Mahavishnu Orchestra
The Missing Montreux Concert!

Montreux Pavillon, Switzerland

Soundboard --> reel-to-reel --> reel-to-reel (second or third generation) --> Mac --> CDR
CDR > WAV (EAC) > FLAC (frontend level 8)

John McLaughlin (guitar)
Jerry Goddman (violin)
Jan Hammer (piano, moog)
Rick Laird (bass)
Billy Cobham (drums)

01 Introduction 0:56
02 Meeting of the Spirits 14:32
03 Miles Beyond 12:20
04 Stepping Stones 3:13
05 Sister Andrea 9:31
06 Dream 25:18
07 I Wonder 05:43
08 Transition - Drum Solo 00:43
09 Binky's Bean (probably!) 04:51
10 Title Unknown 06:51

11 Meeting of the Spirits 12:41
(I don't remember the source & venue for this one, I think I have recorded it from an FM radio).

Now this is really rare, and I'm pleased to share this piece of history !!!

Here is a quote by Claude Nobs, founder of the Montreux Jazz Festival :
"At that time, in parallel with the Montreux Jazz Festival, which I founded in 1967, I was organising other concerts throughout the year and, in 1972, I was fortunate enough to welcome The Mahavishnu Orchestra. A concert that took place at the Pavillon some eight months after the fire at the Montreux Casino. To my great regret, this concert was not recorded"
So this is the concert missing in the John McLaughlin at Montreux box set. It may not have been recorded on a multi-track machine, but it was indeed recorded to two tracks, by the Swiss National Radio.
This recording was given to me about 28 years ago I guess, by someone who used to work at the radio station, and who is now dead. They're supposed to keep everything at the radio station (and I've been told they are in the process of transferring old tapes to digital media), but sometimes they lose recordings, or they get stolen... So my copy may be the only one STILL IN EXISTENCE, and it's also possible it's never been broadcast. It's the full concert as it seems. I remember the electric power went down during the concert, but I don't remember at which point it happened.

What else can I say ? The concert really took place a little more than 30 years ago, I was about to turn 17, and I attended it. At the time, I think I only knew John McLaughlin from the Tony Williams Lifetime / Turn it Over LP, and from his Devotion album.
Listening to the tape, you'll only get a vague idea of how GREAT this concert truly was ! To me the music was so new, so fresh and innovative, most people in the audience were smilling ! Still one of the best concerts I attended in my whole life !
I remember reading a John McLaughlin interview in a magazine, in which he said this one concert had been particularly good. Also there was a yoga convention taking place in the same building at the time, and he said he thought there was kind of a vibe in the whole building for that reason. As an aspiring (and now pro) drummer, it was also the first time I'd heard Billy Cobham, and that was a real inspiration ! Like I said, at a point during the concert the electric power went down, and Billy took a long solo without the P.A. to entertain us during the break.

About the fire at the Montreux Casino, which happened during a Frank Zappa concert about eight months before, I also attended it, but that's another story !

A.R. August 8, 2005