Mahavishnu Orchestra: Meeting of the Spirits


Meeting of the Spirits


Mahavishnu Orchestra


The Inner Mounting Flame (Columbia CK 31067)

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John McLaughlin (guitar), Jan Hammer (keyboards),

Jerry Goodman (violin), Rick Laird (bass guitar), Billy Cobham (drums)


Composed by John McLaughlin


Recorded: New York, August 1971


Rating: 100/100 (learn more)

"Meeting of the Spirits," which opens up IMF, includes the most recognizable introduction of any Mahavishnu piece. Crashes of electronic instruments and hyperkinetic drums usher in a spatial guitar arpeggio in 6/4. A relaxed Cobham beat appears. Goodman's violin enters, opposing the guitar with a melodically contrasting motif. McLaughlin terminates his arpeggiated chordal theme and immediately returns with a scorching guitar melody that is eventually played in unison with Goodman and which elaborates on the tune's signature theme. This deceptive cadence becomes almost tranquil for a few measures in order to receive Hammer's tastefully executed electric piano fills. Once again, the band kicks into high gear, constantly accelerating as the theme ascends to another melodic resolution before returning with a heightened purpose. McLaughlin's now familiar arpeggio reemerges as the triumphant character in this composition's closing strains.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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