Inner Worlds

SKU: 4769052
Label:
Columbia/Legacy
Category:
Fusion/Jazz
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With Jean Luc Ponty out and Stu Goldberg replacing Gayle Moran, McLaughlin came up with the weakest lineup and album to carry the Mahavishnu moniker. Universally hated.

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  • Volto is a new (but long gestating) project from Tool drummer Danny Carey and Pigmy Love Circus guitarist John Ziegler.  The quartet is rounded out by noted keyboardist Jeff Babko and session bassist Lance Morrison.  The quartet have been together for some time playing cover tunes.  They finally decided to cut some original music.  To that end they recorded all analogue and had the album mastered by Bob Ludwig.  Expect great sound.This is a blazing all instrumental effort that fits squarely in the fusion genre but with strong overtones of progressive rock...and maybe just a touch of metal.  Chops from hell are the order of the day but this is highly melodic and never seems to suffer from "toomanynotes" syndrome.  At times Ziegler turns up the crunch factor to good effect and Babko lays down some wonderful solos.  Carey is Carey...awesome!!  Highly recommended.
    $14.00
  • The madcap French jazz metal trio return with their sixth album.  Morglbl consists of guitarist Christope Godin, bassist Ivan Rougny, and drummer  Aurelian Ouzoulias.  The band has toured extensively around the world – USA, Europe, Russia and even China!  They have shared the stage with Liquid Tension Experiment, Bumblefoot, and Umphrey’s McGee among others.These three virtuosos are also well endorsed clinicians and have developed a following individually but when they come together the fireworks really start.  Tea Time For Punks doesn’t deviate from the tried and true Morglbl formula.  Take equal parts fusion and crushing metal power chords, then inject a healthy dose of tongue in cheek humor and you’ve got the perfect Morglbl album. The band is often described as Primus meets Steve Vai and Allan Holdsworth, with flavors of Frank Zappa! 
    $13.00
  • This was the first album with the revamped lineup of John McLaughlin, Jean Luc Ponty, Narada Michael Walden, Ralph Armstrong, and Gayle Moran. They didn't quite hit the heights the original lineup did but there are brilliant moments throughout.
    $7.00
  • "The first Mahavishnu Orchestra's original very slim catalog was padded out somewhat by this live album (recorded in New York's Central Park) on which the five jazz/rock virtuosos can be heard stretching out at greater length than in the studio. There are only three selections on the disc, all of which were to have been on the group's then-unissued third album -- two of them, guitarist John McLaughlin's "Trilogy: Sunlit Path/La Merede la Mer" and keyboardist Jan Hammer's "Sister Andrea," are proportioned roughly as they were in their studio renditions, while the third, McLaughlin's "Dream," is stretched to nearly double its 11-minute studio length. Each develops organically through a number of sections, and there are fewer lockstep unison passages than on the earlier recordings. McLaughlin is as flashy and noisy as ever on double-necked electric guitar, and Hammer and violinist Jerry Goodman are a match for him in the speed department, with drummer Billy Cobham displaying a compelling, raw power and dexterity to his work as well, especially on the CD edition, which also gives bassist Rich Laird a showcase for his slightly subtler work. Yet for all of the superb playing, one really doesn't hear much music on this album; electricity and competitive empathy are clearly not enough, particularly on the 21-minute "Dream," which left a lot of fans feeling let down at the end of its side-two-filling run on the LP. In the decades since this album was released, the studio versions of these three pieces, along with other tracks being worked up for their third album, have appeared as The Lost Trident Sessions -- dating from May and June of 1973 -- thus giving fans a means of comparing this repertory to what the band had worked out (or not worked out) in the studio; and Between Nothingness and Eternity has come up a bit in estimation as a result, benefiting as it does from the spontaneity and energy of a live performance, though even that can only carry this work so far -- beyond the personality conflicts that broke up the band, they seem to have been approaching, though not quite reaching, a musical dead end as well." - Allmusic
    $5.00
  • First album from this excellent quartet consisting of Bill Bruford, Tony Levin, David Torn, and (and the time unknown) Chris Botti. A mixture of prog rock and fusion - a bit like David Torn's Clouds About Mercury project.
    $17.00
  • Ridiculously great and reverential recording by the Mahavishnu Project - Gregg Bendian's slavish recreation of Mahavishnu Orchestra. Here is what Cuneiform Records has to say: "To hear you guys playing those tunes in such an unbelievable way is quite amazing. Great job! Keep up the good work." - John McLaughlin. Founded in 2001 by drummer and composer Gregg Bendian, The Mahavishnu Project is dedicated to reviving and bringing to today's audiences the excitement and the transcendent experience of visceral intensity of the early days of jazz/rock in general and the music of the Mahavishnu Orchestra specifically. The band was formed by Gregg to perpetuate the spirit of live performance in which this music was created by performing this great music live! Return to the Emerald Beyond features a 11 piece band interpreting The Mahavishnu Orchestra’s Visions of the Emerald Beyond, one of the most explosive albums in the fusion genre. This is not a sound-alike project; Gregg and the band do not try to recreate the solos of the original players. What they do do is capture the amazing intensity and fire that the Mahavishnu Orchestra exuded, add their own selves to it and allow people to experience it first hand in concert and now on record. The band just slay the material and play it with conviction, belief, excellent musicianship and creative interpretation of the material! "What is primary to me is they are all great musicians. Everyone has to be a good improviser. It's not enough to transcribe the tunes themselves. You have to be able to take them to another place.... These guys can get there." - Jan Hammer. "...they grab the bar the original Mahavishnu set diring its 1971 - '74 peak and raise it a notch. There's a truly amazing level of musicianship at play here, balancing focus, intensity and freedom..." - The Boston Phoenix
    $19.00
  • Fifth album from this German instrumental psych/stoner band is a real mind crusher.  You like My Brother The Wind?  You need to hear this.  If Samsara Blues Experiment recorded an instrumental album it might sound something like this.  The album is interspersed with quieter introspective interludes that just seem to made the heavier parts heavier and the spacier parts trippier.  If you like your psych served up hard you can't pass it up.  Devastating stuff.  BUY OR DIE!BTW - the angry metal guy tells it way better than I can:"It was difficult for me to turn down a promo so intertwined with one of the subjects of my recently-completed dissertation. Aldous Huxley‘s migration to Eastern philosophy, influenced by both Taoism and Buddhism, is well documented in his final novel, Island. The inhabitants of the idyllic island practice such spiritual, philosophical models, culminating in the consumption of so-called “Moksha-medicine,” a hallucinogen which permits heightened awareness and understanding. The band which explores similarly Zen and reflective topics is one to catch my eye and I excitedly embarked on this quest for internal liberation.Moksha is the fifth full-length by Germany’s My Sleeping Karma, succeeding their previous release Soma (also a reference to Eastern spirituality and prominently interpreted in Huxley’s Brave New World). It accordingly incorporates Eastern instrumentation in a groovy, psychedelic exploration of exactly how mellow one can be while the music can still be interpreted as metal. Though it could be described as relaxing mood music, the distorted guitars and surprising technical proficiency of the band grounds Moksha in the space between rock and metal (and also qualifies it for AMG, you goddamned haters).If Kraut or psychedelic rock is your jam then you will assuredly find plenty to enjoy here. The minimalist approach with sparingly-used instruments and catchy but repetitive leads will worm its way into your skull. There aren’t multiple riffs throughout each song; rather, a core motif which gradually progresses and develops throughout, lending a charming coherency to the album – see opener “Prithvi” for this. Occasional synths and piano keys afford an ethereal air too. However, it’s the points at which more overt Eastern instrumentation is used that the material really stands out. The five “Interlude”s which split each of the main songs strongly evoke My Brother The Wind, with groovy bass-lines and the interesting use of monk’s chants and hand-operated drums. The album’s concept is thus drawn into the music and it creates a quite captivating effect. The sudden and disturbing emanation of pop shite from one of my housemates’s bedrooms drew me from my trance and alerted me to how involving the material is.Despite the repetitive and seemingly improvised nature of the music, its technicality is another boon. As the songs progress and layer, the guitars and drums can become quite intense despite the over-arching serenity (I’m aware this sounds like a contradiction but it’s a testament to the subtle song-writing). The nifty transition at 2:30 of “Akasha” foregrounds a sound very similar to mid-era Anathema, and the transition at 4:00 demonstrates the talent of the bassist and drummer, leading into an appropriately-climatic harmony. This is just one song, but jazzy drum fills and strong bass work permeate the entirety of the release. The Floydian jam on “Interlude 5” is compelling too.I would argue that Moksha effectively achieves its goal and nails the style it strives for. However, I do feel that it may be too niche for some listeners – it’s easy for me to concertedly listen for the technical accomplishments as a reviewer, but the music can slip to the background into the realms of mood music. Though a pleasant listen it may be, one could argue it’s a little safe and it certainly doesn’t arouse my passions sufficiently to push my score to excellent. Furthermore, each of the main tracks can sound quite similar if not explicitly listening – that said, the interludes split up the record nicely so this effect is mitigated. I’m also part of the niche rock and metal market that appreciates the spiritual subject matter, if only on an academic level.Turning my gaze to the empirical and away from the spiritual, the solid dynamics certainly aid affairs. The principle tracks hit a DR score of 8, with the “Interlude”s varying between 10 and 14. There is good breathing room for each instrument and each is clean without being over-produced. A holistic sound is achieved which envelops the listener well.I imagine there is quite a specific demographic that this music hits so it may not be for everyone, but I’m enjoying my journey to the geographic heights of Nepal, the enigmatic Sadhus of India and through the tenets of Yin Yang. The ultimate dearth of diversity and Moksha‘s intrinsic tranquility limits my true passion for the record, but it’s a worthwhile investment nonetheless. Aldous would be proud." - The Angry Metal Guy
    $13.00
  • Fourth album from this outstanding jazz metal band from Hungary getting outside exposure with their signing to IQ's Giant Electric Pea label.  Special Providence started out their career as a pure fusion band - not unlike Tribal Tech and Return To Forever.  With their third album, Soul Alert, the band injected a heavier metal presence primarily in the guitarwork.  Essence Of Change carries on from Soul Alert in terms of heaviness and the use of distortion but at the same time there is clearly more of a jazz/fusion emphasis in the writing.  This gives us a nicely balanced sound that has a lot of cross over appeal.  Liquid Tension Experiment and Morglbl fans will love this and I expect open minded fans of RTF and Mahavishnu will enjoy hearing the young kats update the sound they developed in the 70s.  Expect a non-stop assault of laser beam synth solos and blistering distortion laced guitar solos.  Yeah this one hits the sweet spot and after many future spins I suspect this will sit at the top of their already impressive discography.  BUY OR DIE!!
    $15.00
  • New mini-LP sleeve edition of the long out of print solo album from guitarist from Holding Pattern. Originally released in 1993 after the breakup of Holding Pattern, Tony Spada worked with some of the musicians from the band to create a high energy mix of progressive rock and fusion that sometimes...sounded quite a bit like The Dregs. A pretty slamming affair well worth revisiting.
    $7.00
  • Second album from this excellent, but overlooked, Dutch prog band. The Mountain Queen seems to emphasize guitar just a touch more but there is still plenty of flute/sax and keyboard firepower on display. Really a well balanced musical palette that touches on Canterbury style prog as well as symphonic rock. This gets the typical great Esoteric treatment.
    $18.00
  • The Red Zen is an instrumental quartet from Italy. Imagine a fusion album recorded by a progressive rock band. While their label tries to position them as a band in the style of Mahavishnu Orchestra and Return To Forever, they really are more of a straight ahead prog band. Guitarist Ettore Salati was formerly with The Watch. While he doesn't sound like Steve Hackett here, he certainly plays with far more distortion than you are likely to ever hear from a fusion guitarist. No - this isn't really fusion. Its really well done instrumental prog rock with some killer soloing coming from keyboards and guitar. This owes more to Djam Karet or Helmet Of Gnats than any fusion band I can think of. Highly recommended.
    $18.00
  • "SBB, a legendary progressive rock/jazz band from Poland, return with a brand new studio album simply entitled “SBB”. The band, comprised of the phenomenal composer and multi-instrumentalist Józef Skrzek and the excellent guitarist Apostolis Anthimos, present a new sound - fresh, mature yet spontaneous and full of youthful energy. The new album includes 16 new tracks which bring freshness and lots of new ideas. The album title is a reference to the band’s history – their past and current story. Each song relates to the important events and situations related to the history of the band, but also to the people who played an important role in SBB’s life. The new music is colorful, subtle and at the same time dynamic, sonically different in terms of the used instruments. The album was recorded in studio Wojkowice (Upper Silesia). The cover artwork was created by the well-known Polish architect Tomasz Konior."
    $16.00
  • I've known keyboardist Dan Pluta for a very, very long time.  I never actually got to hear him play but one evening in Pennsylvania, his quartet Carpe Nota opened a gig for Knight Area.  In this age of sampling it was refreshing to see Dan's rig - he had keyboards stacked up to the heavens and damn if he didn't play the beejezus out of them!  I was impressed to say the least.So what's Carpe Nota all about?  The are an instrumental quartet with strong roots in 70s progressive rock.  Guitarist Peter Rubinetti has a vintage sound that fits the music perfectly.  Dan is a very dexterious keyboardist.  He is clearly influenced by all the greats - Wakeman, Simonetti, and Emerson while doing his own bombastic thing.  You get serious back and forth interplay between keys and guitar.  The rhythm section of Ken Sundling and Peter Derenbecher essentially hold down the fort and get out of the way for Pluta and Rubinetti to do their high energy thing.  Knowing Dan's passion for progressive music of all kinds, it's refreshing to hear the gestation of it after all these years.  Its reflected in his music - a trip back to old school prog with the occasional contemporary flash.  If you dig the classic bands you need to check out Carpe Nota.
    $11.00
  • "Death.Taxes.Ozric Tentacles.Since 1984 this loose collective have been releasing reliably great music from the mind of leader Ed Wynne. Their margin of error is enviably tiny – there is no such thing as a bad Ozrics album. Sure, some are better than others, but the body of work is as inescapably consistent as mortality and societal contributions. Technicians of the Sacred is their fifteenth studio album, second double album and the first release in this format since Erpland in 1990. It is also one of the best they have ever recorded.The blend of electronica and inner-space rock is instantly recognisable with ‘The High Pass’. World music and gently undulating synths take their time to ease us back into the required frame of cosmic consciousness. It takes almost 6 minutes for the secret weapon, Wynne’s signature lysergic lead guitar, to be deployed and that is the modus operandi of the whole album – nothing is rushed, each track unfolds lotus-like.‘Changa Masala’ distils all the band’s ingredients into a spicy side-dish. Sequencers, vocal samples and a reggae skank provide the base while acoustic guitar rips like a John McLaughlin solo, interjecting a nod to their past, a musical in-joke for the fans, which I won’t spoil for those who haven’t yet heard it.The Steve Hillage (Gong, System 7 and sometime Ozrics collaborator) influence is foregrounded in the first disc’s closer, ‘Switchback’. Tap-delay guitar slithers over a web of ambient keyboard washes. Portamento bass notes slide and glide their way through the patchouli-scented psychedelic haze.f the first disc was an aromatic treat, then the second is manna. ‘Epiphlioy’ recalls the classic ‘Saucers’. Its serpentine twelve-string acoustic riffs employ Eastern modes to evoke a scene that is paradoxically earthy and otherworldly. Staccato strings conjure Kashmir while a celestial orchestra of whooshing keyboard pads threatens to levitate us into the stratosphere and beyond. We are back in the bizarre bazaar, folks. Brandi Wynne pins down the ethereal mix with a heavy dub bassline. The track changes constantly. This is the most compositionally complex music the band has ever produced.While there are references to Ozric history and a more organic feel similar to early classics with the occasional use of non-electric instruments and ethnic voices, the album as a whole is a step forward. The painstakingly crafted symbiosis of synthesised sounds and rock instrumentation, coupled with a slick production, lend Technicians of the Sacred a holistic integrity not heard since Jurassic Shift (which incidentally entered the UK charts at a very respectable number 11 in 1993). The whole gels together and flows with the multi-layered sophistication of a symphony while retaining some of the jam-band aesthetic of the free festival days.‘Smiling Potion’ features interlocking sequences even Tangerine Dream would be proud of and a tribal metronome-sense beat straight out of Peter Gabriel’s soundtrack for The Last Temptation of Christ.As ‘Rubbing Shoulders With The Absolute’ throbs along on a blissed-out dub rhythm artificially generated voices ensure the weirdness meter is kept firmly in the red.Hungarian drummer Balázs Szende makes his first studio appearance and throughout the album he proves to be a superb addition to the group, whether approximating the tight programmed style of The Hidden Step era or, as on the closing track, ‘Zenlike Creature’, tackling elusive prog time signatures with ease and finesse. As Ed Wynne winds up a solo worthy of fusion maestros Mahavishnu Orchestra he introduces a shimmering Hillage-esque repeating motif that stays in the mind long after the music has stopped.Technicians of the Sacred, for all its dynamic shifts and intricacies, is a very chilled-out release, one for relaxing to and for transportation to the other, wherever that may be. There are no jarring wig-out rock guitar hero sections or all-out sonic attacks like ‘The Throbbe’. Rather this is Ozric Tentacles’ most cohesive and accomplished effort in almost 20 years and a highlight of a long and peerless career." - Echoes And Dust
    $13.00