- Audio CD (June 18, 2002)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Wounded Bird Records
- ASIN: B000068TLK
- Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #321,768 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
John McLaughlin is regarded as one of the greatest guitarists in the history of music. Making albums from the 60's through the present, his intense guitar work with The Mahavishnu Orchestra and Miles Davis gave birth to jazz/fusion. In 1984 he formed a reincarnation of sorts of The Mahavishnu Orchestra. Featuring original Mahavishnu drummer Billy Cobham, plus saxophonist Bill Evans and bassist Jonas Hellborg, this high-energy electric album is regarded as one of his best efforts and has been his most sought after album for CD reissue. It is making its worldwide CD debut! Wounded Bird Records.
Top Customer Reviews
"MAHAVISHNU" has a mysterious history. First there was the album title, starkly evoking the name of the famed "fusion" band from the 1970's. Then there was the somewhat bizarre original album cover, with its prominent display of the title taking 50% of available surface area and featuring an unidentified photo of McLaughlin in the center. Drummer Billy Cobham ( McLaughlin's bandmate in the original Mahavishnu Orchestra ) was on hand for the recording sessions that produced the album but not for the subsequent tour in Fall 1984 ( when Danny Gottlieb took over the spot ).Read more ›
For those who are expecting commemoration of the old Mahavishnu Orchestra, you might be disappointed. It's a different band with a more "refined" sound without losing the propulsiveness and/or drive.
Bill Evans saxophone work lends this edition of the band a different feel. Jonas Hellborg is a marvelous bassist and provides a strong undercurrent throughout.
Remember this was done in '85, so the pieces are more structured than the runaway jams of the seventies. Yet the virtousity is there. This and the follow up "Adventures in Radioland" were two of the finer fusion recordings of the eighties.
There is less of the eastern influence in this recording. McLaughlin tone is frankly better here than in earlier recordings. He's less frenetic and is more to the point. Yes, you will find the flying fingers of the fretboard wizardry here but not as an end to itself.
This recording runs the gamut of fusion sensibilities. Bill Evans shines on tenor saxophone. Billy Cobham is Billy Cobham. Just a monster (I mean that in a good way). The pieces run the gamut from introspective to a down right fusion "throwdown".
Put aside your preconceptions and reminiscences about how you remember Mahavishnu. This is a new band and this is a very good recording, well worth getting.
I only acquired it about 20 years later (so 'new' to me). I don't think it sounds 'dated'(in 2012).
But the last track, "When Blue Turns to Gold," haunts me...Whenever I'm 'chilling out' playing selections from various CDs, I end the trip-journey with, this "...Blue...Gold" gem...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Don't mistake this for the ground-breaking fusion quintet, this'll put you to sleep! Can't listen to it again. Read morePublished on March 6, 2008 by S. Henderson
The eighth record of John McLaughlin's cult fusion band Mahavishnu Orchestra is now truncated to simply "Mahavishnu. Read morePublished on March 7, 2006 by Pristine
I've been waiting a long while for this to become available on CD. I wore out several copies of this album back in the 80's... Read morePublished on October 8, 2005 by James Piatt
The players here are great: Billy Cobham of course in his only comeback to Mahavishnu, Bill Evans on saxes/flute, Mitch Foreman on keys, and bass monster Jonas Hellborg. Read morePublished on December 2, 2004 by Farhad Bahrami
This is a sad example of high expectations and trendy technology colliding with the suits, all gone horribly wrong. Read morePublished on September 15, 2004 by P. McKenna