Monday, July 10, 2017

Various Artists - 2005 "Visions Of An Inner Mounting Apocalypse"

The Mahavishnu Orchestra was one of the true pioneers of jazz/fusion as was their leader, visionary guitar icon John Mclaughlin. This collection features stellar performances by some of today's greatest guitar talents including: John Abercrombie, Warren Haynes (Govt Mule), Jimmy Herring (Allman Brothers), Mike Stern (Miles Davis), Steve Lukather (Toto), Steve Morse (Deep Purple), Greg Howe (Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake), Frank Gambale (Chic Corea), Jeff Richman and Dave "Fuze" Fiuczynski. Backed by an incredible band featuring Vinnie Colaiuta (Sting Frank Zappa), Kai Eckhardt (John Mclaughlin, Garaj Mahal) and Mitch Foreman, this is one fusion super session you can't afford to miss!!!

Guitarist Jeff Richman conceived of, produced, and arranged for this project. A tribute to the Mahavishnu Orchestra, it utilizes the same instrumentation, with Mahavishnu alumnus Jerry Goodman being a welcome addition on violin. Each song features a different guitarist and there is plenty of heat displayed by the individual but complementary players (practically every top fusion guitarist other than Al DiMeola), all of whom are rockish and passionate. One almost doesn't miss John McLaughlin, since the band is playing his songs and the guitarists are mostly influenced by him. The only change of pace from the intensity is the closer, a version of the relatively mellow "Follow Your Heart" (which predated the Mahavishnu Orchestra) featuring John Abercrombie. This project is well conceived, and one would imagine that John McLaughlin would appreciate the colorful tribute.

This all star jazz-fusion tribut CD features some of the greatest names in porgressive jazz fusion guitar, each paying tribute to guitar innovator, master musician, John McLaughlin, McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra was a ground breaking fusion group that essentially "wrote the book" of fusion. Artists featured: Steve Morse, John Abrecrombie, Dave "Fuse" Fiuczynski, Frank Gambale, Jimmy Herring, Warren Haynes among others.

This one is a MUST for Mahavishnu fans, and lovers of fusion guitar. Without exception the soloists understand the drawing power of each song they play. The orchestration in several cases actually improves on the original recording, in Lila's Dance, Jazz, and Can't Stand Your Funk. The MO's one weakness was its occasionally thin sound - and here each song gets the full treatment. The guitarists are literally tearing the place apart with every solo. And it is so fantastic to hear violinist Jerry Goodman in top form on several songs, like the original MO didnt play 30 years earlier. It's like he's the special guest star. Add to that how modern recording makes the music sound better, and you will love this music every bit as much as the originals.
A final tribute in the album is John Abercrombie's gentle and subtle rendition of one of McLaughlin's early, best songs, Follow Your Heart. Does anyone remember that from Joe Farrell's quartet LP? A beautiful song, and a perfect way to close and calm down from the joyful frenzy you have just experienced.

I am an old time Mahavishnu fan who has been going back down memory lane and rediscovering the band. Being a purist I NEVER buy tribute albums. I find them unnecessary & unworthy. I stumbled across the listing for this when I was buying the remastered version of Visions of Emeralds Beyond and after seeing that it contained some of my all time favorite players I decided to give it a shot. I'm so glad I did! I can't stop playing it.

What makes this tribute different? How about the inclusion of original band members to back up the guest guitarists! The contributions of the much underrated Mitchel Forman on Keys and the superb Jerry Goodman (often covering what was Ponty material)on violin are outstanding.

What are the highlights...nearly too many to list: Steve Lukather (Toto)shines on "Birds of Fire'. The Mike Stern (Miles Davis & solo work)and Jerry Goodman interplay on "can't Stand Your funk" is exceptional. I bought this in part because I am addicted to the Dixie Dregs but found Steve Morse playing a little too clean. (Most of the other players expanded beyond the Mahavishnu parameters but sadly not Morse). Jimmy Herring (Aquarium Rescue Unit & the Other Ones) strikes a nerve on "Meeting of the Spirits". "Jazz" is a nice unexpected inclusion from '84. Frank Gambale's (Vital Information) cover of "Dawn" again with Goodman is lively and memorable. As much as I admire Warren Haynes (Govt Mule/Allman Brothers) I was skeptical of how he might come across on a fusion LP; in truth "Lila's Dance" may be the best cut on the CD. The final wind down comes with John Abercrombie bringing us back to Earth with "Follow your heart" The whole cd is a solid pleasant surprise. If your an old fan give it a try. If you are a new fan listen to this first and then compare it to the original material; you'll be opening the doors to some great fusion.

Tracks Listing:

1. Birds Of Fire (6:47)
2. Can't Stand Your Funk (6:43)
3. Celestrial Terrestrial Commuters (4:46)
4. Meeting Of The Spirits (6:51)
5. Jazz (4:53)
6. Dawn (6:34)
7. Lila's Dance (5:22)
8. Faith (5:47)
9. Dance Of Maya (6:16)
10. Follow Your Heart (7:46)

Total Time: 61:45

Line-up / Musicians:

- Vinnie Colaiuta / drums
- Kai Eckhardt / bass
- Mitchel Forman / keyboards
- Jeff Richman / guitars

Guest musicians:
- Steve Lukather / guitar (1)
- Mike Stern / guitar (2)
- Jerry Goodman / violin (2)
- Steve Morse / guitar (3)
- Jimmy Herring / guitar (4)
- Frank Gambale / guitar (6)
- Jerry Goodman / violin (6)
- Warren Haynes / guitar (7)
- Jerry Goodman / violin (7)
- David Fiuczynski / guitar (8)
- Greg Howe / guitar (9)
- Jerry Goodman / violin (9)
- John Abercrombie / guitar (10)

5 comments:

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  2. Buen disco !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  3. Great ! Please , post too a albuns Sixun Live 1989 and Kenso albuns...thanks

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  4. Excelente, gracias !!! Daniel, desde Argentina.

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