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Artist Profiles

Gregg Bendian

By Published: July 13, 2009
"He listened to it and that's when he first gave us the reaction and the quote that we still use today, where he thanked us for bringing the music back to life and commented on how great the band sounded and how amazing we were to do this stuff as well as we're doing it. And that was sort of the turning point for the group because previous to that people always came up to us and said, 'Well, what does John think of this? Is John cool? Are you guys cool with John?' And his endorsement really validated the band in a huge sense."

Likewise, the other original members eventually came on board with the Mahavishnu Project. "I had given copies of our CDs to [drummer] Billy Cobham
Billy Cobham
Billy Cobham
b.1944
drums
and initially there was some skepticism on his part. But eventually he came around and is now positive about the band. [Keyboardist] Jan Hammer
Jan Hammer
Jan Hammer
b.1948
composer/conductor
has been very supportive. He and [bassist] Rick Laird saw us playing the entire Inner Mounting Flame at the first Vishnufest. Jan got up on stage afterwards, as John had the night before and addressed the audience saying, 'This is a great pleasure and honor to be here and hear this happening. These guys are continuing what we were doing.'"

In fact, Hammer would later hire The Mahavishnu Project to be his band at MoogFest 2006—his first appearance in over 15 years and the ultimate endorsement of the project's handle on the music.

Recommended Listening:

Cecil Taylor, In Florescence (A&M, 1989)

Peter Brötzmann/William Parker/Gregg Bendian, Sacred Scrape—Secret Response (Rastascan, 1992)

Gregg Bendian, Research (Aggregate, 1994-2004)

Gregg Bendian's Interzone, Requiem for Jack Kirby (Atavistic, 2000)

Gregg Bendian's Trio Pianissimo, Change (Aggregate, 2005)

Mahavishnu Project, Return to the Emerald Beyond (Cuneiform, 2006)


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