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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: 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 ...

MUSICIAN Born:

Jan Hammer

Jan Hammer's musical career is as firmly rooted in the fundamentals of classical, jazz and rock as it is committed to the future of electronics, synthesized sound, the possibilities of interactive media, television, film and animation. His walls are lined with Grammy awards and gold and platinum plaques from around the world. His name is found on scores of recordings spanning the 1970s to the '90s — solo albums, collaborations with the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Jeff Beck, Al Di Meola, Mick Jagger, Carlos Santana, Stanley Clarke, Neal Schon, Elvin Jones and many others. Jan has composed and produced soundtracks for a long list of motion pictures, the music for 90 episodes of Miami Vice (which spun-off four soundtrack albums and its worldwide #1 hit theme song), 20 episodes of the popular British television series Chancer, and the music for BEYOND the Mind's Eye, one of the all-time best-selling music videos in Billboard chart history. Jan Hammer was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia

ARTICLE: SOCAL JAZZ

Jimmy Haslip: Amperes Beyond the BASSics, Part 2

Read "Jimmy Haslip: Amperes Beyond the BASSics, Part 2" reviewed by Jim Worsley

In case you missed it, Part One of my conversation with Jimmy Haslip covered a lot of ground and had a few good laughs along the way. Although we talked about the Yellowjackets, we delved more deeply into why and how he parted ways with the band some eight years ago. Haslip has been producing records ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Mating Dance of the Cosmic Pandas

Read "Mating Dance of the Cosmic Pandas" reviewed by Patrick Burnette

It's all things twangin' and screaming this time, as the boys look at four albums by guitarists. Some settle for six strings, some demand four, but all are one shade of awesome or another... and some make pretty impressive O-faces. The boys then each pick their three favorite guitarists, and the results may surprise you. Once ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

SPHERES at Nublu 151

Read "SPHERES at Nublu 151" reviewed by Peter Jurew

SPHERES Nublu 151 New York, NY July 8 and August 6, 2019 SPHERES is a jazz collective recently started by keyboardist Jamie Saft and electric guitarist Chuck Hammer playing monthly gigs at Nublu, a loft-club showcase for new music in jny: New York City's East Village. Taking inspiration as well as ...


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