127

Mahavishnu: Mahavishnu

Walter Kolosky By

Sign in to view read count
Mahavishnu: Mahavishnu 1984's Mahavishnu was supposed to mark the return of drummer Billy Cobham to John McLaughlin's side, in an attempt to recreate the spirit of the original Mahavishnu Orchestra. Although business disagreements led to the reunion ending badly behind the scenes, the record did manage to display some of the historic interplay these musicians had shared in the past.

The album does suffer from a lack of focus that should be blamed on McLaughlin's new guitar synthesizer, which he uses way too often. Many times the listener is not even aware McLaughlin is playing because his damn synthesizer didn't sound like a guitar at all! It can be quite maddening, really. John was in the forefront of the technology at the time, and so his indulgence should be forgiven. He would eventually employ synthesizer patches to good effect on his acoustic Trio recordings several years later.

Mahavishnu consisted of ex-Miles' sax man Bill Evans, outrageous bassist Jonas Helborg, brilliant keyboardist Mitchell Forman and an ever-developing drummer Danny Gottlieb, replacing Cobham on tour. This band would not realize its full potential until its next album, Adventures In Radioland.

Since McLaughlin’s unprocessed electric guitar is rarely heard here, the highlights of Mahavishnu can be found in its compositions. "Clarendon Hills", a tune authored by Evans, is a full-out sonic attack and stands among the best compositions McLaughlin has ever recorded. Katia LaBeque, McLaughlin’s ex and a wonderful pianist, once again effectively adds her talents on the Indian piece "When Blue Turns Gold," which brings the album to a droning close. Recently rescued from the fusion scrap heap by Wounded Bird Records, Mahavishnu even features a talking camera. Remember, “Too Dark. Use Flash.”

Related link: John McLaughlin Reviews @ All About Jazz .


Track Listing: Radio-Activity; Nostalgia; Nightriders; East Side West Side; Clarendon Hills; Jazz; The Unbeliever; Pacific Express; When Blue Turns Gold

Personnel: John McLaughlin- Synclavier II, Digital Guitar, Les Paul Special (all too briefly!); Billy Cobham- drums; Jonas Hellborg- bass; Bill Evans- sax; Mitchell Forman- keyboards; Danny Gottlieb- percussion; Katia LaBeque- keyboards; and others.

Title: Mahavishnu | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Wounded Bird Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Hope CD/LP/Track Review Hope
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 21, 2017
Read Day After Day CD/LP/Track Review Day After Day
by John Eyles
Published: July 21, 2017
Read We Know Not What We Do CD/LP/Track Review We Know Not What We Do
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 21, 2017
Read Slade Alive! CD/LP/Track Review Slade Alive!
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 21, 2017
Read The Better Angels of Our Nature CD/LP/Track Review The Better Angels of Our Nature
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 20, 2017
Read What Brought You Here? CD/LP/Track Review What Brought You Here?
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 20, 2017
Read "The Magical Forest" CD/LP/Track Review The Magical Forest
by John Kelman
Published: August 4, 2016
Read "Unstatic" CD/LP/Track Review Unstatic
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 9, 2016
Read "Retrorespective" CD/LP/Track Review Retrorespective
by Phillip Woolever
Published: June 15, 2017
Read "Eos" CD/LP/Track Review Eos
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 28, 2017
Read "Trinity One" CD/LP/Track Review Trinity One
by Geannine Reid
Published: May 31, 2017
Read "Wet Paint" CD/LP/Track Review Wet Paint
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: November 15, 2016

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!