Mahavishnu Orchestra this week – led by the inimitable John McLaughlin, at a concert at Kenyon College in Gambier Ohio, and recorded on Febuary 16, 1973.
The Mahavishnu Orchestra really was the first of the major Jazz-Rock endeavors to achieve widespread popularity, and signal the next logical step in the genre of Prog-Rock. But because McLaughlin had been associated with Miles Davis during the pivotal period that yielded, among others, In A Silent Way and A Tribute To Jack Johnson, he was considered by many to be a highly influential Jazz musician. But he was also highly regarded among Rock musicians, with none other than Jeff Beck proclaiming him to be the best guitarist alive.
And the Mahavishnu Orchestra really kicked off a lot of experimenting at the time. Yes, there was Jazz-Fusion, but also there was Prog-Rock, which if you listen to a number of the most popular Italian bands at the time (PFM), you can hear direct references to McLaughlin and Mahavishnu.
Sadly, the first incarnation of The Mahavishnu Orchestra only lasted five years, but long enough to make a lasting impression on countless musicians all over the world.
This concert features them right at the peak of their initial popularity – and if you’ve never heard them before, it’s important you do – even if you may not think this is Jazz in the strict sense. The Mahavishnu Orchestra opened the door for a lot of amazing music to happen in the 1970s.
And while you’re doing that – please make your Tax Deductible Contribution to the Past Daily Spring Fundraiser. A bunch of you have so far, and we need to keep it up – we can get to our goal, and your contributions; no matter how much or how little, are gratefully needed right now. We have a lot of expenses, keeping this website up – we also have a lot of expenses preserving and digitizing the thousands of hours of music, history news and Popular Culture that you get to hear every day. So please, take a minute – click on the link in the box below and chip in what you can – we will love you for it.