WolfgangsVault.com, home of one of the largest collection of Mahavishnu Orchestra concert recordings, has released new shows today. The 1973 shows feature the band at a high point, opening for Frank Zappa on tour.
All 2,500 rare, exclusive and classic vintage concerts in Wolfgang's Vault's famed Concert Vault can be streamed free with unlimited free registration. Concerts are just as easily accessible on the award-winning free iPhone app called Concert Vault for iPhone, and some shows are available for download. From the summaries:
When John McLaughlin
formed the initial Mahavishnu Orchestra, the personnel included Jerry Goodman
, a classically trained American rock musician, Jan Hammer
, a Czechoslovakian keyboard player with a strong jazz background, Rick Laird, an Irish bass player with both jazz and rock experience, and Billy Cobham
, a powerful and technically brilliant jazz drummer from Brooklyn whose style would completely redefine his instrument. Combining the improvisational elements of jazz with the volume and energy of rock music, this globally and musically diverse group brought elements of Far Eastern music, R&B, blues, and classical music to the table. The Mahavishnu Orchestra created music that was intricate and complex, performed by musicians whose virtuosity thrilled audiences and critics alike. The group had a firm grip on dynamics and were equally adept at dense, aggressive flights of feverish intensity as they were at creating moments of passionate spiritual contemplation.
The last week of April and the early weeks of May 1973 found the Mahavishnu Orchestra on the road opening for Frank Zappa
and the Mothers Of Invention on the tour promoting Zappa's Overnight Sensation
album. This performance, recorded at the Morris A. Mechanic Theatre, was one of the few off nights for Mahavishnu Orchestra during that leg of the Zappa tour, providing them the opportunity to perform their own gig in Baltimore, before rejoining the Zappa tour two nights later in Milwaukee. Free from the time constraints of performing as an opener, Mahavishnu Orchestra are captured in full flight here, taking the improvisational approach to greater extremes. Opening with a double dose of material from the then new Birds Of Fire album and then digging deep into the repertoire from the debut album for the remainder of the show, this recording features a particularly engaging choice of material.