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5 Jul 2017

Mahavishnu Orchestra "Inner Mounting Flame" 1971 US Jazz Rock masterpiece









Mahavishnu Orchestra  "Inner Mounting Flame" 1971 US Jazz Rock masterpiece..!

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 Maybe the most ground-breaking jazz rock outfit of all times,MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA were an idea of skillful guitarist John McLaughlin.McLaughlin was a very spirited man,admiring the Indian culture, and had previous experience in song-writing having played next to jazz legend Miles Davis.The original line-up of the band included members from the four edges of the world and their debut ''The inner mounting flame'' came out in 1971.The album was trully a shock,as the band delivered unbelievable musicianship and interplays,deeply based on Eastern influences.McLaughlin's rocking' style of playing was in constant battle with Jerry Goodman's violin work and Jan Hammer's Minimoog keyboard,while the three members were supported by Irish Rick Laird's jazzy bass lines and Billy Combham's unusual crazy drumming.If it is hard for you to imagine Jimmy Hendrix-like guitars mixed with Indian music,funk & jazz then you should purchase this album...A masterpiece to remember! ...........by apps79 ................

Reissued with sparkling audio and exclusive photographs, this first, 1971, Mahavishnu album certainly vies for the title of the greatest of all jazz-rock recordings. Through spiritually questing flights of intense fury and exquisite quiet, it never loses its sense of inexorable force. Jan Hammer (keyboards), Jerry Goodman (violin), and bassist Rick Laird are completely sympathetic with guitarist John McLaughlin's vision as the music abandons the standard jazz format of successive solos in favor of rapid, heightening, braided, interactive contributions--a structure much drawn from Indian classical music. Astoundingly, the music retains discipline. For that, thank Billy Cobham: Through all the expressive, irregular meters, he remains a steady, resolved engine of percussion, vastly resourceful but ultimately reserved. McLaughlin's alchemy distills many worlds of music­-the jazz-guitar masters, flamenco, blues, Indian forms, and his experience in the innovations of the seminal jazz-rock outfits of Miles Davis and Tony Williams. Of course, distortion, feedback, and arena-rock amplification were crucial, as was the influence of Sri Chinmoy, McLaughlin's spiritual guide. "The Noonward Race," "Vital Transformation," and "The Dance of Maya" are music for the ages. -- Peter Monaghan.................

This is the album that made John McLaughlin a semi-household name, a furious, high-energy, yet rigorously conceived meeting of virtuosos that, for all intents and purposes, defined the fusion of jazz and rock a year after Miles Davis' Bitches Brew breakthrough. It also inadvertently led to the derogatory connotation of the word fusion, for it paved the way for an army of imitators, many of whose excesses and commercial panderings devalued the entire movement. Though much was made of the influence of jazz-influenced improvisation in the Mahavishnu band, it is the rock element that predominates, stemming directly from the electronic innovations of Jimi Hendrix. The improvisations, particularly McLaughlin's post-Hendrix machine-gun assaults on double-necked electric guitar and Jerry Goodman's flights on electric violin, owe more to the freakouts that had been circulating in progressive rock circles than to jazz, based as they often are on ostinatos on one chord. These still sound genuinely thrilling today on CD, as McLaughlin and Goodman battle Jan Hammer's keyboards, Rick Laird's bass, and especially Billy Cobham's hard-charging drums, whose jazz-trained technique pushed the envelope for all rock drummers. What doesn't date so well are the composed medium- and high-velocity unison passages that are played in such tight lockstep that they can't breathe. There is also time out for quieter, reflective numbers that are drenched in studied spirituality ("A Lotus on Irish Streams") or irony ("You Know You Know"); McLaughlin was to do better in that department with less-driven colleagues elsewhere in his career. Aimed with absolute precision at young rock fans, this record was wildly popular in its day, and it may have been the cause of more blown-out home amplifiers than any other record this side of Deep Purple. ......by Richard S. Ginell ...............................

The Inner Mounting Flame was the first album which totally captured the power of hard rock and the freewheeling improvisational aspects of jazz. Larry Coryell, Miles Davis, and Tony Williams' Lifetime had tried something like this with some success in previous years. (It was no mistake McLaughlin was attached to all three of those efforts.) But none of that output captured the spirit like the Mahavishnu Orchestra's 1971 recording The Inner Mounting Flame.

The Inner Mounting Flame 's ascending and descending distortion-laden mantra-like riffs and unison playing set a standard for jazz-rock that is still in place today. Its Indian influences merged with blues scales and rock rawness set the music world on fire. The musical attack was relentless.

Over thirty years after its release, this album can still blow away first time listeners. The Inner Mounting Flame was recorded before the use of synthesizers, drum machines, and computer enhancement. The sound is loud, raw, and dangerous. Wild abandon meets supreme musicianship on such classic tunes as "The Meeting of the Spirits," in which an introductory guitar passage sounds like an electric sitar played through a thick fog. A forbidding theme turns "The Dance of Maya" into a raving jazz-fusion hoedown. The drummer and bassist take a short rest while the acoustic guitar, piano and violin offer the beauty, grace and delicacy of "A Lotus On Irish Streams". How could this be the same band that just blew out my eardrums?

Melodies and rhythms like had never been heard before. The distortion and the loudness could be insulting, and the speed of the playing was mind-numbing. In short, this was the greatest jazz-fusion recording ever made.

Who were these guys anyway? John McLaughlin was an up and coming European jazz guitarist who recently had been best known for some far-out playing with Miles. Soon he would become a guitar god. Billy Cobham was an ex-marching band drummer from Panama who had played with the great Horace Silver and in the important band Dreams. He too would also take his rightful place in the heavens. Jan Hammer was a true innovator who would eventually achieve worldwide fame not only for his keyboard playing, but also for his movie and television scoring. Jerry Goodman was a jazz-folk violinist who had cut his teeth during the short run of the pseudo jazz-rock group The Flock. Rick Laird had been a musician friend John knew from London. He was the house bassist at Ronnie Scott's jazz club and had played with Ben Webster and Wes Montgomery. Although the Mahavishnu Orchestra enjoyed a relatively short reign, their influence still reverberates today.

In 1972, the relatively unknown Mahavishnu Orchestra followed Count Basie at the Newport Jazz Festival. Upon hearing the very first ear splitting notes from the stage, hundreds of jazz fans—feeling musically assaulted - left the concert hall in a rush. What a joy it must have been! .....By WALTER KOLOSKY .............All About Jazz...................

What has not already been said about this groundbreaking album. I have seen John McLaughlin and this original Mahavishnu lineup live 4 times back in NY. I remember hearing this for the first time, in the back of someone's Cheech and Chong car, listening to a local college radio station playing this otherworld music, thinking OMG, what is this??. As far as I am concerned, The Inner Mounting Flame has no equal and stands alone in the Mahavishnu catalog, which I own them all. People may argue about Birds of Fire, but I disagree. Take it from someone who has seen Blind Faith, The Yardbirds, Jimi, Zappa, Yes, etc. I saw Jerry Goodman play in Seatrain at the Filmore East. This is either love it or hate it music. There is no in between when it comes to this lineup. My final comment is that this is just my opinion. Enjoy it regardless of my comments. Thanks for reading...........ByHiwatt100................

Superb album brought jazz-rock fusion into commercial success, yielding wider appreciation of such artists as Chick Corea, Stanley Clark, Billy Cobham, Weather Report (Jaco Pastorius, Wayne Shorter, Joe Zawinul et al.), Larry Coryell, Eric Johnson, the Dixie Dregs (Steve Morse) and numerous others. My particular favorite on this album is "A Lotus on Irish Streams). Followed by "Birds of Fire," and I've never decided which one is more impressive. Both came at the first burst of the band's creative groundbreaking work and, as such, are rife with the huge energy that often infused the early efforts to realize a new idea. Very highly recommended for the astute listener....By Amazon Customer....................

I first heard the Mahavishnu Orchestra back in college. An old roommate of mine flipped me a copy of Birds of Fire, telling me he hated it but thought it was something I might like (as you can guess, we didn't get along very well). This was not my first experience with McLaughlin. I had heard his work with Miles Davis, and I thought I knew how good he was. But this album showed us a completely different side of this artist. Juxtaposing his work on A Tribute to Jack Johnson, On the Corner, and In A Silent Way, with the music contained on this disc and the rest of his Mahavishnu Orchestra recordings, only serves to underscore just how many styles this man could handle. I obviously backtracked, picking up any and every McLaughlin disc I could find, including his Shakti discs, his solo jazz outings, his work on Lifetime, his work with Paco DeLucia and Al DiMeola, etc. etc.). And I can say with some certainty that this disc is probably the best of them all.
The music is a mixture of blues, jazz, heavy metal, and indian classical music. If this sounds like a crazy mishmash, you are right. But these guys make it work, and do it brilliantly. You have to understand, we're talking about an all-star band here: Jan Hammer (keyboards); Jerry Goodman (electric violin); Billy Cobham (drums); Rick Laird (bass) and of course McLaughlin, wielding an axe that is one part Hendrix, one part Django and one part Ravi Shankar. All were absolute musical masters, truly musicians' musicians. And they drive this point home repeatedly, with unison 32nd note runs, intertwining solos that progress towards points of singularity, stops and time-changes and interlocking - at times disparate - themes woven together effortlessly.
The sheer energy and power of this album is difficult to put into words. Keep in mind that most of the musical arguments here are very short, repeated statements used as vamps for ensemble improvisations...but this sounds too simplistic. The music actually is far more complex. Suffice to say that you won't hear much of anything that sounds like this elsewhere, with the exception of some King Crimson (I'm thinking specifically of the album "Red", and that came out a few years after this). Highlights are "Dance of Maya", "Noonward Race", "Meeting of the Spirits", "Vital Transformation"...but do yourself a favor and listen to the entire album. The slow pieces (I'm thinking of "Lotus") are beautiful and melodic and provide breathing room for the listener. It isn't in here by accident, it provides a break from the ordeal! And it is just that. This album presents a challenge. But if you are up to the challenge, you will find that this album takes you to pinnacles as few other pieces of music can.
An absolute favorite of this fusion nut. And I've heard a lot of fusion. Recommended along with Birds of Fire (1972), Between Nothingness and Eternity (1973), Apocalypse (1974), Visions of the Emerald Beyond (1975) and Lost Trident Sessions (from 1973, released in 1999)......ByJoey Joe Joe Jr. Shabadoo...........

With Miles Davis, Tony Williams' Lifetime and Ian Carr's group Nucleus, jazz-rock took a definitive shape and started crystallizing to its actual form. Out of the Bitches Brew sessions came two bands that would really further define JR/F, the first being the brainchild of Wayne Shorter and Joe Zawinul called Weather Report, and the second being the pet project of John McLaughlin (and with Billy Cobham), called Mahavishnu Orchestra, based on the name his guru Chimnoy had given him. Both bands are simply the essence of jazz-rock and both were particularly progressive in their early days, before jazz-rock sort of veered to jazz-funk and later to fusion. With an almost impossible-to-improve line-up in terms of virtuosity, MO's first era was simply flawless, even if it sometimes went over the top and might seem today a bit indulgent.
Contrary to Weather Report (who reigned as a duo but allowed anyone to come up with numbers), MO was clearly John's ship and clearly he was the captain with no back up, coming up with all of the music, leaving no credits to others. Between his roles with Tony Williams' Lifetime and Miles' group, two albums became very much essential in understanding John's evolution: first came the fantastic Devotion, where his guitar playing simply came of age and his brand of jazz-rock was born with the help of Larry Young (ex-Lifetime) and Buddy Miles (ex-Hendrix), than came the acoustic My Goal's Beyond (where he meets Cobham and Goodman), where John opens up to a very wide spectrum, including Indian music. But these albums cannot lead anyone to guess what was coming with Inner Mounting Flame. Even three decades after my discovery of this album, I still refer to it as Inner Mounting Erection, because it never fails to arouse my interest and reach orgasm, at least aural. (Sorry, I just had to do it ;o)) So when TIMF came out, its impact on music took on seismic importance and they became an instant success, as this album was the perfect mix between jazz and rock.

Opening on the McLaughlin-defining Meeting Of The Spirits (a fantastic version of this emblematic piece) with John's eruptive solos flowing out like molten lava, fluid life a river and rapid like the thunder lightning, and the whole group accompanying him effortlessly, bringing the whole thing to an orgasmic big bang. The reflective Dawn, on the other hand, shows a very different and much quieter facet of this quintet, where Goodman's violin takes on the prime role as a soothing pill, even if McLaughlin's guitar manages to pull the track upbeat, before letting it drop to its original level. The aptly-titled Noonward Race is exactly that: a monstrous piece, a 300MPH track where Cobbham and McLaughlin let use see that they're not normal earthlings, then seeking to hide that fact, they are letting first Goodman and his violin, then Hammer's distinctive-sounding synth have their say, the track resembling a jam. Just like Dawn, the track Lotus On Irish Stream is gentle and soothing (after such a brutal Race), where McLaughlin's acoustic dexterity is featured, where Goodman's aerial violin borders the cheesy and Hammer's cool piano is the cement that binds the track.

The flipside starts with a machine gun fire, courtesy of Cobham, and Vital Transformation becomes the alter-ego of Meeting Of The Spirits, and echoes that track's greatness. Dance Of Maya breaks the cycle of hard-smooth rotation of tracks with a slow-developing blues (that transition from the intro to the track proper is one of the best I've heard) where Mc and Co unleash all they got in terms of histrionics, while respecting the format. The following You Know track seems to be a variant of Meeting, but a calmer one, just content to play with the original riff, Cobham twisting our heads with his fantastic drum rolls. The closing Awakening is a bit the alter-ego of Noonward Race, at least in its intro, but even when reaching its apex, its delivers inhumane speed activity that no police radar has been able to measure, even three decades down the line.

How not to give this album anything but maximum ratings, without appearing a fool or having a chip on his shoulder?? This is the album that set the blueprint for so many groups to come, that its historical importance is worth maximum rating, let alone the musical near-perfection that it embodies. Blindly!!!!.....by Sean Trane .......................

Free form Jazz fusion at its finest. The MAHAV's debut album could be perhaps my all time favorite jazz fusion album. and for good reason. This is one of those albums which clearly grabs the listeners attention right from the beginning chords to the end with their wild mix of intense yet expressive musical innovation. If you are not familiar with the MAHAV's albums then this is a great place to start. Classic lineup way back when was the incomparable talking guitar of John McLaughlin, keyboard wizardry of Jan Hammer, Jerry Goodman on violin, Rick Laird on bass and finally Billy Cobham on drums. This music is highly intense and demands the listeners full attention which reaches heights and musical achievements I still marvel at today. It really is an amazing fusion of rock and jazz forms which will almost certainly appeal to all fans of complex ever changing prog. Mark this one up in the absolutely essential category my friends..........by loserboy ......................

 There are no words to describe this album. At first listening you won't be fooled around, you'll know you're in the presence of one of the greatest albums ever made. A grandiose symbiosis between rock music, neo classical music, psychedelic jazz music with further elements from blues to Celtic music. First of all, this album is an instrumental. If you think that, because of this, it would never reach a supreme level. you're judging wrong. The diverse instrumental arrangements, the superb playing, very virtuous and strong, offers an extremely enjoyable listen. Particularly I am referring to the magnificent drumming all over the album, very paced with many speed transitions, constituting a true independent instrument (but obviously well orchestrated with the rest), the high skilled guitar playing as well, with many speedy harmonious solos and also the beautiful violin playing.
The album's production is also very good, not resembling at all a 1971 record, it could be perfectly an album edited a few years ago, as you'll not have any sound complaints. Every track is fantastic but my personal favourites are: the first, Shadow of the Moon, where the instrumental explosions, the guitar leading solo and the beautiful main riff impresses an astonishing ambience; Dawn with its skilled and beautiful violin; Noonward Race for more instrumental explosions; A Lotus On Irish Streams because of its emotional neoclassical arrangements, with violin, piano and acoustic guitar conferring a relaxing ambience very enjoyable; The Dance of Maya which has some blues influence; and the climax ending track Awakening.

If you are a progressive rock collector and you DON'T have this album, God how can you live with such a great lack? This album is OBLIGATORY! It represents a perfect odd to symphonic progressive music in the genre of Canterbury/Jazz Fusion. It should not let anyone indifferent to it. If it lets, there's definitively something wrong with you..........by TRoTZ ................

Surely the hardest rocking of all the great fusion bands of the 70s, The Mahavishnu Orchestra was a pretty much unbeatable combination of musicians that performed inciendiary breath-taking jazz-rock flawlessly. Oddly enough, its dominant member/main composer John McLaughlin is my least favourite member of the quintet, as I feel his solos have a tendancy to be all about volume and speed, but (aside from the fact that keyboardist Jan Hammer was underused) it's pretty hard to find another flaw in The Mahavishnu Orchestra's frequently stunning music.
Inner Mounting Flame was where the quintet first laid it all down, and as such it's probably where most people should start off, although all three of the studio albums released by the original line-up are excellent (I'm including the second album Birds Of Fire and the lost third album which came out 26 years after it was recorded The Lost Trident Sessions here). Believe me, if you've never heard Mahavishnu before, you're in for a real treat ...

Take the first piece Meeting Of The Spirits. I'm not exagerrating when I say that Billy Cobham's drumming and Jerry Goodman's violin-playing are outstanding in their precision and fire, but no one gets left behind. Dawn is mellower jazz-rock led by Jan Hammer's electric piano and features a heart-breaking solo from Goodman. I must say that I think McLaughlin's solo doesn't work upon its initial entry, but once the band picks up the pace and Goodman takes over, everything just rocks. Noonward Race likewise is a scintillating jam with first Goodman, then Hammer, then McLaughlin taking the honours.

A Lotus On Irish Streams is a superb reflective piece with superb turns from the soloists Goodman, Hammer and McLaughlin. While Vital Transformation is one hell of a rocker on which Cobham's playing reaches some amazing heights. For me the album's weakest track is The Dance Of The Maya which has too much orthodox blues and dull wah-wah explorations from McLaughlin (even Goodman is guilty on this one). You Know. You Know on the other hand has it all, from the light intro, with the doubling up of Dave Laird's bass and Goodman's violin, then Hammer's awesome bluesy electric piano runs, and an ending in which both Goodman and McLaughlin turn in fiery leads while Cobham gives a veritable drum clinic in how to roll. In a way the bass of this piece doesn't move much, yet I love it to bits. Awakening is another one of those high-octane rapid-fire jams starring both Goodman and Hammer, that sets the seal on an excellent album.

It's no coincidence that this album and its successor have the words "flame" and "fire" in their title, for that does indeed convey the mood of Mahavishnu's music. Decades after the group's ashes have blown away, there's something remarkably alive about this music. ... 84% on the MPV scale......... by Trotsky .........

Whether it was initially intended or not, this album is widely considered as the gate opener to the realm of fusion (in its original meaning: the no-nonsense married between jazz and rock). It was released only a year after Miles Davis' "Bitches Brew" -- a groundbreaking effort. Here five virtuosos jointly create a work that is so dense with furious instruments playing, high energy, yet well planned with a Switzerland precision.
Yes, Jazz is an important element here. However, upon a close attention, it is the rock element that deeply and smartly injected by the band. Listen to John McLaughlin electric guitar improvisation as well as Jerry Goodman's electric violin, both of which executed as if they were riding on a F1 circuit. Their melodies wandering, done within a constantly repeated basic pattern, are no strange at all within progressive rock territory.

And there's the balance between its materials, which overall made this album an all-time classic. As one can recognize upon listening, the band put quieter materials between compositions showcasing breakneck speed unison passages. Try "A Lotus on Irish Streams" or "You Know You Know". These give space to the listeners to completely digest every single sound that had fiercely attacked their ears before.

No progressive rock collection is complete without this album......... by kunangkunangku .....................

 A grandiose introduction for a grandiose jazz fusion project by Mc Laughlin and his dream team (notably with the virtuoso Billy Cobham and Jerry Goodman). "Meeting the spirit" opens the ballet with a complex, rhythmical exercise and a bright duet between Mc Laughlin technical guitar style & Goodman's original violin touch. After an avalanche of technical solo sessions the atmosphere turns to something calmer with the beautiful & emotional «Dawn". Mc Laughlin guitar solo delivers a touching, melodic texture. "Noonward Race" is a freak out, fast & technical song developed as a jam session, essentially improvised. "A Lotus on Irish Streams" is a nice, soft interlude with an acoustic expression. "Vital Transformation" is a catchy, energic, rhythmical tune with some funky accents and an excellent violin / guitar duet. "You Know, You Know" is my favourite track on this one; a mind-blowing, mysterious composition with a catchy repetitive bass pattern, time to time punctuated by solid guitar solos. An achieved and tasty debut album. Their monument remains "Birds of Fire"........by philippe ....................

When Jimi Hendrix died suddenly in 1970, connoisseurs of high decibel sounds unheard on the electric guitar were faced with a search for a new messiah. The The British guitarist-composer John McLaughlin, they found one. Mc Laughlin (b. 1942) arrived in America early in 1969 to join the pace-setting drummer Tony Williams and organist Larry Young in the Tony Williams Lifetime. This new venture fused jazz improvisational daring with rock'n'roll's sheer energy. After leaving Lifetime, McLaughlin became a disciple of the guru Sri Chinmoy, began calling him "Mahavishnu" .. [CD liner notes].
I purchased the 20-bit digital remastered edition quite a long ago and I rarely spin this CD. It was actually an upgrade from a cassette version. But this remastered set is truly excellent because it's very informative and inspiring. Inspiring? Oh yeah . At the first page of liner notes you can read a poem or a philosophy - whatever you call it - by Sri Chinmoy (McLaughlin spiritual guru?) titled "Aspiration". Every single word penned by Sri is a powerful word. For me, having this CD is like owning two things: great music by Mahavishnu Orchestra and great book that inspires me. The soul aspires through the perfection of God's manifestation Chinmoy writes the last sentence of that poem. It's inspiring, isn't it? It is!!!!

Pssstt . intermezzo . by the time I'm writing this review I got a call from my prog guru who taught me prog when I was in Bandung in early eighties. Guess what? His son would get married next Sunday and he invited to attend the wedding ceremony. Yeah! Why bother I share this with you? It's because this gentleman (my guru) is special for me. He taught me the kinds like Mahavishnu, The Flock, Return To Forever, and the like. And most importantly, his son who is getting married soon is my prog mate as well! So he is the second generation of prog, inherited from his dad. Great! And now I'm writing this review of Mahavishnu debut album! What a coincidence! Sorry for this intermezzo - hope you skip it . [Jkt 21 April 2006 - Kartini Day, Our National Lady Hero, 10:45].

Now let's talk about the music. It's awesome overall! It blends all elements of rock and jazz with great improvisations through solos of guitar, violin, drum as well as keyboard. It's ahead of its time. "Meeting of The Spirits" resembles the search of the divine power which John MacLaughlin lerned from his spiritual journey before he formed the band. It blasts off the music in a great way demonstrating Billy Cobham dazzling drum work, Goodman's powerful violin as well as Laughlin's stunning guitar. "Dawn" starts off with a softer style using combination of soft guitar and keyboard. Violin provides its shot excellently. The song moves into higher points with great guitar solo. "Moonward Race" contains heavier elements of rock performed in fast speed. So I can sense how great Billy Cobham is and how fast Laughlin plays his guitar. Electric violin takes is solo job wonderfully. "A Lotus on Irish Streams" starts with an excellent combination of violin, bass, piano and acoustic guitar. No drum is used here.

"Vital Transformation" brings the music into a full speed again with great combination of guitar, drums, violin, bass that sound harmoniously. It's an energetic track. "The Dance of Maya" is another jazz rock fusion which moves from silent part into more complex arrangements. "You Know, You Know" is another relaxing track - this time with drums - featuring soft electric guitar fills intertwined with keyboard work by Jan Hammer which occasionally augmented with violin. "Awakening" concludes the album with another energetic arrangement and the music is sometimes complex. Violin solo is really great. Billy Cobham also plays drum solo, excellently! There is something similar between Mahavishnu music here in this track, especially, with the sounds of Return To Forever.

Hmm . with such a long review plus long intermezzo, how could I rate this album? Five stars is a must! Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW,................by Gatot ,.....................

 One of the first of its kind. Fiery and fiercely fast guitar with some of the best fusion keyboard work in this genre. This is almost a supergroup, with John McLaughlin, Jan Hammer, Jerry Goodman, and Billy Cobham---all in the same band. Hammer is one of the best keyboardists ever, and he really shines on this one.
So many people have reviewed this album before me, so I just want to mention some things I like. One, is the fuzzed out guitar that John was doing in Miles Davis' band. It's so... ROCK! Yet the music is so... jazz, that it fuses into this sound that is a little hard to describe. Jan Hammer always plays some great electric piano, comping chords like a champ, and Jerry Goodman lays down some nice violin parts, even if his sound is a little 'scratchy'. Unlike his funky solo albums, Billy Cobham is here, rockin' hard on the drums, and his definitive style is already showcased on this album.

This album was important stepping stone in the development in jazz-rock/fusion. Where Miles Davis, Weather Report, and Herbie Hancock would go off into the stratosphere at this time in the early 70s, Mahavishnu Orchestra said, "yea, we can rock out too". This opened up the door for bands like Return to Forever, Fermata, and later on, Brand X. Essential for a any fusion collection, and if you don't have this one, you're missing an important album in the development of the genre............by darkshade ....................

 For my money i'll take "Birds Of Fire" over this their debut, but lets face it they are both essential Jazz / Fusion recording aren't they ? Heck you can add "The Lost Trident Sessions" and you have MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA's Holy Trinity.
The first song "Meeting Of The Spirits" is really the only one that would have fit perfectly on "Birds Of Fire", and so it's not surprising that it's my favourite on this record. It opens with explosions of sounds again and again before it settles in, although there is such a powerful undercurrent throughout this track. Goodman's violin really gets things going before McLaughlin comes in firing. Check out the bass before 2 1/2 minutes. It calms down a minute later. The keys of Hammer are a nice touch 4 minutes in. They sound great. McLaughlin's back after 5 minutes as Cobham hammers away. Incredible track ! "Dawn" starts slowly with bass, drums and keys.Violin joins in as the guitar seems restrained yet raw as it solos.The song does pick up with some prominant violin before settling back down after 4 minutes to end the song. "Noonward Race" opens with Hendrix-like guitar, and drums that are all over the place for the first minute. Violin then takes the lead. Keys 2 1/2 minutes in. McLaughlin's turn before Cobham offers up some odd-metered drum fills 4 minutes in to the end of the song.

"A Lotus On Irish Streams" is my least favourite and it opens with mournful violin as acoustic guitar comes and goes intricately. This is a slow paced track with some liquid keys that also come and go. I like the piano 4 minutes in when the violin stops briefly. "Vital Transformation" opens with a mind-boggling drum display as guitar and keys come in. Violin after a minute, but it's the guitar work of McLaughlin that is so impressive after 1 1/2 minutes as bass throbs. "The Dance Of Maya" is a dark song with a fair bit of bottom end. Guitar before 2 minutes reminds me of Fripp the way he makes it scream. A full band sound before 3 minutes. Cool guitar solo 4 1/2 minutes in, and Cobham ends the song in style. "You Know,You Know" feels like everyone is holding back. I like the atmosphere in this one. "Awakening" does not have anyone holding back on it. Haha. Everyone struts their stuff ending the album in impressive fashion. Essential !............ by Mellotron Storm .......................

 I've stated this before, although I'm pretty sure that it wasn't on this website, that when I first got into progressive rock, the only reason I kept with it was because of a certain few albums that I found interesting enough to want to stick with it. This is one of those albums. It was the first fusion record I ever heard and I was totally blown away by it. The sheer ferocity, technicality, and overall musicianship blew me away within moments of starting it for the first time and they still do every time I listen to it.
1. Meeting of the Spirits - Starts with a few drum rolls by the genius of Billy Cobham and McLaughlin shredding a bit before an almost psychedelic intro draws us into the song. At 1:30 McLaughlin comes in with a lengthy solo, something that is quite common in Mahavishnu's work. Drums and guitar are excellent on this song. Around 3:40 the intense shred-fest quiets and slows down. Great piano playing in this section as well. However it builds up a bit again before the end. Absolutely amazing intro. 10/10

2. Dawn - Soft, slow piano intro with drums providing backing. Violin comes in around 0:45. This is an absolutely stunning and beautiful intro, and easily one. This song has great violin...shredding? Not really sure how to put it, other than the fact that it absolutely blows me away. 10/10

3. Noonward Race - Easily my favorite Mahavishnu track and even jazz fusion song. This is probably in a list of my top songs of all time; it's that good. At times it seems to go back and forth between being 70s hard rock, blues, and jazz. Words can't do this song justice. It must be heard to be believed. Again, absolutely mind-blowing song in every aspect, and no weaknesses whatsoever. 10+/10

4. A Lotus on Irish Streams - Some absolutely beautiful violin starts this song off. It almost brings me to tears when I hear it, as well as the point around 1:50. Songs generally don't make me feel overly emotional, but this one always strikes a chord with me for some reason (pun intended). Great interplay between acoustic guitar and violin throughout the song. Piano comes and goes throughout the song at appropriate times. Absolutely stunning, and one of my favorite tracks on the album. 10+/10

5. Vital Transformation - Kicks off again with a very hard rock feel to it like Noonward. Killer drums, guitar, and bass are a key of this song. And like Noonward, this is a song that I can't describe in words alone. Another must-hear song. 10+/10

6. The Dance of Maya - Starts with a creepy intro that would make Alfred Hitchcock proud before drums come in and...make it slightly less creepy. This song is also filled with very distorted sounds to help add to this creepy feeling. However, McLaughlin's guitar dispels that feeling at about 4 minutes in, and we are treated to more powerful and emotional shredding and soloing, however he does slow it down at times and gives a feeling of great balance and control without losing the raw power he displays so well. 10/10

7. You Know, You Know - This song begins with a very bluesy feel to it and starts off slow before building up. At least that's what one would think. But to me it feels like something is missing on this song. I'm not sure if the band was deliberately trying to hold back or what, but some of the emotion is lacking from previous tracks. There is however a good deal of nice noodling with the keys, which in the end might be what the song was intended for, I don't know (pun intended again). Some violin even comes in at one point and gives us the false hope again that the song will continue building, along with some weird noises, but again I feel that this song never gets that far from where it starts and could have expanded more. My least favorite and probably the only "weak" song on the album, but some of the drumming from Cobham saves it for me. 8.5/10

8. Awakening - The intro for the last song starts with everybody seemingly coming in at once and trying to solo at the same time. Very, very intense here, and a great return from the last song. This is much more in the vein of what else has been going on in this album. Great guitar soloing and great drums from Cobham as well. Heck, all the instruments feel on here, almost as if everyone is trying to get what thoughts and ideas are still in their head out on to the last track of the album. Fantastic, fantastic finisher. 10+/10

Closing thoughts: An absolute must-have record not just for a fan of prog rock or jazz, but anyone who is a fan of music. This album is one of my 25 favorite albums of all time for a reason. The intensity and emotion really comes out very well here and in the follow up album, "Birds of Fire". Although both are absolutely essential albums, I rank this one slightly over Bird of Fire. An absolutely essential album and I really wish the rest of Mahavishnu Orchestra's discography had turned out as good as this. This isn't music; this is art in its purest form. If you don't have it, get it immediately. 6+/5 stars.........by horsewithteeth11 ...........................

 This is truly some great music! The Mahavishnu Orchestra is probably my favorite Jazz Fusion band, a subgenre of prog I don't listen to much. John McLaughlin's guitar playing is phenomenal! It's like taking every guitar hero in the world and mixing them up into one guitar god! Most of the music sounds like it could be played by a symphony yet this band mixes things up and plays it on guitar. Meeting of the Spirits is one track that sticks out to me, (probably because I'm a symphonic prog fan and this is the most symphonic track on the album,) so if you like symphonic prog like me try it out! Noonward Race is a song that is played super-incredibly fast! Almost like someone having a controlled spasm with a guitar in their hands. Lotus on Irish Springs is an excellent track, very soothing violin playing, and Awakening is an excellent way to end an album. I almost feel sorry about not giving this a five star rating but the music sounds like it is almost repeating itself some of the time. However this is a must-listen to any prog fan!..............

One of the first of what I think of as the "second wave" of fusion bands - those designed from the ground up to be fusion acts, rather than evolving into a fusion style like Miles Davis's band or the Mothers of Invention did in the 1960s - the Mahavishnu Orchestra are probably best known for this classic album, on which for most of the time they play a fast, loud, and heavy brand of fusion.
From the dark, foreboding eruption that commences the opening track to the end, this is a true triumph for every musician involved. John McLaughlin plays incredibly fast and complex lead guitar, showing both the craft he'd learned in fusion works by Miles Davis and Tony Williams and the influence of other artists working in the same vein - in parts, for example, I can hear a strong influence from Frank Zappa's celebrated guitar solos on Hot Rats. The rhythm section of Rick Laird and Billy Cobham do an admirable job of both keeping up and keeping their hand in the game, Cobham's drums in particular being a forceful and complex treat in their own right. Jan Hammer's keyboard textures and Jerry Goodman's violin complete the picture; a particularly good piece for them is A Lotus on Irish Streams, a rare moment of calm, reflection and beauty in the middle of the fury which is a showcase both for Hammer's piano lines (which at points recall more classic jazz styles) and Goodman's plaintive violin work.

A true cornerstone of the fusion scene, and a key work not just in the discography of group leader John McLaughlin but of every member of the band, The Inner Mounting Flame deserves nothing less than five stars - in fact, I'd say it earns each of those stars twice over............... by Warthur ...................

Flourishes of absolute intensity, exuded by a spellbinding union of musical components bounded together by the intimate synergy of its musicians- The Inner Mounting Flame provides a performance that is truly mesmerizing. The music comes at us with an excessive release of spontaneous energy, induced by boisterous instrumentation and complex musicianship. The album opens with a marvelous overture, "Meeting Of The Spirits". This song is a passage through dextrous and innovative musical segments that are embellished with elaborate solos from guitarist and lead composer, John McLaughlin. The backing instruments establish a rhythmic landscape for John McLaughlin to work from, allowing him to erupt with a barrage of solos that are coordinated with such adroit musicianship.

Of course, John McLaughlin's guitar work may be the centerpiece of The Mahavishnu Orchestra, but the other musicians provide an equally captivating performance. Jerry Goodman's violin arrangements effectively compliment John McLaughlin's guitar work, with both instruments collaborating at a level that is truly incendiary. But I must also mention Billy Cobham's drumming. He always provides such innovative percussive rhythms, eruptively dynamic, yet orchestrated with such effective prowess. As I said before, The Inner Mounting Flame is fueled by ebullient performances. "Vital Transformation" and "The Noonward Race", for example, are driven by an overabundance of hyperactive instrumentation. "Vital Transformation", in particular, is yet another highlight from the album. Everybody is just on fire in this one, especially John McLaughlin and Jerry Goodman, who are bombarding our senses with grandiose solos.

As we venture further into the album's content, voyaging through all of the aggression and spasticity, we are surprised to discover a gentler side. "A Lotus On Irish Streams" serves as a lovely interlude that takes us away from Jazz music all together, leaving us to lose ourselves in the delicacy of this beautiful acoustic ballad. "Dawn" is another much more mellifluous piece, but has a much more abstract orchestration. It opens with a very relaxing tempo before blossoming into a more elevated, yet restrained, climax. The Inner Mounting Flame is a classic, and a defining album in Jazz Fusion. One of the interesting aspects of the album is that it features no wind instruments, a rather unusual quality for a Jazz album, but because of its more rock-oriented sound it has also proven to be influential in several other genres outside of Jazz music. The Inner Mounting Flame is landmark effort and a template for all future musical acts aspiring to venture into Jazz Fusion.........by Hernan M. Campbell ...............

There was clearly a void left in the wake of Jimi Hendrix’s death that had many wanting to explore the potential of mainstream rock being infused with the earthly potential that jazz held. Sure, groups like The Grateful Dead and Frank Zappa helped to draw a clear connection between the rock fans and what the hip jazz folks were doing but it would take an album like the Mahavishnu Orchestra’s The Inner Mounting Flame. The album would prove to blow things out of the park with its purely raw blend of ideas that could take shape at any moment throughout the album. It also helped that the musicians were young disciples of both genres, rather than imitators who sought to capitalize on it.

From the loud eruptions that take place right off the bat on “Meeting of the Spirits,” it’s clear that this album would make few concessions to either side of the rock-jazz debate and would draw its own shade of grey. Make no mistake though, jazz holds the main tDNA for the album and the psychedelic nature of it provided by the band of John McLaughlin leading on guitar, Rick Laird on bass guitar, Jan Hammer playing piano, Billy Cobhan rocking the drums and Jerry Goodman as the anomaly of the group by using his violin as a rather avant garde-ish addition. While many may think that this appears to be directionless chaos in sound, songs like “The Dance Of Maya” slink along with a rhythmical patten that’s not too far from an Albert King kind of blues and displays that there’s more going on conceptually that requires a careful listening to pick up upon.

There is a element of spirituality that remains the adhesive to the whole album’s offering, and in some cases reaches towards a greater search of both musical genres at the same time. A song like “You Know You Know” is like the calm before the storm with McLaughlin’s meditative playing that sometimes crosses into folk music territory, or perhaps is more reflective of what he took from his time with Miles Davis. Then again, a track like “A Lotus On Irish Streams” not only draws inspiration from such a left field reference like an Irish jig, but really dips into the sounds of more underground jazz styles like those coming out of Chicago with the Afro American Arts Ensemble. It’s this fusing of music styles not for the sake of doing it, but to convey ideas and feelings that weren’t being tapped into that drives the exploration on this effort.

While this band was the first major follow up to the Bitches Brew sensation, it also earned the distinction of being one of the few bands to really branch out with concepts that didn’t totally feed off from it either. The end result is almost like a cultural jam session, reminiscent of how the late 60s and 70s was a musical melting pot since the sounds of music from places as far as Britain and Brazil constantly invaded the music charts. This could be due in part to the ethnic diversity of the band, but probably lies within McLaughlin’s imagination and how it stretches out on The Inner Mounting Flame. Either way it’s the kind of coming together that just can’t be duplicated, that was for many of the musicians on the album their finest hour................by Putnam Doug..............

When The Mahavishnu Orchestra's debut album appeared in 1971, jazz-rock fusion was still a revolutionary idea. U.K. guitar demon John McLaughlin and U.S. drummer Billy Cobham took the ideas they'd absorbed (and helped initiate) working on the Big Bang of fusion, Miles Davis' Bitches Brew; they expanded them into a more composition-oriented (but band-based) format. They were helped in this endeavor by jazz bassist Rick Laird, violinist Jerry Goodman, and burgeoning keyboard phenom Jan Hammer. While The Inner Mounting Flame is certainly a showcase for McLaughlin (whose fiery outbursts on the opening "Meeting of the Spirits" and "The Noonward Race" evoke a jazzier Jimi Hendrix), his sparring partners provide plenty of the frisson that makes this album a milestone. Cobham's fervid polyrhythms on "Vital Transformation," Goodman's scorching solo on "Awakening," and Hammer's visceral electric piano runs on the aforementioned opener all help stir the pot to a blissful boil.............

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,..............

A generation of musicians had their lives changed by this record and subsequent tour by the Mahavishnu Orchestra. Guitarists who had been quite content covering “Layla” and “Whipping Post” were suddenly inspired, after witnessing John McLaughlin in action, to go deeper into their instrument and push the envelope on their own potential. Drummers were blown away by the precision and power of Billy Cobham. Keyboardists were in awe of Jan Hammer, who often filtered his Fender Rhodes electric piano through ring modulators and other devices to tweak his sound into a slicker realm long before synthesizers were made available. But it was the overall blistering intensity and fresh vision of this groundbreaking band that led rock-fed musicians down a different musical path toward a more challenging style of music.

The Mahavishnu Orchestra was the first band to emerge from a jazz/rock movement that had been bubbling up since the late ’60s to capture a huge crossover audience. My own first exposure to the band was as an opening act at a Frank Zappa concert in 1973. My ears haven’t been the same since.

Listening to this 1971 release, one is struck by the grandiose reach of the quintet that dared to call itself an orchestra. Pieces like “Meeting of the Spirits” and the fragile, acoustic “A Lotus on Irish Streams” are like classically-inspired suites in miniature. But it was numbers like “Noonward Race,” “Vital Information” and especially “Awakening,” fueled by Cobham’s smoldering intensity on the kit and McLaughlin’s raging, distortion-soaked guitar lines, that really grabbed rock crowds. More ethereal pieces like “The Dance of Maya,” with its odd time signatures and arpeggios, and the haunting “You Know, You Know,” a drum feature for Cobham, helped to create a kind of mystique about the Mahavishnu Orchestra that was wholly unprecedented for its time.

By today’s standards, this album wasn’t recorded too well. I’m sure that Cobham, who prides himself in getting rich, resounding tones out of his kit, absolutely hates his drum sound here. But the sound of the band communicated directly with listeners and continues to echo across the generations. Interestingly, some of this material has recently been reinvestigated by Bobby Previte’s The Horse, a regular Tuesday night band at the Knitting Factory’s Old Office. Twenty-something hipsters are responding to this music with great enthusiasm, just as I did 20-odd years ago........By Bill Milkowski......................

Fusion has become a dirty word in most jazz circles these days, which have been thoroughly Marselisised to the point of declaring that the only good jazz band is an acoustic jazz band. And yes, there were a lot of crimes committed in the name of jazz-rock -- I'd rather have my fingernails pulled out than have to listen to a Lenny White LP again -- but a handful of classics did emerge from it. This is one. I'm tempted to say this is the one, which wouldn't be correct, but you do tend to get carried away listening to McLaughlin and the boys in full flight. As opposed to their subsequent albums, the emphasis here is on virtuoso playing that still comes from the heart. And the all-acoustic "A Lotus on Irish Streams" is quite simply one of the most beautiful pieces of music to come out of the 1970s. In some ways Birds of Fire is a better, more ambitious and fully-conceived album than this one, but it just misses out on the questing spirit and beauty that makes The Inner Mounting Flame such a compelling listening experience......BradL .....................

So I was young, growing up in the early '90s I guess it was, and I heard there was this kind of music called "fusion", which was like a cross between jazz and rock. Also, I heard it was supposed to be incredibly dull and awful. Well, I was young, and I thought a mix between jazz and rock sounded just dandy to me, so I went to check out this record by the Mahavishnu Orchestra. And it was TOTALLY AWESOME. Knocked me flat on my keister. I listened to it, and I said to myself, "Wait, so why do people think fusion sucks?"

Yeah, and then I heard all the other fusion records.........by.........rushomancy ............

He couldn't very well call it the John McLaughlin Lifetime, but that's what it is--with Billy Cobham a somewhat heavier Tony Williams, Rick Laird subbing for fellow Scot Jack Bruce, violinist Jerry Goodman and keyboard man Jan Hammer vainly filling in Khalid Yasin's organ textures, and McLaughlin back on electric guitar. The raveups aren't quite as intense as "Right On," though "Awakening" and "The Noonward Race" come close, but McLaughlin has a much clearer idea of how to make a rock band work than Williams. No vocals is the right idea--imagine what claptrap he'd come up with putting the beyond into words. To change pace he provides more of the noble, elemental themes he introduced on Devotion--my favorite is "The Dance of Maya," which breaks into a blues about halfway through. Mistake: "A Lotus on Irish Streams," a lyrical digression featuring Goodman, who ought to be watched closely at all times.....

If it isn't obvious to you after the first few milliseconds of this album that The Mahavishnu Orchestra were one of the premiere jazz-fusion groups that ever existed, then your brain done broke. These guys were not only able to play the living snot out of their respective instruments, but they were able to play off of each other to an absolutely heart-stopping effect. There is no singing whatsoever in this album, but hearing how intricate and personality ridden all these instruments are, then you'll thank the heavens above that there are no singers to distract us all from that. This is a great, great album from a group of the finest virtuosos in the world.

I know, any jazz-snob would read that and scoff saying “That's what jazz has always been about! Just listen to jazz, my friend! None of this fusion-rock stuff! Scharg!” But what this jazz snob doesn't understand is I like rock-a-rolla! I like listening to these guys play so quickly and intensely that it's amazing their arms don't fall off (particularly the drummer). The atmospheres and textures they create in some of these songs are utterly tantalizing.

Check out “Meeting of the Spirits,” the album opener if you want to know what it's like to be stuck in the middle of a tornado. (Don't watch the movie Twister! Sure it has visuals, but you'll invent much better visuals in your head if you close your eyes and dare to use that imagination of yours.) Or if you tend to favor more beautiful things, take a look at “A Lotus on Irish Streams.” It sounds exactly the way you think it sounds! You hear a piano and acoustic guitars twinkling providing a beautiful backdrop while a violin plays a free-flowing and expressive melody. I never heard anything quite like this before nor since.

I get dazzled to death by the fast-paced instrumental acrobatics in pieces like “Vital Transformation” and “The Noonward Race.” The complexity alone of these pieces were enough for them to become immortal masterworks! But my one complaint about them is I don't get any real feeling or emotion out of them (other than, I guess, hectic madness). Perhaps I'm trying to look for something that shouldn't be looked for. But if there were that extra emotional connection, then I'd be sure to love them even more.

“You Know You Know” is a slow song that can be extremely dull at first, but their knack for soloing helps make the piece evolve texturally. That said, I am still somewhat bored with it, but not nearly enough for me to ever want to press the 'skip' button. “The Dance of the Maya” can be a positively scary song, but it does every once in awhile evolve into a subdued R&B chugging session that doesn't interest me a whole lot. …..I know, I'm finding a lot of little things to complain about, aren't I?! And believe me these are little things. I'm not exaggerating when I say The Inner Mounting Flame is one of the most impressive albums ever released. I mean, if I'm incorrect about this, then there must be an entire universe of great albums that I don't know about. That would be awesome, but unlikely.

You'll have to hear this to believe it. In fact, you should hear it if you haven't already. I'm making that an assignment for you. My original review of this album contained the line: “Simply put, I usually don't listen to this type of music on my own freewill.” While I still don't listen to jazz-fusion all that often, I have been successfully turned onto this style of music thanks to Mahavishnu Orchestra. So, if you're not a jazz-fusion fan and you want to become a jazz-fusion fan, then this is a great place to start......by.....Don Ignacio...............

With the Mahavishnu Orchestra, the word jazz rock takes on its full meaning and must be taken literally. And this album, "The Inner Mounting Flame" is of capital importance; Not on the basis of its content that everyone will judge or not to his taste, but rather on the repercussions (which may be considered regrettable) that the music of this band of killers will have on the whole musical landscape of the " time. Perhaps Jimi Hendrix, if he had been one of us, would have left in this direction since to the flexibility and agility of his game is grafted, before all else, his power released by a level of amplification then Never reached, and even less so in the context of jazz. Because the orchestra of John "Mahavishnu" McLaughlin is built around a quintet of musicians with extraordinary pedigree who, apart from their skills and their curriculum vitae, finally have nothing to do with jazz. Cobham and McLaughlin, both of whom have passed through Miles Davis's school, will set up a group that will move away from the foggy, pointillist atmosphere of the records of the master and his most faithful disciples - at least in their First years - I named Weather Report. Here, everything goes (very or too much) fast, far and strong, with great noise and crash. They will simply play on the bands of musicians with progressive pretensions, with a technique unmatched and truly staggering that will push them to fall into the trap of sterile demonstrations in which a whole school, at the start very promising, will come to bog . Arpeggios of hypnotic notes ("Meetings of the Spirit", "The Dance of Maya" ... difficult to believe after that King Crimson never was inspired), rhythmic implacable and communicative ("Vital Transformation", "Awakening ")," The Noonward Race ", everything is there. "The Inner Mounting Flame" is, at its exit, a real slap, a pavement in the pond, and I would be tempted to say that it lost none of its devilish energy more than thirty years later. Huge.....................

When a band sees a number of artists like John McLaughlin (guitar), Billy Cobham (drums), Jerry Goodman (violin), Jan Hammer (piano) and Rick Laird (bass) among their own ranks, find a way to describe their Extraordinary quality, it is difficult to find words different from those already expended (amount incalculable) over them for the last forty years. The only thing you can do is listen to them.

After the collaboration of the 1960s and early 1970s, and after meeting with the Sri Chinmoy Indian guru who brought McLaughlin to the name "Mahavishnu", then the extravagant English guitarist creates his "orchestra : The Mahavishnu Orchestra.

It is 1971 and the band recorded its first album, The Inner Mounting Flame (the cover also shows McLaughlin's name next to that of the band). The work is a vortex of sounds and colors that envelops the listener and drags him on a journey of jazz, rock, fusion, improvisation and oriental influences: everything is "bent" at the will of the five musicians. The undisputed protagonist is McLaughlin himself, his guitar has "white paper" and drags behind him the other four elements of the band. Cobham is a daredevil, shoots at bursts and often heads to his colleague, as does Goodman and his violin always inspired. Hammer and Laird also perform a great job. The high compositional and executive mastery of the band is great in both "drawn" and "slow" and intense songs.

The album opens with Meeting of the spirits. After a start that seems almost a song closure, the Mahavishnu Orchestra undertake their first whirlwind journey. The absolute protagonists are the John McLaughlin histrionics on the guitar and Billy Cobham on the drum, especially the first one walks through endless winding paths. Other musicians, such as Jerry Goodman and his gloomy but full-bodied violin, are all in love with the guitar, and Jan Hammer on the piano in the second part of the composition. Here and there the sound of the sound is interspersed with hypnotic situations.

The rest of the warriors (but only in the first part of the song). With Dawn Cobham initially limited to "bringing time," adding little else. McLaughlin also retains the "shake off", creating a very romantic atmosphere, thanks to the help of piano, violin and bass. McLaughlin himself, however, with the passing of seconds, begins to increase the "spins" of his instrument, to explode (almost like a metal solo) together with travel companions. Interestingly, the intervention of Goodman's violin, a cross between Giusto Pio and Lucio Fabbri.

The band's high eclecticity has been well-known since the beginnings of the Noonward race. The prince is Cobham: his "invasion" battery gives an infinite amount of strokes characterized by an enviable precision and imagination. Shortly behind, McLaughlin lands with his Hendrixian guitars on the guitar. "Third-ranked peers" are Laird's low-key, Hammer's jazz piano and Goodman's "drumming" violin.

Very delicate and intense song is A lotus on Irish streams. Goodman's gentle violin, great protagonist of the song, recalls the atmosphere of Saint-Preux. The fleeting initial acoustic and piano guitars make the atmosphere even more solemn and exciting. Later the latter two will have more space, the first interwoven with the violin, the second emphasizing the intensity of the composition. Deserved rest for Cobham.

Vital transformation. We start off with Cobham and McLaughlin to resume the discontinued discourse in the Noonward Race ... and we find ourselves in a new, rapid sound. It is always great to chore with, just to name one, Goodman who enjoys actively participating in the "hysteria" of the two main protagonists.

A darker atmosphere, created by McLaughlin's guitar, takes the first minutes of The Dance of Maya. This atmosphere is enriched by the battery, less "pulled" than usual and down. The turn that you do not expect comes shortly after two and a half minutes thanks to a blues fragment that is almost whistling. Here, then, take up the "canonical" tracks with the new faded Cobham and McLaughlin.

The most thoughtful song is You know, you know. For over half its duration we find the only lightweight battery to act as a platform for intimate appearances of violin and piano. Only in the final minutes he intervenes, but sporadically, the "stridula" guitar, while Cobham slightly increases his beats. Many artists, over the years, have "cited" this song in their compositions, by David Sylvian in "I Surrender", Massive Attack in "One Love", by rappers for Mos Def, Cecil Otter and others.
After having been harnessed on more than one occasion in the earlier songs, Hammer is hit in the final Awakening. The battery is a pneumatic hammer, while guitar, bass and violin are flying in the air like crazy missiles. It is the worthy conclusion of an album that is often and happily played at a fast pace..............

"Inner Mounting Flame" Fountain Pen, a design by Jazz guitarist John McLaughlin, comes from ACME Studio's Standard Fountain Pens. John's inspiration for this design came from a recurring doodle he's been drawing since childhood. It was also inspired by his band's first album, Mahavishnu Orchestra's "The Inner Mounting Flame". As an added bonus, the pen also comes with one black roller ball refill as it can also be used as a roller ball. Artist's signature is engraved on the cap band and "ACME" is on the clip. The pen is presented in a ACME metal box with a black sleeve and ACME literature. As John says: "Writing will never go out of style.".............

As a starting point for the serious jazzrock or rockjazz, Miles Davis is certainly called the epic double album "Bitches Brew"; But this has, apart from an electrified cast, with its meditively interwoven polyrhythmic group exercises little to do with rock, but more with the opening up of new paths for the jazz, which has become increasingly copious and esoteric in the course of the Freejazz revolution. And of course the Miles Davis collective of this and the previous album "In A Silent Way" served as an almost inexhaustible source of young creative musicians for the emerging jazzrock scene; A few names: Chick Corea, Joe Zawinul, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams, Lenny White ...

But the first band to really rock and jazz was the "Mahavishnu Orchestra" of the English high-speed guitarist and - of course - Davis alumnus John McLaughlin. In the debut album "The Inner Mounting Flame" the band borrowed electric instruments, power and pressure, jazz-driving rhythms, improvisational joy, harmonious structures and enriched the whole with a shot of Indian mysticism and spirituality. It 's almost impossible to avoid the fact that an exciting album is released, especially when the whole thing is put into the hands of such virtuoso musicians: Billy Cobham, drums, Jan Hammer, keyboards, Rick Laird, bass, Jerry Goodman, violin and Of course Mahavishnu John McLaughlin, guitar. Immediately the first number, with its subliminal, initially laboriously restrained power and its exciting composition, shows the musical strength and the effortless interplay of exceptional musicians. But not only high octane numbers are celebrated; In the acoustic "A Lotus On Irish Streams", Jan Hammers' pearl-like piano is very picturesque in the Irish stream, where the lotus sits in the duet of violin and acoustic guitar.

But surely the true listeners, then as now, are sitting in the muscular electric numbers, which, of course, mainly live from McLaughlin's uninhibited, fast-paced electric guitar game, which (1971!) Was surely the envy of entire guitarist hordes In the eyes. But Billy Cobham's impulsive but firmly anchored, rocking drums in still twisted, torn rhythms, and Jan Hammers almost atonal, electronically alienating electric piano sounds give the music a high energy and a harsh edge, which can still be heard today. This is how JazzRock has to sound, not like the muting mode of mutated softening, as it later developed under the name "Fusion".

In any case, this record has influenced and inspired whole generations of musicians. Not least e.g. Chick Corea, who after the emergence of the Mahavishnus embraced his "Return To Forever" from a sleek Latin jazz ensemble to a rocking electric and electrifying band. So, anyone who is interested in the crossover between jazz and rock has a "record" with "The Inner Mounting Flame"......by......Udo Gerhards ...............

Line-up / Musicians
- John McLaughlin / acoustic (4) & electric guitars, producer
- Jan Hammer / piano (4), Fender Rhodes, organ (?)
- Jerry Goodman / acoustic (4) & electric violins
- Rick Laird / bass (excl. 4)
- Billy Cobham / drums (excl. 4)

Tracklist
A1 Meeting Of The Spirits 6:50
A2 Dawn 5:15
A3 The Noonward Race 6:27
A4 A Lotus On Irish Streams 5:41
B1 Vital Transformation 6:14
B2 The Dance Of Maya 7:15
B3 You Know You Know 5:06
B4 Awakening 3:30

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..