The Inner Mounting Flame (Mahavishnu Orchestra, 1972)

Personnel: McLaughlin -- guitar, Jerry Goodman -- violin, Jan Hammer -- keyboards, Billy Cobham -- drums, Rick Laird -- electric bass

All compositions by John McLaughlin

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This is a sensational recording, both from a historical perspective and from a purely musical perspective. The groundbreaking work, laid out by McLaughlin and his Orchestra, apparently appeared out of nowhere. McLaughlin has almost single-handedly managed to invent the whole new musical genre (which never got to be properly named -- all the labels proposed over time, like jazz-rock, fusion, etc. couldn't really hit the mark.) The preparatory work that was going on for more than two years, instigated by Miles Davis, had flourished and took a definitive shape in this album.

Still, surprising as it may sound, this is not McLaughlin's best creation (I propose that his best work is Birds Of Fire which got released a year later). But it's pretty darn close to being one of the best recordings in recent history. If nothing else, the level of sheer energy captured on tape is still unsurpassed.

1. Meeting of The Spirits

2. Dawn 3. The Noonward Race 4. Lotus on Irish Streams 5. Vital Transformation 6. The Dance of Maya 7. You Know You Know 8. The Awakening
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