9 Songs, 1 Hour 1 Minute

EDITORS’ NOTES

When The Mahavishnu Orchestra's debut album appeared in 1971, jazz-rock fusion was still a revolutionary idea. U.K. guitar demon John McLaughlin and U.S. drummer Billy Cobham took the ideas they'd absorbed (and helped initiate) working on the Big Bang of fusion, Miles Davis' Bitches Brew; they expanded them into a more composition-oriented (but band-based) format. They were helped in this endeavor by jazz bassist Rick Laird, violinist Jerry Goodman, and burgeoning keyboard phenom Jan Hammer. While The Inner Mounting Flame is certainly a showcase for McLaughlin (whose fiery outbursts on the opening "Meeting of the Spirits" and "The Noonward Race" evoke a jazzier Jimi Hendrix), his sparring partners provide plenty of the frisson that makes this album a milestone. Cobham's fervid polyrhythms on "Vital Transformation," Goodman's scorching solo on "Awakening," and Hammer's visceral electric piano runs on the aforementioned opener all help stir the pot to a blissful boil.

EDITORS’ NOTES

When The Mahavishnu Orchestra's debut album appeared in 1971, jazz-rock fusion was still a revolutionary idea. U.K. guitar demon John McLaughlin and U.S. drummer Billy Cobham took the ideas they'd absorbed (and helped initiate) working on the Big Bang of fusion, Miles Davis' Bitches Brew; they expanded them into a more composition-oriented (but band-based) format. They were helped in this endeavor by jazz bassist Rick Laird, violinist Jerry Goodman, and burgeoning keyboard phenom Jan Hammer. While The Inner Mounting Flame is certainly a showcase for McLaughlin (whose fiery outbursts on the opening "Meeting of the Spirits" and "The Noonward Race" evoke a jazzier Jimi Hendrix), his sparring partners provide plenty of the frisson that makes this album a milestone. Cobham's fervid polyrhythms on "Vital Transformation," Goodman's scorching solo on "Awakening," and Hammer's visceral electric piano runs on the aforementioned opener all help stir the pot to a blissful boil.

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