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Between Nothingness & Eternity

4.6 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 5, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

Hot improv virtuosos push the creative envelope live in Central Park with this set of metaphysical melodies that transcend time. Trilogy: Sunlit Path/La Mere de la Mer; Sister Andrea , and Dream.
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1
30
12:02
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9:52
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3
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21:21
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 5, 2008)
  • Original Release Date: February 5, 2008
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: SBME SPECIAL MKTS.
  • Run Time: 42 minutes
  • ASIN: B0012GMV08
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,459 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michel Aaij on February 21, 2003
Format: Audio CD
You can call this album the live version of "The Lost Trident Sessions," the third Mahavishnu studio album for Columbia, unreleased until 1999. Recorded in New York City's Central Park, August 5, 1973, when they were the loudest and fastest band on the planet, it is the last recording (available) with the original line-up.
"Trilogy" is a good song--a nice composition with mellifluous harmonies. McLaughlin's distorted broken chords sound wonderful; the initial exhange in "The Sunlit Path" between him and Jan Hammer's Rhodes offer much more than just speed. There's a delicacy to this first part of "Trilogy" that I find absolutely charming. The second part, "La Mere de la Mer," is equally enchanting--what a wonderful theme, played on the violin, and followed by some really impressive but controlled drumwork. The last part, "Tomorrow's Story Not the Same" (and it's nice to see they corrected the spelling--"Trident" spells it "tommorow"), is a hard rocker with the double bass, and Goodman soloing while Hammer, McLaughlin, and Laird repeat the melody as a rhythm. Then, Hammer and McLaughlin get it on with the Moog and the guitar, and that's always good. What a trip.
"Sister Andrea," a standard jazz-rock-fusion tune (and as a composition therefore uninteresting), written by Jan Hammer, is one of those songs written to showcase the soloing talents of Hammer, Goodman, and McLaughlin.
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Format: Audio CD
This album absolutely floored me. It's hard to believe anyone could play at the incredible level of intensity and virtuosity as displayed on this recording. It surpassed what I had thought even MO themselves were capable of. Sure, the extended compositions ramble in a few places and the sound is adequate but not first rate. But the playing!? Holy cow!!! The duet between McLaughlin and Cobham during "Dream" will make your jaw drop, as will many other incredible moments on this CD. If you have other MO albums and debating whether this one is worth having, then wonder no more. If you are new to MO this is the one record of theirs you *must* have. ("Birds of Fire" comes a close second). "Between Nothingness and Eternity" is unmatched for sheer intensity, power and masterful playing by any band on any record at any time in history. A very bold statement, yes, but true nonetheless-hear for yourself.
Highest recommendation!
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Format: Audio CD
This album represents the only live recording of the original and unparalleled Mahavishnu lineup. Whereas later incarnations of the band lose the fire and raw energy of the first two albums, this album captures the band at its improvisational peak. I have trouble with later MO releases as McLaughlin is the only original member--they seem more solo albums than collaborative projects.
Anyway, the only reason this album didn't garner 5 stars is its wandering nature. On the first two studio releases (Inner Mounting and Birds), McLaughlin and Co. played tight compositions that were well organized and diverse. As complex and layered as Mahavishu's music is, it always walked a fine line between multifacted sophistication and improvisational chaos. On Nothingness, the band in their extended live versions tend to fall onto the chaotic side of that line, and the notes start running together. Otherwise, this is a great album.
Interesting side note: the studio versions of these tracks, available for the first time on the Lost Trident album, are superb, and not surprisingly, shorter and more coherent. The Nothingness album is much easier to enjoy once one has absrobed the studio versions, in my opinion.
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By A Customer on December 2, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I originally bought the vinyl version of this in 1973. I have left the CD version in rental cars twice, which means I am buying it for the fourth time.
Recorded in 1973 in NYC Central Park, this recording has dated recording techniques and sub optimal sound. The portions of the compositions are hard to understand, and require repeated listenings to discern their structures.
Why buy it?
Passion.
I have not heard this much passion for craft ever captured on any live recording with the possible exception of early Coltrane or Miles Davis. There are times when the playing is so unbelievably hot that it literally melts down and transforms into a new riffs, explodes in new directions.
This performance is an experimental lab for high performance music. Few musicians ever go there live, certainly not in front of an audience of thousands of New Yorkers.
This is musician's music. On one night, five musicians played way beyond themselves. They took big chances and at times stumbled, but for the most part, stunned us with their craft.
Don't miss this.
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Format: Audio CD
Quite simply one of the most stunning pieces of live rock music ever recorded, I only wish there were more songs, and some of the compositions had a little more meaning behind them. There is quite a bit of soloing going on between gutairist and keyboardist, and while Mclaughlin is truly one of the most profound, talanted gutairists i've ever heard, the keyboardist cannot exactly match the gutair soloing in terms of putting meaning behind the notes, too much of those exchanges come off as showey, and devalues some of the more amazing compositional moments. Whatever it is we are hearing however, it is always being played with the finesse and intuition only some of the greatest jazz units have ever accomplished live.
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