Mahavishnu Orchestra Visions of the Emerald Beyond  

Visions is the most overlooked and underappreciated recording John McLaughlin has ever made. This album was released in 1975 and features the expanded Mahavishnu line-up which in addition to using a horn and string section, featured the dynamic Narada Michael Walden on drums and fusion superstar Jean Luc Ponty on violin. This album is drenched in the funkiness McLaughlin had shown little of in previous Mahavishnu recordings.

"Eternity's Breath" opens the album and right away you know you are in for a sonic treat. McLaughlin's notes are fat and strong. They snap and crackle and pop. Walden's drumming is strong and propulsive. Ponty's violin literally soars to heights he has never attained on his own recordings. The strings and horns are not superfluous like in many other "third-stream" efforts. They are relevent to the musical event. Vocals even arise and although somewhat "holier than thou", they add to the orchestral milieu of Visions.

Listen to "Lila's Dance" and discover one of the reasons the great Branford Marsalis no longer works his bandleader gig on America's late night Jay Leno TV show. He played this tune often and it was too much for the powers that be!

Walter Kolosky

Walter Kolosky is a jazz fan and founder of who lives in Braintree, MA, USA


1. Eternity's Breath Part 1 - (3:10) Short RealAudio sample
2. Eternity's Breath Part 2 - (4:48)
3. Lila's Dance - (5:34)
4. Can't Stand Your Funk - (2:09)
5. Pastoral - (3:41)
6. Faith - (1:58)
7. Cosmic Strut - (3:28) Short RealAudio sample (+ If I Could
See + beginning of Be Happy)
8. If I Could See - (1:18)
9. Be Happy - (3:31)
10. Earth Ship - (3:42)
11. Pegasus - (1:48)
12. Opus 1 - (0:24)
13. On the Way Home to Earth - (4:44) Short RealAudio sample
John McLaughlin - 6 & 12 string guitars, vocals
Jean-Luc Ponty - electric violin, electric baritone violin
Gayle Moran - keyboards, vocals
Ralph Armstrong - bass guitar, contra bass, vocals
Michael Walden - drums, percussion, vocals, clavinet
Steve Kindler - 1st violin, Cadenza in 'Pastoral'
Carol Shive - 2nd violin, vocals
Phillip Hirschi - cello
Bob Knapp - trumpet, flugelhorn, flute, vocals
Russel Tubbs - alto & soprano sax

All compositions by John McLaughlin except 'Cosmic Strut' by Michael Walden.
Recorded at Electric Lady Studios, December 4-14, 1974 in New York.
Mixed at Trident Studios, London, December 16-24, 1974.
Produced by Ken Scott and Mahavishnu John McLaughlin

  Sony Columbia 467904 (p) 1975, 1991