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Return to the Emerald Beyond

Mahavishnu Project Audio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

Price: $24.78 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 16, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Cuneiform
  • ASIN: B000KRN2GW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #288,864 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Eternity's Breath
2. Lila's Dance
3. Can't Stand Your Funk
4. Pastoral
5. Faith
6. Cosmic Strut
7. If I Could See
8. Be Happy
Disc: 2
1. Earth Ship
2. Pegasus
3. Opus 1
4. On The Way Home To Earth
5. Smile Of The Beyond
6. Vital Transformation
7. Sister Andrea

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth The Wait - Incredible Performances! January 24, 2007
"Apocalypse" and "Visions Of The Emerald Beyond" represented ambitious new directions for The Mahavishnu Orchestra in the mid 1970s. The band expanded from a quartet to an actual orchestra with impressive results. Sadly, these were the last offerings of new material by this amazing band.

For the last 30 years, we could only hope that some lost studio recordings or live performances might be unearthed and released. It's almost beyond belief that, except for "The Lost Trident Sessions", there isn't more Mahavishnu Orchestra music out there.

Enter The Mahavishnu Project in 2004 with "Phase 2" and again in 2007 with "Return To The Emerald Beyond", both stellar offerings by a band that embodies what we appreciated about The Mahavishnu Orchestra: extraordinary musicianship and impassioned performances of some truly amazing music.

The performances by The Mahavishnu Project on "Return To The Emerald Beyond" capture the fire, nuances and precision of the original Emerald Beyond-era Mahavishnu Orchestra. Stylistically, the performances are impressively faithful to the originals, but the players stretch out on their own enough to make this recording a very worthy companion to the original.

If you are a die-hard Mahavishnu listener, your collection must have these albums. You will not be disappointed. Very highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Visionary fusion revisited August 25, 2007
Although John McLaughlin continues to produce music of the highest calliber, both with Remember Shakti and as soloist, there seems to be a certain magic in his earlier work: The wild avantgarde of "Turn it Over", the psychedelic masterpiece "Devotion". But the real highlight of his illustrious journey through music is undoubtedly The Mahavishnu Orchestra in it's various incarnations.

It certainly gives full credit to his wandering spirit, nevertheless it's a shame that he has abandoned his beautiful Mahavishnu-compositions the way he has. Therefore it's good news, that masterdrummer Gregg Bendian has taken on the task to keep the flame and spirit of Mahavishnu alive. And does it in such a splendid way.

This is, just as the original band, done purely out of love for Music and the inner quest for putting spiritual Truth in musical form. And shows clearly that Mahavishnu always was about strong and unique compositions, NOT about mindless virtuosity (as some critics seem to think).

Here Mahavishnu Project breathes new life into "Visions of The Emerald Beyond", a gem from the Narada Michael Walden, Jean-Luc Ponty era of the band. And as on the original album the band is augmented by a string quartet.

Marveleous stuff, where especially the sublime violinist Rob Thomas shines, and also guitarist Glenn Alexander also does a great job with the demanding guitarparts, playing in a slightly more fluid metallike style than McLaughlin. Although he certainly doesn't surpass the master. And the powerfull and varied bassplaying is actually a lot better than on the original.

This is certainly a trip to the beyond and a reminder of just how visionary and timeless McLaughlin's Mahavishnu-music is.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prolonging the Ecstasy July 7, 2009
If you have fond memories of the original Mahavishnu Orchestra, then you are probably, as I am, on the far side of 50. The Inner Mounting Flame immediately bowled me over in the early `70s, back in my old Army days.

Beset by internal rivalries, that aggregation did not last long, but guitarist John McLaughlin then put together a larger band and recorded an ambitious studio record titled Visions of the Emerald Beyond. Three decades later, drummer Greg Bendian has put together a band for the ambitious purpose of playing that music in concert.

Amazingly enough, this 2-CD set, recorded live, really does bring back the excitement of the original. If anything, this recording is in many ways more exciting than the original, both because it is recorded live and because it is not a note-for-note replication. Instead, the musicians take the opportunity to stretch out from time to time, prolonging the ecstasy.

The end product truly is a marvel. The only negative to these ears was the voice of the lead singer, but given that most of the music is instrumental, that is by no means a show-stopper. Hearing the blistering guitar and violin runs, furious drumming, and exotic fusion of East and West is truly a treat. If you fondly remember the Mahavishnu Orchestra, then you really must hear this recording. Highly recommended!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A worthy project November 2, 2007
This is a good, fun CD with solid, incredible performances that really capture the spirit and technical brilliance of the Mahavishnu paradigm. Not simply covering the original material, this group brings a fresh yet faithful interpretation to this music.

The violin solos are simply incredible, some of the best bar none...lots of "I can't believe he did that" moments of delight. The Moog solos are also quite outstanding, a real joy to listen to...I love that sound. The guitarist is certainly good on the written parts, but I have to say that if you have the John McLaughlin version buzzing around in your head like I do, the guitar solos fall short, sounding a bit generic fusion. It's not really the guitarists fault, McLaughlin simply set the bar too high there and matching it would be nearly an impossible task. The one area that I did find weak was the vocals. I don't know if it due to the audio engineering or the vocalist, but the singing sounds thin, tentative, flat, and possibly out of tune. Other than the vocals, the audio quality of this CD is amazing...I would never have known it was a live performance.

Make no mistake though, the orignial Mahavishnu blows this one away.
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