MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA — The Inner Mounting Flame (review)

MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA — The Inner Mounting Flame album cover Album · 1971 · Fusion Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
AtomicCrimsonRush
This album is difficult to describe. All fully instrumental with some of the best virtuoso musicianship you are likely to hear. The music is a fusion of heavy guitar, using jazz metrical patterns, Indian influences and a dash of Celtic thrown into the mix. The music ranges from intense and off kilter with a range of time signatures, to a beautiful and melancholy pathos. There are crescendos and allegros on keyboards intermixed with the frenetic guitar of McLaughlin. There are influences of Miles Davis' "Bitches Brew", the milestone album from the jazz great.

Goodman is a star on violin who plays off Mclaughlin's masterful guitar. The excellent "Birds of Fire" was to follow but this is the masterwork from Mahavishnu Orchestra. Highlights include Meeting of the Spirits, Noonward Race, Vital Transformation and, my favourite MO track, The Dance of Maya.

There are other highlights interspersed in the other tracks but it needs to be listened to as a whole to fully appreciate the innovation and ferociously original style of the band. The album is of course legendary and highly revered in the jazz world and the band have become revolutionary progenitors of jazz fusion.

My one concern is it is very short and the CD does not include bonus feature tracks. The booklet is pleasant to read and thumb through with some great pictures of them in full swing.

Impossible to ignore and highly recommended for jazz fans too, not only those into classic prog or jazz albums. I give it 5 stars because it is a legendary jazz masterpiece though is not easy to listen to at first for newbies to the genre due to the nature of the estranged music.

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