The Radio String Quartet Celebrating the Mahavishnu Orchestra

The whole concept of "tribute” albums has always been a bit suspect, leading to questions of career, motives and the ability of artists to expand on the original work. But this CD is an outstanding example of how to take a very specific piece of musical history involving a large electric/percussive band and creatively distil the essence into a small acoustic ensemble. The way the Radio String Quartet have managed to reproduce the spirit of stadium jazz fusion giants Mahavishnu Orchestra is, to say the least, remarkable. Not only have they made the compositions live, in reference to the original work, but they have infused them with their own specific identity and expanded upon them, bringing some elements of intimacy that were less emphasised in the originals. This is the essence of the process of great classical ensembles: a spirited and inspired interpretation. Highly recommended not just as a tribute album but as great music! (Act)