Do not make the mistake of thinking that you have enough Jeff Beck albums in your collection and don’t need one more—you NEED one more, this one!
Just when you think real musicianship may be on the outs, get ready, because your mind is about to be blown. This album certainly has fan favorites built into it like “Morning Dew,” “Superstition,” “Little Wing,” “Going Down,” and more, but the absolute piece de resistance is Beck’s version of John McLaughlin Mahavishnu Orchestra’s “You Know You Know.” And I know, that I get over-excited about things, but I tell you true—THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST PIECES OF MUSIC I HAVE EVER HEARD.
You think you are supposed to be listening to electric guitar, but all of a sudden you’re not sure what instrument you are listening to—could be a keyboard, could be Wayne Shorter playing sax, could be notes from outer space!
Beck’s style has been unique for years—using only his fingers and a wammy bar he creates sounds unlike any of us have ever heard before, and he’s only getting better.
Once I was talking with David Gilmour, who’s a friend of Jeff’s. I remember telling him that all my favorite players play notes found on the guitar neck, but only Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Beck have managed to find notes from other worlds. Gilmour said, “Yeah, sometimes when I’m thinking about a solo I think, what would Jeff Beck do– I’m only a normal person.” That’s David Gilmour, the voice and guitar of Pink Floyd describing his incredible talent as just normal compared to Jeff Beck. That should give you a glimpse into what I’m talking about here.
Aside from Beck on this exciting album, we are also treated to the impeccable musicianship form his stellar band. The absolute highlights for me are his bass player, Rhonda Smith and drummer Jonathan Joseph.
Rhonda is a legend in the making. She has the most incredible chops but doesn’t show them off for just show-off sake—she hasn’t lost the plot. She can play the most subtle, sweet notes and follow them with a power like John Entwistle. I have not been so impressed with a bass player like this since the first time I saw Jaco Pastorious.
The drum rolls are smooooooooooth. Jonathan Joseph is blessed with his own style, but the ease of how he plays reminds me a bit of Mitch Mitchell.
The music in general leaves room for nice interpretive vocals by Jimmy Hall and Niclolas Meier rounds everything out with added guitars.
I love music, and when I really hear something that moves me like this, I just want to pass it on.
Check out the video and I hope you agree.
© Paul Rappaport 2015