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Mahavishnu Orchestra

John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra is considered by many to be the greatest Jazz-fusion group of all time. The group was formed in late 1970-early 1971 by McLaughlin, a brilliant guitarist with a jazz-rock pedigree that included work with the Graham Bond Organization in the mid-60s, and with the electrified Miles Davis on his landmark "Bitches Brew" LP in 1969. The original Orchestra included Jan Hammer (later to score TV's "Miami Vice") on keyboards, Jerry Goodman on violin, Rick Laird on bass, and Billy Cobham on drums. Signed with much hoopla to Columbia in 1971, they released two fabulous studio albums, “Inner Mounting Flame,” (’71) and “Birds of Fire,” (’72) along with a live ‘73 album, “Between Nothingness and Eternity.” A reformation of the group in 1974 brought Jean-Luc Ponty on board to play violin, Gayle Moran on keyboards and vocals, Ralphe Armstrong on bass, and drummer Michael Warden

ARTICLE: TAKE FIVE WITH...

Take Five with TRi/O's Steve Shapiro, Dave Anderson and Tyger MacNeal

Read "Take Five with TRi/O's Steve Shapiro, Dave Anderson and Tyger MacNeal" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Meet TRi/O TRi/O is a collaborative groove-based contemporary jazz & funk outing from three New York musicians: Steve Shapiro on vibraphone and mallet keyboards, virtuoso 5-string bassist Dave Anderson, and drummer Tyger MacNeal. Their combined credits comprise a long list of major jazz and pop artists—including Steely Dan, Ornette Coleman, Phil Collins, Spyro Gyra, Whitney Houston, ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

John McLaughlin: Where The Muse Leads

Read "John McLaughlin: Where The Muse Leads" reviewed by Mike Jacobs

John McLaughlin—Miles Davis protégé. Jazz/rock revolutionary. East-meets-West visionary. Acoustic, electric and electronic guitar maestro. Now elder statesman of jazz—what is there left to say? A lot it seems... As a septuagenarian who was facing debilitating hand issues—and possibly the end of his playing career—he was starting to say his farewells to touring ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Brian Auger: Introspection

Read "Introspection" reviewed by Doug Collette

A purposefully more far-ranging companion piece to The Best of Brian Auger's Oblivion Express (PolyGram, 1996), among other such compendia, Introspection is keyboardist/composer Brian Auger's personally-curated anthology covering the span of his career. In keeping with John Sellard's graphic design that features an array of period photos, the three-CDs' sound is as impeccable as its track ...

ARTICLE: SOCAL JAZZ

Steve Khan: A Rich Discography and A Priceless Left Hand

Read "Steve Khan: A Rich Discography and A Priceless Left Hand" reviewed by Jim Worsley

The life and times of guitarist extraordinaire Steve Khan stretch through a high volume of evolving chapters that fuse together like the passages of a finely crafted arrangement. An expansive conversation with Khan touched on a variety of memories. Still, this is perhaps the Reader's Digest version of the seventy-three years old musician and composer's remarkable ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Spirit Fingers: Peace

Read "Peace" reviewed by Phillip Woolever

Variety is said to be the spice of life and it's also a big plus for music. What stands out on this record is variety of the broadest measure. Pianist Greg Spero has a diverse resume that includes assembling this powerful quartet boasting guitarist Dario Chiazzolino and the mighty rhythm section of bassist Max ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Hedvig Mollestad: Ekhidna

Read "Ekhidna" reviewed by Gareth Thompson

In 2003, the English writer John Murray published his Booker Prize-listed novel Jazz Etc. It narrated the life and times of a female guitarist, the improbably named Fanny Golightly, from working class Cumbria. One observer in the story describes Golightly's playing thus: “I suppose jazz is the only name for it. It was as delirious as ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

John McLaughlin & The Mahavishnu Orchestra (1969 - 1972)

Read "John McLaughlin & The Mahavishnu Orchestra (1969 - 1972)" reviewed by Russell Perry

British guitarist John McLaughlin contributed to creating the bold new sound of Miles Davis's great proto-fusion works, In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew. He was a member of what could be the first great fusion band, Tony Williams' Lifetime, and then founded what Ben Ratliff describes as “the ideal band for the time," the Mahavishnu ...

ARTICLE: WHAT IS JAZZ?

Cold Fusion: The Search for the Jazz/Rock Unicorn, Part 1

Read "Cold Fusion: The Search for the Jazz/Rock Unicorn, Part 1" reviewed by Kurt Ellenberger

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 Part 1: A Brief Stylistic History The fusion of different styles of music has been an explicit goal of many musicians in the 20th century. In the early part of the 20C, many classical composers like Bela Bartok, Aaron Copland, Maurice Ravel, and Claude Debussy were ...

NEWS: RECORDING

Jan Hammer Will Release Sketches In Jazz On March 27

Jan Hammer Will Release Sketches In Jazz On March 27

While he may be best known for his Grammy-award-winning music for Miami Vice, Jan Hammer’s roots have always been planted firmly in jazz. He was 14 when he formed his first jazz trio in Czechoslovakia, after which he came to the United States to study jazz at the Berklee College of Music. He spent a year ...


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