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Mahavishnu Orchestra

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Be Happy Mahavishnu Orchestra 03:32
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Meeting of the Spirits
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Founded by British guitarist John McLaughlin in New York City in 1971, Mahavishnu Orchestra had different line-ups in separate incarnations through the 1980s but is known best for the work of the original group, which featured drummer Billy Cobham from Panama, bassist Rick Laird from Ireland, keyboardist Jan Hammer from Czechoslovakia and violinist Jerry Goodman from the United States. With an intense mix of jazz, progressive rock and R&B with Indian and European influences, the band debuted on record with 'The Inner Mounting Flame' in 1971 and their second release 'Birds of Fire' (1973) went to number 15 on the Billboard 200.

In 1974, McLaughlin was joined by Gayle Moran on keyboards and vocals, Jean-Luc Ponty on violin, Ralphe Armstrong on bass and Narada Michael Walden on drums. The album 'Between Nothingness & Eternity' that year peaked at number 41 followed by 'Apocalypse' which went to number 43 and 'Visions of the Emerald Beyond' which reached number 68. The orchestra disbanded in 1976 until '84 when McLaughlin assembled another line-up including original drummer Cobham. The albums 'Mahavishnu' (1984) and 'Adventures in Radioland' (1987) failed to register and the players dispersed with McLaughlin going on to form the John McLaughlin Guitar Trio and a band called Free Spirits. An album titled 'The Lost Trident Sessions', which had been recorded in 1973 with the original line-up, was released in 1999 and reached number 13 on Billboard's Jazz Albums Chart.