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Re: Mahavishnu was more than speed Re: ELP and shredding

> Ah, Brian Jones Syndrome...not a bad condition to have! 

> As for Mahavishnu, they were always bigger than mere 
technique, for me. I loved the compositions, most of them. 
How many people can ROCK AT 11/4?? (LOL) 

Well, it's a different genre (not jazz/rock), but Rush, Yes, 
and Dream Theater have done a pretty damn good job at 
playing the heavey stuff in odd time signatures...especially 
DM. But, I agree, Mahavishnu is amazing...got all their 
stuff in my collection. Ever listen much to Larry Coryell?
> Those cats could. All day. 
Still holds up for me... To this day, I can even hum you 
John's solos, because in spite of their sheer speed, there 
was a certain beauty to a lot of them. The songs play in my 
head, still, and if you're gonna have a song stuck in your 
head, you could do a lot worse than "Birds of Fire." 
Yours in Lenny White (another fine drummer), 

If you like that old McLaughlin stuff, you should check out 
his "The Heart of Things" and "The Promise". On the Promise, 
the song Jazz Jungle is out of this world...in fact, John 
has described this as his idea of jazz fusion.


-----Original Message----- 
From: "loop.pool" <looppool@cruzio.com> 
Sent: Feb 4, 2005 12:02 AM 
To: "LOOPERS DELIGHT (posting)" <Loopers-Delight@loopers-
Subject: ELP and shredding 

I recently heard  "In the beginning" after a long hiatus. 
What a beautiful song, even if it was atypical of ELPs 

I loved that group and saw them a couple times but I have to 
say that 
revisiting most of that material 
it just hasn't aged well for me, personally. 

At the time it was virtuosic music that was really 

I remember distinctly though,  my brother Bill and I going 
to see an ELP 
show at Winterland 
and there was this band called the Mahavishnu Orchestra 
opening up for them. 
This was a few weeks before 
their first record, Inner Mounting Flame came out and I 
remember so vividly 
looking over 
and seeing my brother Bill, as the only standing member of 
the audience with 
his mouth literally hanging open 
30 seconds into the first song before I realized that I too, 
was standing 
with my mouth hanging open...........we were the only 
ones in the audience who seemed to be having that reaction 
and I felt like 
my whole world changed in a heartbeat. 

Carl Palmer was a really, really accomplished rock drummer 
and in one quick 
pass of 16th note triplets across his huge 
vistalite drumset,  Billy Cobham annhialated him and every 
other rock 
drummer I had ever seen or loved for sheer speed and power. 
He just ramped 
it way, way the fuck up and it was amazing. 

It's interesting, but for what incredible missionary zeal I 
had for jazz 
fusion in those early days,  I find that it no longer holds 
my interest,  but I think sometimes that is what happens in 
the life of a 
musician...............frequently we go through a phase were 
sheer viruosity 
blows us away and inspires us to work our asses off on 
technique, but it all 
ultimately becomes a means to an end:  the ability to 
express oneself with 
one's chosen instrument. 

Speed and technique now mean very little to me unless it 
serves the 
composition and the music (which frequently it doesn't). 
Bill and I laughingly refer to the excesses of the NAMM show 
by calling it 

"Weedela weedela 
Thwakita wakita 
Thuggida buggida 

because all the insecure guitar players all play 'weedela 
weedela' arpeggios 
as fast as they can at every guitar booth 
all the insecure bass players play 'thwakita wakit'  popping 
and slapping as 
fast as they can and 
all the insecure drummers play ' thuggida buggida' triplet 
16th rolls at 
every drum booth. 

Me,  I specialize in playing a whole lot of instruments I 
can hardly play in 
front of live 
should probably pay more attention 
to the shredders for the sake of my audiences.