The Mahavishnu Project is the only ensemble endorsed by John McLaughlin, Jan Hammer and all original Mahavishnu Orchestra members.
After several years on hiatus, The Mahavishnu Project returns to perform their interpretations of the classic music of John McLaughin, Jeff Beck, and Jan Hammer.
The Mahavishnu Project has become well-known for reaching into the jazz-rock music beyond the John McLaughlin-led originals to include songs of Jeff Beck, featuring guitar virtuoso Robbie Mangano (Sean Lennon/Tom Morello), keyboardist Neil Alexander (The Machine/Eric Person) and bassist Brian Mooney joining drummer and bandleader Gregg Bendian – well-known for his work with Todd Rundgren, Pat Metheny, Nels Cline, Ornette Coleman and John Zorn.
Back in 1971, when guitar-god John McLaughlin left Miles Davis and Tony William’s Lifetime to form the groundbreaking Mahavishnu Orchestra, he was the first to combine the fire of Hendrix-drenched rock with the groove of Coltrane’s modal jazz & the ethereal Indian ragas of Ravi Shankar. The critics called it “jazz rock” (of course it was much more) and the result was nothing less than a musical revolution. The Mahavishnu Orchestra has since been cited as a major influence on everyone from King Crimson to Phish, and was in many ways one of the first electric jam bands. Not surprisingly however, the music of the Mahavishnu Orchestra has not gone on to be covered or re-interpreted by the many bands it has affected, due largely to its extreme technical demands. That is, until now.
The Mahavishnu Project launches directly from where the original band abruptly left off. In 2001, this incendiary unit from New York City began performing their unique renditions of music from classic Mahavishnu discs such as Birds of Fire, The Inner Mounting Flame, Between Nothingness & Eternity and Visions of the Emerald Beyond while remaining true to the cutting edge improvs of the original band, and to McLaughlin’s stunning compositions. Their take on the music must be quite special, as they have received the seal of approval from Maestro McLaughlin himself and all of Mahavishnu’s original members!
This unique jazz-rock repertory ensemble was given the rare honor of performing with original Mahavishnu keyboard master Jan Hammer who asked The Project to be his band for his first performance in over 15 years at MoogFest 2006 at NYC’s BB King’s. The performance was released as an amazing DVD, “MoogFest 2006” and features The Mahavishnu Project performing two songs on their own before joining Jan Hammer to perform classics from his solo career and his work with Jeff Beck.
MAHAVISHNU PROJECT LIVE:
“Just a little note of appreciation for what you are bringing back to life. This musical period was the beginning of finding my own way in music, and to hear you guys playing those tunes in such an unbelievable way is quite amazing. Great job!! Keep up the good work.”
— John McLaughlin
“What is primary to me is that they are all great musicians. Everyone has to be a good improviser. You have to be able to take them to another place… These guys get there.”
— Jan Hammer
(has performed onstage only twice in the last 30 years, with Jeff Beck….and a full show with Mahavishnu Project)