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