Jerry Goodman & Jan Hammer
Like everyone else I know, I was knocked out when the Mahavishnu Orchestra surfaced four years ago. Since the (original) Orchestra broke up amidst tales of personal conflict and infighting among the band, thus far, none of the members have been able to catch up with their reputations. McLaughlin seems to have overextended himself , Billy Cobham can't figure out how to be a superstar on drums and bassist Rick Laird hasn't resurfaced.
Now, with Like Children, keyboardist Jan Hammer and violinist Jerry Goodman have managed to recapture the excitement. They try to hit all of the bases on this album, moving from electronic psychedelia in "No Fear" to a pastoral mood on "Remember Me". Hammer and Goodman take turns dominating the compositions, working to share the airtime after the competition in the Orchestra. "Topeka", on side one, along with the more extended tunes on side two, are close to the sound of their old band. Goodman's stringed instruments (violin, viola, guitar, mandolin) and Hammer's keyboards (synthesizer, piano) and drums fill in the gaps left by McLaughlin and Cobham, continuing their musical duels they fought in the parent band. The pair come off with one of the major tour de forces in 1975, handling all of the instruments, even throwing in a few vocals. D.L.W.