Pat Metheny, The Mahavishnu Orchestra & More: My Albums of the Week #21

I would consider myself an “albums guy” and my taste in music is very varied. In this new feature, I list the albums that I listened to most intensely during the week. The list will include albums old and new, and the number of albums listened to every week will most likely vary on a week-to-week basis.


The Mahavishnu Orchestra
The Inner Mounting Flame
Columbia, 1971

TRACKLIST (Favorite tracks underlined): 1 – Meeting of the Spirits // 2 – Dawn // 3 – The Noonward Race // 4 – A Lotus on Irish Streams // 5 – Vital Transformation // 6 – The Dance of Maya // 7 – You Know, You Know // 8 – Awakening

Jazz-rock fusion at its best. Many would agree with me in saying that this first lineup was also the best Mahavishnu Orchestra lineup. And that, of course, John McLaughlin is a legend. This whole project was widely based on his profound study of musics from other cultures, performed with like-minded, adventurous musicians. And for added bonus points, Jerry Goodman’s violin ups the transcendental epicness of this record.


Christian Basso
Warner Chappell, 2001

TRACKLIST (favorite tracks underlined): 1 – Criollo // 2 – The Movement // 3 – Payaso Patetico // 4 – Pena Lunar // 5 – Liguria // 6 – El Escondido // 7 – Lone Star Ranger // 8 – Boleria // 9 – Un Reloh Vegetal // 10 – El Amuleto // 11 – Volturno // 12 – Flesh & Blood // 13 – Tarantella della Morte // 14 – La Montana Esmeralda

An eclectic blend of traditional folk musics with a modern acoustic sheen and hint of surrealism. But it is more interesting in concept than execution. Some of its tracks definitely lack character and feel rather empty of psychology and emotion, opting for form over content. However, one may see Profania as the soundtrack to a movie never made, and that too has its charms.


Pat Metheny
Bright Size Life
ECM, 1976

TRACKLIST (favorite tracks underlined): 1 – Bright Size Life // 2 – Sirabhorn // 3 – Unity Village // 4 – Missouri Uncompromised // 5 – Midwestern Nights Dream // 6 – Unquity Road // 7 – Omaha Celebration // 8 – Round Trip/Broadway Blues

Debut album by one of the most influential and original jazz guitarists of all time. And it’s hard to believe that Pat Metheny was 21 years old at the time, leading a trio with Bob Moses and Jaco Pastorius, who weren’t much older than him. Despite his young age, his playing is amazing and crystalline, and his compositional prowess is clearly on show. And anyone who has described this as ambient jazz must not have listened to “Missouri Uncompromised” or “Round Trip/Broadway Blues.”


Melody A.M.
Wall of Sound, 2001

TRACKLIST (favorite tracks underlined): 1 – So Easy // 2 – Eple // 3 – Sparks // 4 – In Space // 5 – Poor Leno // 6 – A Higher Place // 7 – Royksopp’s Night Out // 8 – Remind Me // 9 – She’s So // 40 Years Back/Come

This is somewhat of an iconic chillout house album. Its popularity was aided by the surprising success of some of its singles, particularly “So Easy” and “Eple” – and became part of that list of famous songs that people don’t know the title of. The LP is not without its dull moments, disguised as “atmospheric tracks.” But I do have a soft spot for “Eple,” as I think it is stellar, and I appreciate the vintage electronic and creative production.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: