Mahavishnu Orchestra Live

The best ever…thanks to the internet, there is a lot of live great Mahavishnu Orchestra to hear…it’s amazing to hear so many different versions, because when they played well, it’s like each version has different improvisation, they were a band made to improvise. Each musician is so good, and they were so creative, that they needed people taping all their shows to capture even a fraction of their musical ideas. Their albums capture just a tiny reflection of what each song was/could be, and they often doubled or quadrupled the playing time of different songs live. The music is/was always changing, which is a good thing.

mp3s: Mahavishnu Orchestra – Theatre Antique, Orange, France 8/17/75 via Insomniac Music Blog

This one is particularly nice sound quality:

The Mahavishnu Orchestra at the Community Theater, Berkeley CA November 9, 1972
Source: KPFA-FM reels (from the soundboard)
Quality: A++ (near Cd quality)

Disc 1

  1. Birds of Fire 14:09
  2. Miles Beyond 15:32
  3. You Know, You Know 9:38
  4. Dream 24:27

Disc 2

  1. One Word 18:58
  2. The Dance of Maya 20:41
  3. Sanctuary 5:27
  4. A Lotus on Irish Streams 8:21
  5. Vital Transformation 8:24

But my favorite one so far might be this show, with amazing sound quality and performances, taped in Cleveland, Ohio

Released as “Cleveland and Beyond” and “Wild Strings”

Meeting of the Spirits [12:36]
You Know You Know [12:31]
The Dance of Maya [14:50]
Noonward Race [21:54]

Interstingly, there are a bunch of Mahavishnu Orchestra concerts you can buy at Wolfgang’s Vault, I guess this is Bill Graham’s Archives–I hope there are reproductions of all those amazing posters and 60s/70s era hippie ephemera they are selling, (R.I.P Alton Kelley), hope they’re not all one-of-a-kind…

John McLaughlin painting by Paul Gomes


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