First Full-Length Book About Legendary Mahavishnu Orchestra Available May 22, 2006


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Jazz historian, published author and devoted fan Walter Kolosky has a self-proclaimed mission: “to promote jazz and progressive music." His new book, Power, Passion and Beauty: The Story of the Legendary Mahavishnu Orchestra, published by Abstract Logix Books and available May 22, is no exception.

A year in writing, but a lifetime in planning, Power, Passion and Beauty is the first full-length book about the incredible yet elusive MO to include collaborations with the five original members of the legendary jazz-rock fusion group-guitarist and band leader John McLaughlin, drummer Billy Cobham, bass player Rick Laird, pianist Jan Hammer, and violinist Jerry Goodman.

With over 300 pages including rare, never-before-seen images, and exclusive comments from such luminaries as musicians Jeff Beck, Pat Metheny, Herbie Hancock, Joe Zawinul, producer Sir George Martin, legendary sound engineer Ken Scott, contemporary art giant Peter Max and many others, Power, Passion and Beauty captures the richness and diversity of the original MO's short-lived career that began in 1971 and focuses in on the influence the music has had ever since.

As befits an attempt to historicize one of the world's loudest and yet most elusive bands, the book also has a companion interactive Web site, which will include additional rare images, musical analysis, special gig list and album cover art sections, a shop for exclusive Mahavishnu Orchestra products and a discussion forum. To visit Power, Passion and Beauty's interactive site, please go to Abstract Logix (http://label.abstractlogix.com)

The Mahavishu Orchestra was part Jimi Hendrix, part Miles Davis, and part of all that came before and all that would come after. Its genre-busting innovation stemmed from the raw talent of its members which, combined together, produced a never-before-heard and never-since-replicated hybrid sound. Somehow, despite all the mainstream odds and the fact the band featured no vocals, the MO managed to make a large dent in the pop music world of the time. Today, over thirty years since its demise, its sound is at the core of much of the jamband scene and serves as a foundation for a burgeoning fusion music renaissance.

Walter Kolosky, who Allaboutjazz.com called “an extremely versatile writer who provides a good deal of serious information, infused with a healthy dose of humor" for his book Girls Don't Like Real Jazz (Abstract Logix, 2004), employs sound, eclecticism, history, memory and fandom to create a truly memorable slice of musical history. Flipping through the pages of Power, Passion and Beauty will take the reader on a journey through an era of composing and performing that has left its mark on multiple musical genres ranging from classical, hip-hop and progressive rock, to Indian, heavy and death-metal, and even some country tunes. Power, Passion and Beauty will take you back to the moment where it all began and where it is still continuing. To order a copy of Power, Passion and Beauty, please visit: Abstract Logix.

Read a review of the book here.

Visit the AAJ forum for a discussion of the book here.

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