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Jeff Beck - Live At BB King Blues Club CD (album) cover


Jeff Beck


Jazz Rock/Fusion

2.61 | 12 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars This raw concert tape caught guitar legend Jeff Beck in the turbulent wake of his electronica-laced millennial album trilogy, the last of which ("Jeff", 2003) was released only one month earlier. But the impulse here was a back-to-the-future reunion of his late '80s Guitar Shop trio, featuring drummer Terry Bozzio and keyboardist Tony Hymas. So you can expect a heavier barrage of elemental hard rock, with more testosterone than techno influences.

The lack of any studio embellishment (beyond the cheat of pre-recorded vocal samples, in "Seasons" and "My Thing") gives the music its stripped-down power, like a rattletrap hot rod where all the work was done under the hood. And the absence of a bass player acts like a busted muffler, making the album sound like an unrefined official bootleg ripped straight off the soundboard, without any post-gig enhancements.

The mix is pretty crude, and wasn't touched up for the belated stateside re-master (the disc was originally released only in Japan). Beck's over-amped electric guitar, distorted even on the softer ballads, was understandably pushed to center stage, but without the necessary counterbalance of any other instrument. Bozzio provides solid rhythmic support, but he's only there to keep time, and Hymas barely registers at all outside a few token solo spots.

It might be a worthwhile investment for aspiring air-guitarists and other six-string nerds. But the CD doesn't fully capture the true energy of the actual event, which in such a small venue must have been overwhelming.

Neu!mann | 2/5 |


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