Mahavishnu Orchestra: Celestial Terrestrial Commuters
Celestial Terrestrial Commuters
John McLaughlin (guitar)
Birds of Fire (Columbia CK 66081)
Jerry Goodman (violin), Rick Laird (bass guitar), Billy Cobham (drums).
Composed by John McLaughlin.
Recorded: London and New York, August and September 1972
Rating: 100/100 (learn more)
A round robin of a tune, the 9/8 "Celestial Terrestrial Commuters" features the trading of lightning-quick licks that seem to shoot out from the bottoms of the stars. Jan Hammer's Minimoog takes the lead, unrolling metallic sheets of sound. His thrusts force McLaughlin to parry. John counters with rapier-like attacks. Goodman comes to break things up but gets caught in the ever-accelerating melee. In this spinning environment, equilibrium and instability coexist. Cobham or Laird could tip the balance either way. They never do. Instead, they push and push until the tune resolves into a thrilling rapprochement.
Incidentally, the band knew the tune "Celestial Terrestrial Commuters" as "Binky's" because it was a reworking of McLaughlin's tune "Binky's Beam" from his Extrapolation album.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky