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Mind Transplant (1974)

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Alphonse Mouzon

Drummers Alphonse Mouzon and Billy Cobham led almost parallel careers during the 1970s and helped to raise the bar by which all subsequent drummers were to be judged. They were both in legendary fusion bands (Mouzon in Weather Report and Larry Coryell's Eleventh House and Cobham in Dreams and the Mahavishnu Orchestra), both led their own successful bands, both reinvented jazz-rock drumming, and both released one classic, genre-defining recording. Cobham's classic was Spectrum, a recording that is regularly considered as one of the genre's best. This, Mind Transplant, is Mouzon's classic recording that is often hailed as "Spectrum II." The common thread, besides the aggressive drumming, is guitaristTommy Bolin. Where Cobham used Bolin's aggressive playing as a counterpoint to Jan Hammer,Mouzon features the guitarist as the primary attraction. The tunes themselves may not be as memorable as, say, "Red Baron" or "Stratus," but the playing is no less inspired. Mouzon and Bolin are a natural fit and push themselves to levels of creativity and skill that few can attain. Raw and powerful, the music herein is what made fusion such a viable musical style. This recording has never been as popular asSpectrum, but was finally released on CD in 1993 with the addition of the 15-minute jam session "The Real Thing." Easily one of the best fusion recordings of all time.