Rock guitar virtuoso Jeff Beck dazzles the crowd at celebrated London jazz club Ronnie Scott's with an extended set that includes hits such as "Beck's Bolero" and "'Cause We've Ended as Lovers." The former Yardbird proves he's still got the chops on other tunes including "Blast from the East," "Eternity's Breath," "People Get Ready" (with vocalist Joss Stone), "You Need Love" (with fellow Yardbird Eric Clapton) and more.
To those wondering whether to add this CD to their collection I recommend that you bear in mind Duke Ellington's words - "There are only two kinds of music: good music and bad music", because this CD belongs unquestionably to the first category. All instrumental, it contains a variety of styles - including ballad, reggae, funk, and rock - read the other reviews for the details. And finally, please don't ever pretend to have any inkling of what Jeff Beck is about, or what he is capable of, without being familiar with this particular album.
As with WHO ELSE, Jeff Beck's previous album, YOU HAD IT COMING finds the venerable axeman coaxing wildly imaginative squalls of noise over a rhythm section constructed from samples and tape loops, mostly with a techno beat (although the concluding "Suspension" is so laid back it's practically a ballad). There's a nod to his blues roots with a nicely fractured version of Muddy Waters' "Rollin' and Tumblin'," but most of the rest of the songs find him performing in a vaguely modal framework.
Beck's dilemma has always been finding musicians capable of keeping up with him, largely because there really aren't any. He hasn't really solved that problem here, but it's nonetheless entertaining to hear him tread water.
"Dirty Mind" won the 2002 Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance.
Any guitar player, any fusion fan, any lover of deep deep grooves, funk and kick ass, SINGABLE melodies, and insanely beautiful guitar playing needs this record.
If you're about to hear it for the first time, I envy you.
Nigel Kennedy might be known for Vivaldi’s Four Seasons but the violinist has his rock side and is no stranger to either Jimi Hendrix or The Doors. Earlier in the evening, Kennedy had performed Elgar’s Violin Concerto but for the later part of the show, for a moment there, one would have thought it was Pat Metheny and his Synclavier, for that was how Kennedy came across. Unlike the earlier classical portion, here Kennedy weaved between jazz, folk and rock. The highlight and surprise for the audience was when Kennedy brought Jeff Beck on stage. Allaboutjazz.com reported: “Nigel was particularly keen for me to do the Hills of Saturn solo,” said Beck, who played the track on his Fender Stratocaster electric guitar. John Fordham wrote in The Guardian: “As an improviser, Kennedy has an originality of spontaneous line and rhythmic attack that most classical players lack in this context, and several of the pieces worked up a fierce, guitar-mimicking, Hendrix-like momentum… A romantic ballad dedicated to 1960s folkie Donovan was sublime, and so was the darkly elegiac Hills of Saturn - the latter richly harmonised with Tomasz Grzegorski’s tenor sax and Adam Kowalewski’s bass. Surprise guest Jeff Beck conjured an astonishing panpipe-like sound from his guitar.”