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Jeff Beck - Blow By Blow CD (album) cover


Jeff Beck


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.08 | 234 ratings

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The Sleepwalker
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Blow By Blow is a very jazzy album by Jeff Beck, the album is fully instrumental, with Jeff Beck being a great guitarist, it is far from dull. The album is full of jazzy guitar solo's, nice licks, smooth riffs and also, lots of synths. Jazz has always been a music style with musicians who play their instruments with feeling. Jeff Beck is one of those musicians, just as my all-time favorite guitarist, David Gilmour, Jeff Beck isn't a guitarist who shreds all the time or bases his guitar playing around exciting techniques, no, feeling is first.

The album kicks of with the smooth "you know what I mean", a great opener, Jeff plays some great solo's and the song has a smooth, lovely rythm, also the song is full of synths that give the song just that final thing it needs to be as good as it is.

The second song is probably my least favorite from the album, it's "She's A Woman", a cover of the song by The Beatles. The song is full of Talk Box and guitar, the rythm however doesn't attract me, I don't think this is a very good song, but it's just a matter of taste.

"Constipated Duck" is next, an up-tempo jazzy song with a very catchy main riff and lots of smooth licks and slapped bass. Though this song isn't as good as good as most songs on the album, it's a very decent one.

The next song "Air Blower", is one of my favorites. It has a kind of cheesy synth riff, but it's nice, also the song is full of great guitar solo's. The rythm section in this song is great, a catchy bassline, and the smooth drums which really go crazy at several moments, together with the Wah-Wah rythm guitar this gives the song a very complete sound. Near the end the rythm will slow down and the song will become very dreamy, it segues into "Scatterbrain", which can be seen as the second part of "Air Blower", it is a very different song however. The song has a powerful fast riff and some fantastic solo's, in which Jeffs guitar sounds amazing, the sound has a very low tone, but sounds incredible. The song is apart from the solos not very varieted, but that doesn't really matter, it's a great song.

"Cause We've Ended As Lovers", a cover of a Stevie Wonder song is much softer than most on the album, it is very dreamy with slow drums and lots of bends by Jeff Beck. The second half of the song however is much more powerful, Jeff plays the guitar faster and more aggresive and the sound is more filled up. After the climax the song slows down again. Probably the best so far.

Next is "Thelonius", which I just as "She's A Woman" haven't really enjoyed, the bassline is too cheesy for me and the guitar just doesn't do it this time. One of the flaws of this album, definitely one I mostly skip.

"Freeway Jam" however is much better, it's an upbeat song with lots of fantastic guitar playing, the song has a very catchy harmonized riff, once again great bass playing can be heard and lots of Fender Rhodes. One of the best songs on the album, very smooth but still very agressive and pretty bombastic.

The final track is the eight minutes long "Diamond Dust", also one of the absolute highlights of the album, it's very different from what you've heard before. The song starts out with haunting strings and soft guitar and piano playing. After about three minutes Jeff starts the soloing, still the guitar is not very loud, just smooth, it fits in the song very well. The song slowly gets more jazzy, the strings disappear and a Fender Rhodes takes a big role in soloing, now and then some strings make their return, just to give it the haunting, epic feel. The only negative thing I can say about this song is that the ending is pretty sudden, just when the strings return for a dramatic return the song ends pretty quickly, nevertheless it's one of the best song of the album, definitely the most dramatic one.

Blow By Blow is a fantastic album, it is not a true prog album, but just as the genre it is placed in says, it is prog related. If you like progressive rock and jazz, and you are intrigued by guitar playing with feeling above technique, you might want to take a look at this excellent album.

The Sleepwalker | 4/5 |


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