu Orchestra

One of the premiere fusion groups, the Mahavishnu Orchestra were considered by most observers during their prime to be a rock band, but their sophisticated improvisations actually put their high-powered music between rock and jazz. Founder and leader John McLaughlin had recently played with Miles Davis and Tony Williams' Lifetime. The original lineup of the group was McLaughlin on electric guitar, violinist Jerry Goodman, keyboardist Jan Hammer, electric bassist Rick Laird, and drummer Billy Cobham. They recorded three intense albums for Columbia during 1971-1973 and then the personnel changed completely for the second version of the group. In 1974, the band consisted of violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, Gayle Moran on keyboards and vocals, electric bassist Ralphe Armstrong, and drummer Narada Michael Walden; by 1975 Stu Goldberg had replaced Moran and Ponty had left. John McLaughlin's dual interests in Eastern religion and playing acoustic guitar resulted in the band breaking up in 1975. Surprisingly, an attempt to revive the Mahavishnu Orchestra in 1984 (using Cobham, saxophonist Bill Evans, keyboardist Mitchell Forman, electric bassist Jonas Hellborg, and percussionist Danny Gottlieb) was unsuccessful; one Warner Bros. album resulted. However, when one thinks of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, it is of the original lineup, which was very influential throughout the 1970s. ~ Scott Yanow, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The Lost Trident Sessions

Comments

I'm on a deserted island with only a couple albums.....t h i s would surely be one of them! Haha
1973...Bird of Fire...oh yeah. A mantra in the grooves. It still takes me away....
rhwatjen
Forgot! My first show was Bushnell Auditorium in Hartford 1971.
rhwatjen
One of the best of the MO!
These are the kinds of sounds that must have accompanied the creation of our planet back at the beginning.
Man I was a teen into music maybe my own D. J stacking records Doors,Mayall , Corea, Garcia,Hanco c k , Z e p , D i z z y , F l a t s & S c r u g g s , B r u b e c k , B e a t l e s , t r a f f i c , F l o y d , S i n a t r a , ( 4 m o m ) B i l l y Cobham.Dan hicks&the hot licks.all these vinyls plus 1000 more lost to a hurricane 20yrs ago.note I was stacking albums when I was a kid...

I started a Billy Cobham radio station tried Billy Cobham & Mahavishnu Orchestra and pandora did not find it. When I was a teen in the early 70's loved the Blues,rock,e c t . T h i s to Me and others was progressive Jazz not fusion,..ple a s e school Me if I'm wrong thank you!!!

Lived through and loved this era with Weather Report, Don Ellis, Return to Forever et. al. Check out John and Santana on "Love Devotion Surrender"
It's out there on time the changes
APOCALYPSE & BETWEEN NOTHINGNESS & ETERNITY are my personal Mahavishnu Orquestra treasures. Brilliant masterful musicianship . Praise GOD!!!
kermjohn
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of you life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you've started reading so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lover's name will come on the screen in big letters. This is so scary because it actually works
mattfrankl
IMF is the best album of all time.
My favorite music
One Word is probably one of their greatest songs ever.
You Know, You Know by Mahavishnu Orchestra on The Inner Mounting Flame - This is Hendrix dabbling in jazz on the night shift. No if, ands or buts about it. The man is alive. (Cee Rex)
IMF was rehearsed live in front of an audience for 3 weeks, then recorded in _one day_. _One Day_. Almost entirely on the first take. _First Take_. It boggles the mind.
jclarkproduc t i o n s
hit up You Know You know on youtube and you'll know what's up.
To have witnessed each iteration of this band was a highlight of my old concert days. I've seen John several times recently and he is in fact one of the great ones on guitar....
I saw the band twice during the mid 1970's in DC, and to this day still feel the energy.
love the orchestra, mahavishnu takes me for a ride in my mind when there is no where else to go
timtatum6
I saw Between Nothingness & Eternity show in Memphis. 1973 or 1974. The album remains my favorite!
riossilvestr e
I wasnt even born yet when Maha came out. when i turned 18 my guitarist introduced me to them and Weather report. after listening to them every day my drumming got so much better. My other friends or other people my age thought i was crazy for listening to this kind of music. i went and saw Mr. Cobham at the baked potato. AMAZING!! anyway i still play drums and Spectrum and Jaco just changed the whole way i approach music and jamming ; )
surfinrick
Saw them @ SUNY Stonybrook circa 1974. I remember the dork sitting next to me asking, Do these guys do vocals? That still cracks me up. One of the greatest groups of superb musicians I've ever heard and seen.
The most wonderful sounding musicians seem to gravitate to John. No wonder why. Then spin off as eddies and ripples as delightful as the sounds of the Mahavishnu Orchestra.
flipperxlr
Like all geniuses; overqualifei d and under appreciated. IMF doesn't have a bad cut on it. Wire to wire albumns are ultra rare.
tribalsurf
Heard them first out in Sou Cal and got to see them in 1974 at the San Diego Civic Theater. Lineup was McLaughlin, Cobham, Moran, Ponty, etc. My head exploded that night and I haven't been the same since. Saw Cobham later open for Average White Band. He put on a drum clinic that was astounding. Fave album of the group's though is Visions of the Emerald Beyond, with Walden on drums. Just listen to his playing throughout; fills every space perfectly.
Greatest Band Ever in all of History, and in my opinion, this is the best Fusion Album ever. Love Narada Michael Walden. And Johnny is GOD, the greatest musician ever.
and another thing they couldnt make a cd with all good songs to save their a** nowadays thats a fact, you buy a cd to get maybe 1,2,3 songs off of it, if all the guys from the seventies started now they would be billionaires . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
the best music came from the 70's zappa,trower , d a v e mason,floyd, z e p p l i n , j e f f beck blow by blow,roy buchannan,jo h n n y winter still alive and well, these guys blow the musicians away nowadays because they played music naturally from their souls.Hendri x and the rest of these guys will allways live on because you can reproduce their souls you can copy but thats it.......... p l a y the good stuff till you die
I was in the record business for 15 years, saw thousands of bands it seems, but I never saw any band that seemed to play as one other than Mahavishnu Orchestra. Blessed to see them twice once in Chicago at Ravinia and once in Munich in Circus Krone. A spectacular feat of human endeavor the Mahavishnu Orchestra was.
poppa_bear49
Just heard "The Inner Mounting Flame LP"; brought back sooooo many good memories I almost cried. This is when music was music. Keep up the great sounds.....y o u guys ROCK!!!
I didn't know what I was seeing live in front of me when I saw these guys together at the Century Theater in Buffalo, NY sometime during or prior to 1973. The experience was burned into my brain with some kind of cosmic branding iron though.
music beyond thought. one of, if not the greatest band of all time.
Somebody goofed....wr o n g bio here.
soundslike
This bio has nothing to do with this album or Mahavishnu. Why not biop the real deal?
Saw these guys in '72 as part of a local Battle of the Bands, in a high school gym no less! As you might guess, no battle, and changed my listening habits forever.
One of my Favs!!!!
My mom got to see them live a couple of times! I'm super Jealous. I am 19 and this is my favorite band. I wish more people my age could see how totally rad this music is. Mclaughlin will probably always be my favorite guitarist and I hope that the spirit of this kind of music lives on.(I'm doing my best as a guitarist)
1972 was the year for Mahivishnu!! !
lead_dog_run n i n g
I've been listening to this stuff since 85'. There is little out there I've heard that keeps up. Their can't be enough of this searching experimentat i o n in a culture. Its a human herald of the potential of diversity for the gene pool and can produce these good sheets and sheets of sound.
Billy Cobham is my all time favorite fusion drummer.
for it's time, this was far beyond comprehensio n to most musicians and listeners. Billy Cobham's single-strok e mastery on the solo; along with the shear prog-ness of the whole album....sor r y , but it still sounds gtreat today!
If only Trucks and McLaughlin would have gotten on stage together at Clapton's show in Dallas....
equivalent and above= dream theater, but they are heavier
Wow, I was really hoping to stir up me up some rankor with those posts, but nobody's biting... I'll have to move on to some other fusion artist who has a following of true believers
And later in the 70's, Hammer and Walton formed the Jan Hammer group. I wasn't wild about it, but it was some great music. I liked the stuff they did with Jeff Beck. But seriously, if you haven't checked out Dixie Dregs, your missing out on a great band who started out basing their sound in MO and taking it to another level. And the Derek Trucks band. Derek's Hindu style slide playing (well, ALL his slide playing)is not of this world.
Gimme a break Dave. There are many musicians and bands in the past 40 odd years since this album came out that equal and surpass it on many levels. But your question is really in the apples vs oranges category. If you like it and think nothing could surpass it, then I guess that's true for you, and that, in the words of self help guru Stuart Smalley, who is now running for congress, is ok. But how about the Dixie Dregs for starters?
Oh yeah. Poopy Trim.
Where is their equivalent today? There is no equivalent, and if anyone has one I'd like to know.
what can we say, it gets no better than these guys. ok so there are some good stuff, but MO rates w/talented performers! Most excellent stuff!
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