Each of these virtuosi are given license to improvise with 24 eighth note beats in Dorian mode. Freedom within tight constraints is the secret to good improvisations. This is what I have enjoyed most in my work with Paris1919, a band led by Chris Strouth. We are by no means as accomplished as these people (John McLaughlin - guitar; Jan Hammer - keyboards; Jerry Goodman - violin; Rick Laird - bass; Billy Cobham - drums) but they are our heroes. In their day, the Mahavishnu Orchestra was the popularizer of high-octane improvisation in mixed meters and octatonic scales. I have been listening to a number of young bands online testing their wings in this same mix of approaches (now nearly 50 years old!).
I'm fascinated with composing for virtuosi. Making a performance that looks and sounds nearly impossible while at the same time making it completely routine to execute is one of the great challenges for any composer. It is a magic trick well-worth the effort. And once an audience understands the trick it only adds to the enjoyment.
So, enjoy 1971. You know you know.