Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Various Artists: Freeway Jam: To Beck and Back

It’s difficult to pinpoint what made the first three fusion tributes by California label Tone Center work so well, and the last three meander. But A Guitar Supreme (to John Coltrane), Fusion for Miles (Miles Davis) and Visions of an Inner Mounting Apocalypse (Mahavishnu Orchestra) dwarf the subsequent The Royal Dan (Steely Dan), Viva Carlos! (Santana) and the new Freeway Jam: To Beck and Back (Jeff Beck).

It isn’t just because the first three tributes were to jazz-rock fusion icons, and the last three to rock-oriented artists. If anyone straddles the fence between jazz and rock, it’s Beck. Steve Morse solos on the opening title track, with support from rhythm guitarist Jeff Richman, keyboardist Mitchel Forman, bassist Stu Hamm and drummer Vinnie Colaiuta (the percussionist of choice for the vast majority of these tributes). Richman is the arranger for all of the label’s tribute material, and himself a guitarist as deserving of wider recognition as many-Jimmy Herring, Adam Rogers, David Fiuczynski-he’s employed.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published