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Mahavishnu Orchestra

Band, *1971 US, New York City
Jazz and Rock

One of the premiere fusion groups, the Mahavishnu Orchestra was considered by most observers during its prime to be a rock band, but its sophisticated improvisations actually put its high-powered music between rock and jazz. Founder and leader John McLaughlin had recently played with Miles Davis and Tony Williams' Lifetime. The original lineup of the group was McLaughlin on electric guitar, violinist Jerry Goodman, keyboardist Jan Hammer, electric bassist Rick Laird, and drummer Billy Cobham. They recorded three intense albums for Columbia Records during 1971-1973 and then the personnel changed completely for the second version of the group. In addition to McLaughlin, the 1974 incarnation of the band consisted of violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, Gayle Moran on keyboards and vocals, electric bassist Ralphe Armstrong, and drummer Narada Michael Walden; by 1975 Stu Goldberg had replaced Moran and Ponty had left. John McLaughlin's dual interests in Eastern religion and playing acoustic guitar resulted in the band breaking up in 1975. Surprisingly, an attempt to revive the Mahavishnu Orchestra in 1984 (using Cobham, saxophonist Bill Evans, keyboardist Mitchel Forman, electric bassist Jonas Hellborg, and percussionist Danny Gottlieb) was unsuccessful; one Warner Bros. Records, Inc. album resulted. However, when one thinks of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, it is of the original lineup, which was very influential throughout the 1970s.

PortraitJan Hammer
syn *1948 US
PortraitJonas Hellborg
eb, b *1958 SE
PortraitBilly Cobham
dr, perc *1944 CH
PortraitNarada Michael Walden
dr, voc *1952 US
PortraitJohn McLaughlin
g, acg *1942 GB
PortraitJean-Luc Ponty
vn *1942 FR
PortraitJerry Goodman
vn *1949 US
PortraitRick Laird
b *1941 IE
PortraitGayle Moran
voc, key *1950 ES
PortraitRalphe Armstrong
voc, eb, b *1956 US
PortraitStu Goldberg
org, syn *1954 US
PortraitDanny Gottlieb
dr *1953 US
PortraitBill Evans
sax, ts, ss *1958 US
Popular Tracks   
You Know, You Know (with John McLaughlin) - Remastered on The Inner Mounting Flame by Mahavishnu Orchestra
Vital Transformation (with John McLaughlin) - Remastered on The Inner Mounting Flame by Mahavishnu Orchestra
Meeting of the Spirits (with John McLaughlin) - Remastered on The Inner Mounting Flame by Mahavishnu Orchestra
Birds of Fire on Birds Of Fire by Mahavishnu Orchestra
Eternity's Breath, Pt. 1 on Visions of the Emerald Beyond by Mahavishnu Orchestra
Can't Stand Your Funk on Visions of the Emerald Beyond by Mahavishnu Orchestra
Miles Beyond on Birds Of Fire by Mahavishnu Orchestra
Dawn - Remastered on The Inner Mounting Flame by Mahavishnu Orchestra
The Noonward Race - Remastered on The Inner Mounting Flame by Mahavishnu Orchestra
The Dance of Maya (with John McLaughlin) - Remastered on The Inner Mounting Flame by Mahavishnu Orchestra

Track list and 30sec audio provided by

Band Membership

Title Artist Year Type
Awakening... Live In NY '71Mahavishnu Orchestra2015Album
DawnMahavishnu Orchestra2015Album
I Capolavori In 3 Cd JazzMahavishnu Orchestra2015Compil.
Between Nothingness & Eternity / Visions Of The Emerald BeyondMahavishnu Orchestra2014Album
The Complete Columbia Albums CollectionMahavishnu Orchestra2011Album
Live At Montreux 1984Mahavishnu Orchestra2007Album
Meeting Of The Spirits 1972Mahavishnu Orchestra2007Album
Live At Montreux 1984 / 1974Mahavishnu Orchestra2007Album
Original Album ClassicsMahavishnu Orchestra2007Album
The One And His Secret PlayJohn McLaughlin, Mahavishnu Orchestra2004Album
Visions Of The Apocalypse & BeyondMahavishnu Orchestra & Shakti2002Album
Irish StreamsMahavishnu Orchestra2001Album
The Eternal FlameMahavishnu Orchestra With John McLaughlin2001Album
The Mourning Flame Of Eternal FiveMahavishnu Orchestra2000Album
The Lost Trident SessionsMahavishnu Orchestra1999Album
Between Failure & Frustration (Live In Japan)Mahavishnu Orchestra1999Album
Wild StringsMahavishnu Orchestra1999Album
Spirits Of BirdMahavishnu Orchestra1996Album
The Inner Flaming Axe New York Syracuse University 12/5/72Mahavishnu Orchestra : John McLaughlin1994Album
The CollectionJohn McLaughlin And Mahavishnu Orchestra1991Compil.
Mahavishnu Orchestra - John McLaughlinMahavishnu Orchestra, John McLaughlin1991Compil.
LiveMahavishnu Orchestra − John McLaughlin, Jan Hammer, Billy Cobham, Jerry Goodman, Rick Laird1990Album
UntitledMahavishnu Orchestra, Herbie Hancock1989Compil.
Adventures In RadiolandJohn McLaughlin And Mahavishnu Orchestra1987Album
MahavishnuMahavishnu Orchestra1984Album
The Best Of The Mahavishnu OrchestraMahavishnu Orchestra1980Compil.
The Mahavishnu Orchestra - John McLaughlinMahavishnu Orchestra / John McLaughlin1979Compil.
Inner WorldsMahavishnu Orchestra / John McLaughlin1976Album
Can't Stand Your Funk / Eternity's Breath Part 2Mahavishnu Orchestra1975Single
Visions Of The Emerald BeyondMahavishnu Orchestra1975Album
Common Mama / Can't Stand Your FunkKeith Jarrett / Mahavishnu Orchestra1975Single
ApocalypseMahavishnu Orchestra With The London Symphony Orchestra, Michael Tilson Thomas1974Album
The Lost Mahavishnu Orchestra Album Between Eternity & NothingnessMahavishnu Orchestra1973Album
The Best Of The Mahavishnu OrchestraMahavishnu Orchestra1973Compil.
Sister AndreaMahavishnu Orchestra1973Single
Between Nothingness & EternityMahavishnu Orchestra1973Album
Birds Of FireMahavishnu Orchestra1973Album
Celestial Terrestrial CommutersMahavishnu Orchestra1972Single
The Inner Mounting FlameMahavishnu Orchestra With John McLaughlin1971Album
Dance Of MayaMahavishnu OrchestraAlbum
Live In Europe 1972Mahavishnu Orchestra With John McLaughlinAlbum
Dome CW Post University Greenvale 1973Mahavishnu OrchestraAlbum
Hunter College AuditoriumMahavishnu OrchestraAlbum
Live At The Lenox Music InnMahavishnu OrchestraAlbum
Winging The Infinite Live In Berkeley 1972Mahavishnu OrchestraAlbum
The Origine Of "The Mahavishnu Sounds"Mahavishnu Orchestra, Miles Davis, John McLaughlin, The FlockCompil.
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To all the music fans that are contributing on Discogs, MusicBrainz and Wikipedia. Thanks to Franz Flückiger for providing Storygram used to visualize band membership.
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