Saturday, June 28, 2008

Rock Revival's Classic Albums: Jeff Beck With The Jan Hammer Group Live 1977

Jeff Beck may be best known as one of the three noted guitarists — the others being Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page — to have recorded with the band The Yardbirds. He was ranked the 14th on Rolling Stone Magazine's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.

He was also, however, a master of jazz fusion, first evident on Blow by Blow (1975), his most successful release, displaying his guitar virtuosity at another level. This album was was produced by none other than George Martin, who became somewhat frustrated with Beck's perfectionism in the many takes he insisted on for his solos.

This was followed up by Wired, the first with keyboardist Jan Hammer, previously of Mahivishnu Orchestra.

The live album, released in 1977 is a masterpiece, while less subtle than the prior two albums, the interplay between Beck's guitar work and the atmospherics of Jan Hammer's synthesiser work is pretty incredible

Freeway Jam, Full Moon Boogie and the astounding Darkness/ Earth in Search of the Sun are highlights, the latter two have a groove than Beck couldnt have achieved without the influence of Jan Hammer.

This recording was made in the same year Frank Zappa so aptly declared that "Jazz is not dead... it just smells funny"; bring on the funk, I say. Get this album !

Image: Epic

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