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MacKenzie Theory - Bon Voyage CD (album) cover


MacKenzie Theory

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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4 stars Appropriately titled, "Bon Boyage" was the farewell album of MACKENZIE THEORY, marking the end of a fantastic but relatively obscure musical venture from Rob Mackenzie and Cleis Pearce. Recorded live in 1974, "Bon Voyage" also features a new rhythm section of Paul Wheeler and Greg Sheehan, with the addition of pianist Peter Jones.

The album opens with the superb 'Clouds,' building on Mackenzie's ethereal and dreamy chord sequences overladen by Cleis Pearce's signature viola-work. After a great solo from Mackenzie, things change pace with the band opting for more of a straight-ahead funk/rock approach. Jones adds some subtle but nice electric piano throughout that perhaps could have been used in "Out of the Blue."

The next two tracks, as implied by their names, are essentially improvisations in A and C. Though they're solid pieces, they don't hold the listener's attention quite like 'Clouds' or 'Supreme Love' (The C Thing in particular tends to drag).

The final track of the album, as Mackenzie notes at the beginning "needs no introduction." An interpretation of John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme," it successfully showcases Mackenzie's phenomenal guitar work.

Though I prefer their debut "Out Of The Blue" to this, this is still a great effort and comes highly recommended if you liked "Out of the Blue" or fusion in the vein of MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA. Pearce really shines and sounds like none of her contemporaries of the time, such as Jerry Goodman or Michael Urbaniak. Rob Mackenzie's style is also astoundingly unique to say the least, and I always find myself wishing he had done more of the same kind of thing after MACKENZIE THEORY. Blistering at times and beautiful/spacey at others. Great improvisation too.

This is actually my first review on progarchives, so I wanted to pick an artists that was special to me.

4.3 of 5.

Report this review (#153067)
Posted Wednesday, November 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars A live recording of Mackenzie Theory's final concert before Rob Mackenzie left the country (on an arts fellowship). It's still in much the same vein as the earlier album - compositions based on fairly simple chord patterns, over which Mackenzie and Cleis Pearce jockey for position as frontliners. The main change is the addition of Peter Jones on electric piano - his presence frees up Mackenzie from needing to double in the accompanying role all the time, as well as providing an additional solo option at times (and his playing is generally more musical, if less energetic, than the established frontliners). The band has a new rhythm section as well - Paul Wheeler (ex Aztecs, no doubt relieved to be playing something more interesting than a thumped out version of Ooh Pah Doo Pah), and drummer Greg Sheehan. They make their presence felt in the grooving "C Thing" (featuring a solo from Sheehan) and "Supreme Love".
Report this review (#768217)
Posted Saturday, June 9, 2012 | Review Permalink

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