Originally posted on February 21, 2008
There was a point in the early-mid 70’s when fusion was king. Three musicians had much to do with that. I refer to John McLaughlin, guitar, Jaco Pastorious, bass, and Tony Williams, drums. Each were a big part of a group on the slicing edge of creativity at the time: the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Weather Report and Lifetime, respectively.
For an extraordinary brief space in musical time, the three banded together to form the Trio of Doom. Ostensibly the idea was to play the 1979 Havana Jam Festival. And their short 25 minute set was recorded by Columbia. McLaughlin at the time was not satisfied with the recorded results, so the band went into the studio to rerecord their tracks.
With several short alternate takes, the entire recorded output of the trio (some 40 minutes) has been released by Columbia Legacy on CD (Trio of Doom). Now this is not the best CD any of them have recorded. The nature of the one-shot appearance would certainly make that proposition unlikely. And there are only four pieces recorded multiple times. Yet the live spot is quite powerful, with all three showing why they were peerless on their instruments. And the studio set is a nice supplement. Anyone who is into any or all of these folks will certainly appreciate the CD. It is not perfect, not at all slick, and a worthy addition to your fusion collection.