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The Inevitable MO Thread

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1 The Inevitable MO Thread on Thu Feb 04, 2010 12:03 am



Today, I have only listened to
the original MO - many of the
live sets... I am still astounded
at what Billy did, with John and
the incredible band.

I mean ASTOUNDED.

Not that long ago, someone
suggested to me that they
were the greatest fusion band
in history. I agree.

I still cannot believe what took
place then and as for Billy: the
earth shook, when he performed
with that amazing band.




Regards,


_________________
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2 Re: The Inevitable MO Thread on Thu Feb 04, 2010 1:43 pm

Yes, Pete, it is too bad that they cannot put their differences aside and reunite for the great music that they have put out in the few years they were together.
It isn't too late for a reunion while all of the members are still alive.

They could call it: "Meeting of the Minds"

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3 Re: The Inevitable MO Thread on Thu Feb 04, 2010 4:02 pm

Okay, Pete! Since you insist on opening that can of worms.... Of course I love Billy. But the greatest fusion band ever is RTF, Chick, Stanley, Al, Lenny.

Actually, Woody, they could call it Surrendering of the minds. What I'm actually hearing though is that this reunion has been considered but there are a couple of members Ian Hammer for one that just aren't interested in doing it again.

It would be something, though.

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4 Re: The Inevitable MO Thread on Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:43 pm

Did you know that Al DiMeola lived down the hall from me at the Berklee dorms when Chick Corea asked him to join his band.
1973 or 1974, I believe.
That was/is a smoking band, Don.

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5 Re: The Inevitable MO Thread on Thu Feb 04, 2010 7:46 pm

Yes Don is correct, RTF is the greatest, but do to a illness, Lenny does not have that fire like he did in the past. Now Mahavishnu is up there though, and when it comes to pure drumming of the 2, Billy is the man, because during those years nobody could touch Billy.

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6 Re: The Inevitable MO Thread on Thu Feb 04, 2010 10:45 pm

Isn't that something, Woodman?! It's really a small planet.... Way too small to contain all the evil within.

Here's what does it for me with RTF:

1st EVERYONE in the band was and still is a stellar player. In MO, Rick held things
together very nicely but he really wasn't among the killer players in that group.

Also, everyone in RTF wrote for the band and this gave them a diversity of musical flavors.
I believe John wrote all or at least 95% of the material for MO and while great,
I thought they had a one dimensional sound. I was amazed though at how he was able
to write in such a way that from song to song, they didn't sound the same but the overtone
and style of the band was pretty mono.

Both of these bands are fusion ground breakers for sure and fusion would be what it is today
without them. But for me, RTF (this version) is the baddest on the planet hands down.

And yes, Spanky. What I heard from the recent RTF reunion was sub par to what they did
back in the day. You know, I guess Lenny's arm being hurt and all just goes to show how
important it is for the drummer to be able to drive the band. Lenny's inability to do that
showed on the entire band's reunion performances.

D.

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7 Re: The Inevitable MO Thread on Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:23 pm

Yeah remember I saw them, and I said to the 2 cats that I was with, what is wrong with Lenny. I think Ted is the one that said something is wrong, because he spoke to Lenny, but Lenny did not say what it was.

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8 Re: The Inevitable MO Thread on Fri Feb 05, 2010 12:05 am

I love you guys but...

Laughing

Nope.

MO and no question in my mind.



clown

MO won't get together, again, so
I suggest John, Kai, Milcho and Billy.









affraid

Regards,


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9 Re: The Inevitable MO Thread on Fri Feb 05, 2010 12:30 am

affraid

Regards,


_________________
Pete

To the father of us, all - Billy Cobham!
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10 Re: The Inevitable MO Thread on Fri Feb 05, 2010 4:00 am

Spanky,

Lenny had rotary cuff surgery on his right shoulder and the muscles in that area atrophied.

It's rough, man. I didn't have surgery but I had a pinched nerve in my right shoulder and the the muscles there
and in the right side of my chest shriveled down to almost nothing. I could not hold myself up on that side and it was
SOOOOO painful! I got through it with therapy and weight training.

I love you too, Pete...... But dream on. Laughing

By the way, I don't know how true this is but a fusion enthusiast friend of mine once told me that Stanley Clark was
originally asked to play bass for MO and turned the offer down and he later kicked himself in the behind for doing so.

Maybe Ted or Billy can shed some light on this.

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11 Re: The Inevitable MO Thread on Sat Feb 06, 2010 5:51 pm

This is like trying to compare Ella Fitzgerald with Sarah Vaughan. For sheer beauty, go with Ella. But if you want the sh*t scared outta ya, Sarah is yer girl.

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12 Re: The Inevitable MO Thread on Sat Feb 06, 2010 6:22 pm

That's a good analogy, Keith.

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13 Re: The Inevitable MO Thread on Sat Feb 06, 2010 6:26 pm

Easy, Peesy, Woof.

RTF = Ella
MO = Sarah

Being scared is cool sometimes, but beauty is a constant pleasure. bom

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14 Re: The Inevitable MO Thread on Sun Feb 07, 2010 3:15 pm

Okay, you know I couldn't pass this one up !!!!!!!!!

Hands down - #1 fusion group - mahavishnu Orchestra . Very close second RTF. I love both bands with a passion, have seen them both many times , and seen their members in solo efforts, many, many times.

Have to disagree with a couple of things Don said - and when we speak of RTF here we mean the Chick, Stanley, Al and Lenny aggregation. and MO is the MO 1.

Most of the music for RTF was written by Chick Corea, though there were some contributions by Stanley and Al but it was essentially chick's concept and compositions. Same with the Orchestra - most written by John, though the members had more input than they were given credit for , which was one of the factors that contributed to the breakup.

Don you're correct about Stanley being asked to join the M O originally.

Rick Laird is a much better bassist than you and most people give him credit for. Just go to youtube and check out some of his upright playing with Wes Montgomery and some of the British straight ahead players of his time. He was the house bassist at Ronnie Scott's for a good while, and his book on the bass is still regarded as one of the best tomes on the subject by many bassists. Is he as good as Stanley ? No, but I regard Stanley as the best electric/acoustic bassist ever.

If you want to put them head to head for comparison:

John vs. Al - John wins
billy vs Lenny - billy wins
Stanley vs Rick - Stanley wins
chick vs Jan - chick wins

So you kind of have a draw with two wins to two wins. Now factor in Jerry Goodman . That tilts it in favor of the M.O.

Both bands played very difficult music. We all know this because many of us have tried to play some of it. RTF's was a lot more structured than M O 's in that the pieces were played with the same structures all the time and only the solos would vary from night to night.

With the M O, there was a lot more improvisational input onstage, and tunes would vary by 5 or ten minutes from night to night, tempos would be wherever they felt like doing it, and there was a lot more room for soloing in the M O's music.

The time signatures the M O would employ were a lot more complicated than what RTF used. And what set them apart was that very often two members would be playing one thing, two others would be playing something against that and intertwined with that, while Rick Laird would hold the whole thing together.

I've seen that M.O . version live 3 times including the Between NOthingness & Eternity album concert at Central Park. I've seen that version RTF live 8 times including their recent reunion. I would disagree with Don that their reunion was subpar to the past. It was different. They changed the arrangements, which I give them credit for. There was also the issue of conflict with Al again - which is why he will not be the guitarist on the next RTF tour. and no I still can't tell you in print who it will be. but he's great !

I've got to say that NO band has ever equalled what I witnessed from the M O each time I saw them. I was both physically and mentally drained from their onslaught !! They kicked the living s#$t out of every band I have ever seen, and that's a heck of a lot.

One part of the title for Walter's book Power, Passion & Beauty reads : the greatest band that ever was .

those are not mere words ! that is the truth ! and the day that I see a band that changes that for me, I will let you know !

Peace, TED

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15 Re: The Inevitable MO Thread on Sun Feb 07, 2010 4:04 pm

Very well said Ted just awesome, you are making me rethink things.

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16 Re: The Inevitable MO Thread on Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:04 pm

Thanks, Teddy B.

I guess it all boils down to us liking what we like. in actuality, I was just having some friendly debating fun with Pete. He's not wrong, neither are you and neither am I.

Here's my view:

Billy vs. Lenny - you and I like Billy.
John vs. Al You like John, I like Al's work in RTF better than I like Johns work in MO.
Stanley Vs. Rick, Let's not even go there.
Chick vs. Jan You say Chick. Tough call for me, Chicks done more but I think Jan is (or at least was) an incredible player.

I don't know how good or bad Rick Laird is. What I do know is his work with MO wasn't a technical standout. What I admired about him
is he was the glue that held the band together. Steady and solid.

I would never Challenge to go head to head with you on this Teddy B. as I have never seen either band live. My assessment is based only on what I've heard and seen through recording and video. Based on that and that being said, The one thing I strongly disagree with you on is when you said the RTF reunion wasn't sub par to their efforts back in the day. My ears definitely tell me different. Everyone, not some but EVERYONE I talked to said they enjoyed the show and that the band played well. They also said that, that certain fire in the performances just wasn't there... Note: compare these recent shows to that particular live performance they did at Electric Lady studios back in the 70's and the difference in power and energy can be clearly heard.

Collectively, I like what RTF did more than what MO did. To sit here and say that they were actually better, I can't do that really... I've heard them both and I like RTF they played with a multitude of color, dimension and texture. In my opinion, MO did not. It's like comparing a 10 speed to a 3 speed.

For me, I can listen to an entire RTF album without chewing my tongue off. MO's music was just too much anger for my long term taste. Too much yelling and screaming!

Some folks like being yelled and screamed at, and that's cool too. Very Happy

Thanks, Ted,

D.

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17 Re: The Inevitable MO Thread on Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:55 pm

So, Ted.
Is it going to be Mike Stern playing with RTF???

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18 Re: The Inevitable MO Thread on Sun Feb 07, 2010 11:25 pm

No Woody, it's not him !

peace, TED

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19 Re: The Inevitable MO Thread on Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:45 am

I think it's true that Al stated he was highly influenced by mclaughlin.
As was lenny influenced by boomer. MO definitely rocked my world harder than RTF just in sheer virtousity. i love both bands to pieces but i gotta give it to weather report. For me weather report is the crystalization of miles davis' alumni musical vision. I can't choose so It's a 3 way tie. I'm glad i don't have to choose and enjoy them all for their own merits.

the other people from that era i will throw into the ring are larry coryell spaces and 11th house and pat metheny's bright size life and the first pat metheny group album. gary burton definitely had something to do with it all. there are other important pioneers like pat martino and zappa. Oh wait i can't leave out Jean-Luc Ponty and allan holdsworth, david sancious,brand x there that's it. I think these are the people that defined the movement and influenced all the others. who were in turn influenced by coltrane who was influenced by parker who was influenced by ....

Has anyone heard metheny's new orchestrion cd? it's amazing.

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20 Re: The Inevitable MO Thread on Mon Feb 08, 2010 10:37 pm

You know, Kenny, I think the beauty of if is none of us "have" to choose, but we have the luxury of getting to. I think your Whether Report choice was a good one. Stellar band that created some wonderful music, no doubt.

Let me say this: I do believe that MO did something that no other fusion band has done to date. And that is they had a sound that you could not actually put a style on. You could hear the rock and jazz in other fusion bands but I for one could not with MO. Sure, they had that rock kind of intensity, but not so much it's movement. And that is a feature of that band that I really loved and thought stood out.

I have some 11th house music, and to me the band was a very weak copycat of MO. Their live music left much to be desired I think... Aphonse spent way too much time trying to sound like Billy.... Sorry Niki. Wink

MO definitely rocked my world harder than RTF just in sheer virtousity.

They rocked mine in sheer VERACITY!

Lenny was influenced most by Tony.

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21 Re: The Inevitable MO Thread on Tue Feb 09, 2010 1:42 am

These bands were different...Thats why i can't choose!!! I love Lenny but i prefer Billy!the violin sounds great in M.O but i prefer the piano and keyboards in RTF...
In my favourite list,i'll add Herbie's "headhunters" because Harvey Mason is still my first influence!!!Peace,stef

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22 Re: The Inevitable MO Thread on Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:29 pm

Interesting debate. I love both MO and RTF, but if I had to choose #1, I would have to say...........................................................................MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA!!!!! cheers

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23 Re: The Inevitable MO Thread on Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:45 pm

fusionfunk wrote:Interesting debate. I love both MO and RTF, but if I had to choose #1, I would have to say...........................................................................MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA!!!!! cheers

BURN IN HELL, RUSS! Twisted Evil lol! lol! lol!

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24 Re: The Inevitable MO Thread on Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:38 am

It's interesting that I have seen MO classified as a rock band.

If McGlaughlin's sound were different I would have listened to and played along with MO albums as much or more than RTFs music, and I have to put JLP in there too, because his music was great as well. But McGlaughlin's guitar sound was way too distorted and gritty for me. Especially did I find that the case when trying to key in on Goodman's parts.

MO - middle eastern sound
RTF - Latin sound
JLP - American/Euro sound
Weather Report - World sound
Brand X - British fusion
Passport - German fusion

When I listen to Pandora radio I have a fusion/MO/RTF channel. When MO, RTF, Brand X, JLP, Passport, Weather Report, and a few others come on I know it instantly. Other bands, not so much. But when other "sounds" come on, say by groups made up of individuals from those other bands doing their independent projects, there isn't the same recognizable or unique sound/style that existed in so many of the 70s fusion groups. I might be able to pick out Chick, or John, Stanley, Billy, Lenny, Al, etc., but for the most part it all sounds the same in actual sound/genre. Nothing sticks out except maybe, certain pieces of music. That is what made these bands so classic. They truly had compositions, not just jam sessions around a head.

Those of us who cut our teeth on late 60s/70s music had an opportunity few have ever had. Today has its virtuosos, but does it have them in group form the way the 70s had them all in one band? Does not seem so, at least to the degree of pulling off a recognizable, compositional sound.



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