A lot of people look back at '70s fusion with the same derision that still dogs disco, but the effects of both continue to be felt. The elements actually being "fused" in fusion are jazz and rock, two genres whose union isn't always tasteful: The emphasis on musicianship frequently results in directionless wankfests, which is not only why many jungle DJs love the pointless polyrhythms of fusion, but also why so many people hate lite-jazz and elevator music, two of fusion's terrible byproducts. Yet at its start, the fusion movement introduced an impressive number of talents, bowling over jazz and rock fans in one fell swoop. Perhaps the most impressive was The Mahavishnu Orchestra. Led by British guitar virtuoso John McLaughlin—who's so good that Miles Davis named a song after him on the electric Tribute To Jack Johnson LP—the group's original incarnation recorded two fast, fuzzy, and furious albums (Inner Mounting Flame and Birds Of Fire) before splintering off into endless side projects. The Lost Trident Sessions, a 1973 stab at a third album that never officially materialized, was rediscovered while remastering the first two albums, which have found new fans among hippies, tech-heads, and heavy-metal fans alike. Listening to this stuff today, it's impressive just how powerful the playing remains. Drummer Billy Cobham is a powerhouse, while keyboardist Jan Hammer (later of Miami Vice theme fame) makes the most out of the incipient synthesizer. Hammer, bassist Rick Laird, and violinist Jerry Goodman actually get to contribute songs to this aborted project, though McLaughlin remains the star. The epic "Dream" and "Trilogy" find the guitarist sounding like a cross between Jimi Hendrix and Robert Fripp, and the pummeling music offers a blueprint for the intricate arrangements and accomplished playing that would eventually find favor in the music of both Metallica and Phish.