Mahavishnu Orchestra: Sanctuary
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)
The hauntingly beautiful introductory section of "Sanctuary" is executed at a torturously slow tempo and in a 9/4 time signature. McLaughlin and Goodman play the head in long, stretched-out sections. Laird supplies a simple constant thump, almost using the bass as a percussion instrument. Billy's playing is relaxed, providing a counter to the deep from the gut tension being developed by Jerry, John and Jan. Hammer takes a Minimoog solo that seems to hover above the heated brew. At solo's end, the band turns down the temperature to a low simmer.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky