Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Mahavishnu Orchestra - Between Nothingness & Eternity

Ok, so this is the first post and I'm already going to violate the premise of this blog by posting an album that I've heard many times. What's more, I'm ruthlessly poaching content from a dead blog that I could not find the motivation to sustain. It's not a review. Consider it a test post. The original source was the first and last in a series of posts on Luminaries of Eastern Fascination. And it follows.

This is to celebrate the fine men and women of yesteryear who freaked out over the culture of the subcontinent; nevermind their misinterpretations, miscalculations or fashionable intent. Also nevermind the tendency of opportunist gurus to exploit American and British naivete to make a little extra cash (and get a few extra wives).

With that I bring you a live album from the Mahavishnu Orchestra in its original lineup. Group leader John McLaughlin is a legend on the Gibson 12-string/6-string double guitar (and any other guitar). His penchant for new age mysticism got him in a little over his head with Sri Chinmoy, but before that he was riding high on the transendental waves of rock/jazz fusion, as this album can attest. Seriously, McLaughlin spends pretty much both sides of this record straight-up shredding. The rest of the band hardly gets a lick in edgewise (no wonder they split up?). This is proto-fusion, in a way; not the kind of thing that is still out there ruining jazz festivals to this day. Anyway, get psyched: light some Nag Champa, don your sari and roll out the yoga mat for Between Nothingness & Eternity.

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