The Inner Mounting Flame

Artist: Mahavishnu Orchestra With John McLaughlin
Label: Columbia
Catalog#: KC 31067
Format: Vinyl
Country: United States
Released: 1971-8
A1 Meeting Of The Spirits 6:50
A2 Dawn 5:15
A3 The Noonward Race 6:27
A4 A Lotus On Irish Streams 5:41
B1 Vital Transformation 6:14
B2 The Dance Of Maya 7:15
B3 You Know You Know 5:06
B4 Awakening 3:30

Bass - Rick Laird
Design [Album] - Ron Coro
Drums - Billy Cobham
Engineer - Don Puluse
Guitar, Composed By - John McLaughlin
Photography - Anthony Hixon
Piano - Jan Hammer
Producer - John McLaughlin
Violin - Jerry Goodman

Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
Though fusion could be described as the combination of jazz and rock, it may be more accurate to acknowledge its rise as “when jazz got electric.” Mahavishnu Orchestra was definitely electric, perhaps even manic at times. Guitarist John McLaughlin had just left The Tony Williams Lifetime, where things had continued, according to the guitarist, “getting louder and louder.” Of course, the Yorkshire-born McLaughlin had been at it for more than a decade; he played with everyone from Graham Bond to Brian Auger to Jack Bruce, and culminated the trip on Miles Davis’s legendary fusion works, In A Silent Way and Bitches’ Brew. But while Davis was out to explore improvisation and groove, McLaughlin wanted a team to perform his compositions. He handpicked the international cast and, as the title suggests, lit a fire under them. Drummer Billy Cobham and bassist Rick Laird supply the fierce rhythm section, and soaring—almost always in unison—are the soloists: Violinist Jerry Goodman had spent time in The Flock, while Czech-born Jan Hammer had recently immigrated to the US. Yet McLaughlin’s guitar steals the show; his fluid arpeggios generate fury and speed; just check out “Dawn” or “The Noonward Race.” It’s no wonder this massively influential album became a legend in both jazz and progressive circles—virtuosity never sounded this good. Marketed to a rock audience, it sold well too, reaching No. 89 in the US; the image of McLaughlin and his double-neck guitar certainly helped, as did their concerts, which were primarily offered to rock audiences. Their follow-up, Birds of Fire, managed to reach the Top 20 on both sides of the Atlantic. Yet by 1974, the constant touring took its toll and the band broke up. McLaughlin would recruit a new lineup (featuring Jean-Luc Ponty, Gayle Moran and Narada Michael Walden) for two albums in the mid-70s, which focused more on construction than execution. Still, The Inner Mounting Flame remains a significant and bold musical step in the history of rock and jazz music alike.
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