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Between Nothingness & Eternity
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"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.Read more ›
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.
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?
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not for everyone. The technical prowess is undeniable. Music for musicians.Published 3 months ago by Tom McVeigh
Nice CD, started listening to them with the bird of fire album.Published 4 months ago by David Larios
Not a great recording, but what is lacks technically, it more than makes up for with drive, vitality, and emotion from all the players, especially Billy Cobham on Drums. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Douglas E. Dimeler
I give this four stars only because of the limitations of the recording, not the content. Mahavishnu Orchestra live is unlike anything you might have heard. Read morePublished 11 months ago by By CJs Pirate