The Inner Mounting Flame is Mahavishnu Orchestra's first studio album, released in 1971.
A remastered version of the album, on CD, was released in 1998 by Sony Music Entertainment. It features a facsimile of the LP front cover, a new set of liner notes by Bob Belden, as well as many photographs of the band.
The Inner Mounting Flame consists solely of original compositions by John McLaughlin.
The track "You Know, You Know" was sampled in Massive Attack's "One Love", Mos Def's "Kalifornia", Black Sheep's "Similak Child", David Sylvian's "I Surrender" and Blahzay Blahzay's "Intro" from Blah Blah Blah album.
The intro for "Noonward Race" was written for the full band and not just as a guitar-and-drums duet as heard on the album. During the recording of the piece, a long-standing tension between Rick Laird and Jerry Goodman boiled over into a full brawl, with the two of them knocking Jan Hammer and his keyboards over during the struggle. McLaughlin and Cobham continued to play at full volume during the entire altercation, and McLaughlin liked the effect so much he instructed Laird, Goodman, and Hammer to sit out while he comped behind Cobham's solo later in the song.
*John McLaughlin: guitar
*Rick Laird: bass
*Billy Cobham: drums, percussion
*Jan Hammer: keyboards, organ
*Jerry Goodman: violin
*Don Puluse: engineer
Billboard (North America)This text has been derived from The Inner Mounting Flame on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0
The Mahavishnu Orchestra was a jazz-rock fusion group, led by John McLaughlin, that debuted in 1971, dissolved in 1976 and reunited from 1984 to 1987.
First Mahavishnu Orchestra
The band's original lineup featured "Mahavishnu" John McLaughlin on acoustic and electric guitars, with members Billy Cobham on drums, Rick Laird on bass guitar, Jan Hammer on electric and acoustic piano and synthesizer, and Jerry Goodman on violin. This first incarnation of the ensemble was a multinational group: McLaughlin is from Yorkshire, England; Cobham from Panama; Hammer from Prague, Czechoslovakia; Goodman from Chicago, Illinois; and Laird from Dublin, Ireland. Jean-Luc Ponty was actually McLaughlin's first choice for violinist, but the idea was stalled by "immigration problems". Ponty would later play with McLaughlin on both Apocalypse and Visions of the Emerald Beyond. The group is best known for their albums The Inner Mounting Flame (1971) and Birds of Fire (1973).
This group was considered an important pioneer in the jazz fusion movement. McLaughlin and Cobham met while performing and recording with Miles Davis during the Bitches Brew sessions. McLaughlin was also influenced in his conception of the band by his studies with Indian guru Sri Chinmoy, who encouraged him to take the name "Mahavishnu" which means "Divine compassion, power and justice."
McLaughlin had particular ideas for the instrumentation of the group, in keeping with his highly original concept of genre-blending in composition. He particularly wanted a violinist as an integral contributor to its overall sound. As the group evolved, McLaughlin adopted what became his trademark: a double neck guitar (six-string and twelve-string) which allowed for a great degree of diversity in musical textures, and Hammer became one of the first to play a Mini Moog synthesizer in an ensemble, which enabled him to add more sounds and solo more freely, on the guitar and the violin.
Their musical style was an unprecedented blending of genres: they combined the high-volume electrified rock sound that had been pioneered by the Small Faces, the Who and later by Jimi Hendrix (who McLaughlin had jammed with on his initial arrival in New York as part of the Tony Williams Lifetime), complex rhythms in unusual time signatures that reflected McLaughlin's interest in Indian classical music as well as funk, and harmonic influence from European classical music. The group's early music was entirely instrumental; their later albums had songs which sometimes featured R&B or even gospel/hymn-styled vocals. In the aforementioned two albums, though, the group goes from an intense fusion of upbeat genres (a representative example of which is the song "Vital Transformation") to very serene, chamber music-like tunes, such as "A Lotus On Irish Streams," a composition for acoustic guitar, piano and violin, and "Thousand Island Park," which drops the violin and incorporates double bass; or from low-key to extremely busy in a single piece, such as "Open Country Joy."
The split of the original line-up
Due to the pressures of sudden fame, exhaustion and a lack of communication, the original band began to fray at the edges as 1973 rolled on. The stress was further exacerbated by a disastrous recording session at London's Trident Studios that found some of the players not speaking to others. The project was never fully completed. The last straw came as John McLaughlin read an interview in Crawdaddy! magazine in which Jan Hammer and Jerry Goodman expressed their frustrations with John's leadership style. An effort to fix things back in New York fell short. Almost 30 years later, during the beginning of a renaissance of Mahavishnu's music, the incomplete album from the failed London recording was released as The Lost Trident Sessions.
Second Mahavishnu Orchestra
After the original group dissolved, it reformed in 1974 with a new cast of musicians behind McLaughlin: Jean-Luc Ponty (who had performed with Frank Zappa and the Mothers) on violin, Gayle Moran on keyboards, Ralphe Armstrong on bass, and Narada Michael Walden on percussion, Steven Kindler and Carol Shive on violin, Marcia Westbrook on viola, Phil Hirschi on cello, Steve Frankevich and Bob Knapp on brass. This "new" Mahavishnu Orchestra (which McLaughlin has reportedly called the "real" Mahavishnu Orchestra) changed personnel slightly between 1974's Apocalypse and Visions of the Emerald Beyond in 1975. Apocalypse was recorded in London with the London Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas, with George Martin producing and Geoff Emerick engineering the sessions. The band was then reduced to a four-piece for 1976's Inner Worlds, with Jean Luc-Ponty leaving and Gayle Moran being replaced with Stu Goldberg.
After the dissolution of this version of the Orchestra, McLaughlin formed another group called Shakti to explore his interest in Indian music; following that, he went on to form other bands including the One Truth Band and the Translators, and a guitar trio with Al Di Meola and flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia.
In 1984, McLaughlin reformed the Mahavishnu Orchestra with Bill Evans on saxophones, Jonas Hellborg on bass, Mitchel Forman on keyboards, and original member Billy Cobham on drums. Cobham participated in the sessions for their self-titled 1984 album, but was replaced by Danny Gottlieb for live work, and Jim Beard replaced Mitchel Forman for the latter period of this band's life. This band's overall sound was radically different from the original Mahavishnu Orchestra, in particular because of McLaughlin's extensive use of the Synclavier synthesiser system.
McLaughlin then worked with a number of incarnations of the John McLaughlin Guitar Trio, all of which featured Trilok Gurtu on percussion, and, at various times, Jeff Berlin, Kai Eckhardt, and Dominique di Piazza on bass. He then formed the Free Spirits, a guitar, organ and drums trio, with Joey DeFrancesco on Hammond organ and trumpet, and Dennis Chambers on drums, as well as touring and recording again with Al Di Meola and Paco de Lucía.
Billy Cobham went on to perform as a solo artist, recording many albums including Total Eclipse, Crosswinds and Spectrum, and toured with the "Billy Cobham & George Duke Band" for many years.
Jan Hammer went on to collaborate with Jeff Beck (together with Narada Michael Walden) in Beck's acclaimed album Wired; and also recorded a live album with the latter. He released several solo albums and composed the theme and incidental music for the hit 1980s TV show, Miami Vice.
Jerry Goodman recorded the album Like Children with Mahavishnu keyboard alumnus Jan Hammer. Starting in 1985 he recorded three solo albums for Private Music and went on tour with his own band, as well as with Shadowfax and the Dixie Dregs.
Rick Laird played with Stan Getz and Chick Corea as well as releasing one solo LP, Soft Focus, but retired from the music business in 1982. He has worked both as a bass teacher and photographer since then.
There has been a significant resurgence of interest in the Mahavishnu Orchestra in recent years, with bands like The Mars Volta and Cynic naming them as an influence. There have been no less than five major tribute recordings released. In addition, a very comprehensive and critically acclaimed book Power, Passion and Beauty: The Story of the Legendary Mahavishnu Orchestra by Walter Kolosky (AbstractLogix Books) has been published. It contains interviews with all of the band’s members and quotes obtained specifically for the book from many famous admirers such as Jeff Beck, Pat Metheny, the artist Peter Max, Bill Bruford and many more. The Mahavishunu Orchestra have also been sampled in contemporary music, most notably by Massive Attack on their track "Unfinished Sympathy", which sampled "Planetary Citizen". "You Know, You Know" was sampled in Massive Attack's "One Love", Mos Def's "Kalifornia."
* Kolosky, Walter (2006). Power, Passion and Beauty: The Story of the Legendary Mahavishnu OrchestraThis text has been derived from Mahavishnu Orchestra on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0