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Re: Mahavishnu Orchestra: seminal recordings was: one guitarist one drummer

I never got to see the Mahvishnu Orchestra live.

I got to see John McLaughlin live with his "Belo Horizonte" era group 
once . . . and a later group with Dennis Chambers (another marvelous 
drummer), organist Joey DeFrancesco, and some young bass player who's 
name I forget back in '97 or '98.

I bought all the LPs, 8-tracks, cassettes and CDs that they (and he) 
ever put out though.

My first introduction to John and the M.O. was the old "In Concert" TV 
program they used to put on in the US.

Concert footage of them performing a couple of pieces from "Birds of 
Fire" was broadcast and I was totally hooked for life.

I believe one of the pieces they did was "One Word" that had a rather 
mind-blowing drum solo in it.

The thing I always loved about Johns early playing is that it was so 
fiery, passionate and furious as to be almost out of control at one 
moment  . . . and then tender and lyrical a little later on in the same 

I am by no means anything near the musician McLaughlin is but that 
ability to couple fury and abandon with lyrical tenderness and 
sensitivity is something that has been a deep DNA-level influence on 

And what can you say about Billy Cobham?

He's still out touring and making music too (I've a friend that plays 
in his band).

McLaughlin has continued to make music too . . . but although I'm still 
a fan, his music seems less passionate, and much more "in control", 
tidy and concise.

I really regret not having been able to see the first version of the 
M.O. live in person.

I hear there are some decent DVDs out now containing come of that 

If John and Billy ever went out and traded jab "toe-to-toe" like they 
did in those days they'd be a thing to see (and hear).

Nostalgia? Yes in deed.

Best regards,

tEd  KiLLiAn


Ted Killian's "Flux Aeterna" is also available at Apple iTunes

"You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when 
it turns out that God hates all the same people you do."    Anne 
Lamott (Traveling Mercies, although on page 22 of Bird by Bird she 
attributes this quote to "my priest friend Tom")

On Dec 18, 2008, at 11:05 PM, Rick Walker wrote:

> Stephen Goodman wrote:
> "Woof, yes please.  I wore out two lp's of "Inner Mounting Flame" 
> before CDs came out. Post Fripp's CGT and GC works, a listen to that 
> album also holds lovely bits of quiet."
> A friend of mine in college (right as I was just becoming intrigued by 
> jazz but new nothing about it
> except what our father played---Bruebeck, some Miles, Big Band)
> recommended that we go early to an Emerson, Lake and Palmer concert at 
> Winterland which we had
> tickets for because there was this famous British Jazz guitarist,   
> John MCGlafflin (how he pronounced it)
> who had played with Miles on "In a Silent Way".
> Dutifully I convinced my brother to go early enough to watch this 
> opening act, called
> The Mahavishnu Orchestra.
> They came out and Cobham opened the show with the fastest drum roll 
> I'd ever heard in my life
> as McLaughlin ripped into Inner Mounting Flame on his double necked 
> gibson 6/12 string electric.
> One of the most amazing shows of my life and when we ran to the record 
> store to buy it the next week
> we found out that it had not even been released yet.
> We had to wait two weeks and I, too, have worn out two vinyl copies of 
> that beautiful  and completely
> life changing record for me.
> We were jazz fusion fanatics from that point on until the juice ran 
> out of the scene and
> the whole KOOL jazz thing coopted it all.
> Yeah,  great fucking record.
> If you are young on this list and haven't heard that record, or it's 
> follow up ,  "Birds of Fire"
> do yourself a favor and listen to some absolutely blistering and 
> passionate music.
> It was when fusion was brand new and everyone was taking huge chances.
> It has the rawness of punk rock and it's palpable to this day (whereas 
> a lot of later fusion
> classics have lost a lot of their charm).