Monday, May 7, 2007

The Mahavishnu Orchestra - "The Noonward Race"

I first got turned on to John McLaughlin by Scott Prado, a psychedelic fellow-traveller who's in most of the bands on this label. Based on the band's name and appearance, I expected a bunch of hippie jam-rock, but no, the Mahavishnu Orchestra are serious fusion jazz players with a heavy space-rock streak.

On Scotty's recommendation, I picked up their debut, The Inner Mounting Flame, for $3.99 at Boston institution In Your Ear!, and was duly blown away. McLaughlin himself is a ridiculous player with a sharp-edged sound, but it's really the band's rhythm section that makes them rock. Anything less and they'd be wussy jazz-lite.

"The Noonward Race" is actually one of the few cuts on the record in (mostly) 4/4, so I could have gotten way nerdier here. It's long on the violin and keyboard solos, but there's plenty of guitar as well, especially towards the end. The keyboard player, by the way, is Jan Hammer, who should need no introduction.

Buy it... on vinyl.

From my deck to you: The Mahavishnu Orchestra with John McLaughlin - "The Noonward Race"

1 comment:

Chris Ott said...

Wot is this hippie guff. My word verification for this post: