The Mahavishnu Orchestra - The Inner Mounting Flame
John McLaughlin - guitar [click here to see more vinyl featuring John McLaughlin]
Jan Hammer (p); Jerry Goodman (v); Rick Laird (b); Billy Cobham (dr)
Written by John McLaughlin
1 LP, standard sleeve
Original analog Master tape : YES
Heavy Press : 180g
Record color : black
Speed : 33 RPM
Size : 12'’
Record Press : Pallas
Label : Speakers Corner
Original Label : Columbia
Recording: August 1971 in New York City by Don Puluse
Production: John McLaughlin
Originally released in 1971
Reissued in 2008
Side B :
« This is the album that made John McLaughlin a semi-household name, a furious, high-energy, yet rigorously conceived meeting of virtuosos that, for all intents and purposes, defined the fusion of jazz and rock a year after Miles Davis' Bitches Brew breakthrough. It also inadvertently led to the derogatory connotation of the word fusion, for it paved the way for an army of imitators, many of whose excesses and commercial panderings devalued the entire movement. Though much was made of the influence of jazz-influenced improvisation in the Mahavishnu band, it is the rock element that predominates, stemming directly from the electronic innovations of Jimi Hendrix. The improvisations, particularly McLaughlin's post-Hendrix machine-gun assaults on double-necked electric guitar and Jerry Goodman's flights on electric violin, owe more to the freakouts that had been circulating in progressive rock circles than to jazz, based as they often are on ostinatos on one chord. These still sound genuinely thrilling today on CD, as McLaughlin and Goodman battle Jan Hammer's keyboards, Rick Laird's bass, and especially Billy Cobham's hard-charging drums, whose jazz-trained technique pushed the envelope for all rock drummers. What doesn't date so well are the composed medium- and high-velocity unison passages that are played in such tight lockstep that they can't breathe. There is also time out for quieter, reflective numbers that are drenched in studied spirituality ("A Lotus on Irish Streams") or irony ("You Know You Know"); McLaughlin was to do better in that department with less-driven colleagues elsewhere in his career. Aimed with absolute precision at young rock fans, this record was wildly popular in its day, and it may have been the cause of more blown-out home amplifiers than any other record this side of Deep Purple. » AllMusic Review by Richard S. Ginell
The liner notes for "The Inner Mounting Flame" were written by the guru Sri Chinmoy – now that’s a real sales point! The music too burns right from the very first note to the last as though it were licked by the flames of hell fire.
The wealth of ideas, sheer vitality and supreme soloistic virtuosity of the five top-notch musicians from four different countries is absolutely first class. In addition there is their truly dreamlike interplay; one could say they were born and grew up with the same 'spirit'. "Meeting Of The Spirit", "The Dance Of Maya" and "You Know You Know" are the highlights of this first Mahavishnu Orchestra.
Aspiration – struggle, hope and desire – is seen as an inner mounting flame which takes man towards 'divine perfection'. Well, opinions differ of course. But what is certain is that this music from 1971 is still amazingly fresh and creative even 36 years later – and luckily it is available once again in the form of a vinyl disc.
Allmusic : 5 / 5 , Discogs : Rate Your Music :