Steven Mackey, Banana/Dump Truck

Brian Wise

By Brian Wise

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
A tribute to the early ‘70s fusion band Oregon.

Let's face it, '70's jazz-rock fusion has traditionally enjoyed little esteem by jazz purists (see Wynton Marsalis 'remarks on the subject). But not so with Steven Mackey, a rock guitarist from northern California who has taught composition at Princeton University since 1985. Mackey has written numerous pieces that bring the electric guitar to the classical arena, including “Fusion Tune,” a duet for his electric guitar with cellist Fred Sherry. The piece is a tribute to the early ’70s fusion band Oregon but its influences also suggest the note-bending style of early John McLaughlin and the distortion experiments of Jimi Hendrix's "Electric Ladyland.”