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Mahavishnu Orchestra

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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

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Article: Radio

Rick Laird, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Horace Arnold, Tom Kennedy and Chick Corea

Read "Rick Laird, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Horace Arnold, Tom Kennedy and Chick Corea" reviewed by Len Davis


Bassist Rick Laird left us on July 4th this year. Today we pay tribute to another fine musician, who has contributed much to music. We feature his work with The Mahavishnu Orchestra as well as with Joe Henderson and Horace Arnold. More recent releases from Gabor Lesko and Jeff Lorber. A re-issue from the 1979 Live ...

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Article: BackTracks

Live, Eclectic, And Electrifying

Read "Live, Eclectic, And Electrifying" reviewed by Mike Jacobs


Live albums. Love them, hate them, they are definitely a different animal from the studio album. It may be argued--especially with all of the tools available currently--that the “studio" recording is the means by which music can be crafted and honed into the most accurate representation of the artist's vision. And yes, live albums can be ...

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Article: Extended Analysis

The First Generation 1965-1974

Read "The First Generation 1965-1974" reviewed by John Kelman


What do guitarists Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Mick Taylor, Jon Mark, Harvey Mandel and Freddy Robinson, reed/woodwind multi-instrumentalists John Almond, Ray Warleigh, Alan Skidmore, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Red Holloway and Ernie Watts, bassists John McVie, Jack Bruce, Andy Fraser, Tony Reeves, Stephen Thompson and Larry Taylor, drummers Mick Fleetwood, Keef Hartley, Aynsley Dunbar, Jon Hiseman and Collin ...

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Article: SoCal Jazz

Gergo Borlai: Talkin' Drummers and Drumming

Read "Gergo Borlai: Talkin' Drummers and Drumming" reviewed by Jim Worsley


Most kids have heroes. Whether they be athletes, astronauts, artists, astrophysicists, (and that's just the “A's") or any of the many asundered possibilities. Gergo Borlai needn't go passed the “D's" to find his calling. Drumming came early, incredibly early, and he has never looked back. Determination and commitment can be a powerful force. Before long the ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Zakir Hussain: The Best Jazz / Crossover Albums

Read "Zakir Hussain: The Best  Jazz / Crossover Albums" reviewed by Ian Patterson


Zakir Hussain turned 70 on March 9th. In an unparalleled career, which began in earnest aged 7, the man widely acclaimed as the world's greatest tabla player has played with the giants of both Indian classical music and jazz. It is hard to think of another musician who has straddled both worlds to such a prominent ...

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Article: Radio

Jazz-Rock-Fusion, Early Days: 1967-1971

Read "Jazz-Rock-Fusion, Early Days: 1967-1971" reviewed by Len Davis


We look at the early days of jazz-rock -fusion with music from 1967-1971 by Joe Zawinul Miles Davis John McLaughlin and Soft Machine. Playlist John McLaughlin “Extrapolation" from Extrapolation (Polydor) 00:00 Tony Williams Lifetime “Via The Spectrum Road" from Emergency (Verve) 07:14 Joe Zawinul “A Soul Of A Village" from The Rise And Fall ...

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Article: Radio

Chick Corea, Weather Report, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Brand X and More

Read "Chick Corea, Weather Report, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Brand X and More" reviewed by Len Davis


This week we explore the world of classic '70s fusion, '90s electric guitar jazz after opening with Isolation, an album recorded during these lockdown months. Playlist The Backstage “Some Skunk Blues" from Isolation (Reingold Records) 00:00 Chick Corea “Night Sprite" from The Leprechaun (Verve) 08:23 Weather Report “Black Market" from Black Market (Columbia) 16:46 ...

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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, ...

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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 ...


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