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Jeff Beck - Wired CD (album) cover


Jeff Beck


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.87 | 185 ratings

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3 stars Jeff Beck is certainly an accomplished guitarist and is famous for his jazz rock style and incredible dexterity on the guitar making him one of the most popular axe men of all time. On "Wired" Beck works alongside the likes of The Beatles legendary George Martin producing the album to an excellent standard. He is joined by bassist Wilbur Bascomb. Max Middleton is wonderful on clavinet, Rhodes piano, and keyboards. There are multiple drumming prowess by Jan Hammer, Richard Bailey, Ed Greene and Narada Michael Walden. The album features some of Beck's most beloved tracks played live on many occasions.

Beck is a very prolific artist having played in many bands and with some of the legends of rock over the year. He has played alongside the likes of Led Zeppelin guitar hero Jimmy Page in The Yardbirds; in fact Beck appeared in cult movie classic "Blow Up" in the scene where The Yardbirds played live in a sleazy pub and Beck systematically destroyed his axe. Beck also played with members of Vanilla Fudge and Cactus, Tim Bogert, and Carmine Appice, and even with drummer extraordinaire Cozy Powell in The Jeff Beck Group II. Beck has occasionally appeared on various artist's albums as a guest guitarist such as on Stevie Wonder's "Talking Book", Mick Jagger's "The Boss", and Stanley Clarke's "Journey To Love". On his solo albums Beck uses all his experience and skill to produce unforgettable compositions that focus on nimble fingered guitar skills and atmospheric blues meets jazz.

One such song that has become a definitive Beck classic is 'Led Boots' with bass augmented by low Moog synthesizer. Beck is magnificent on guitar and blazes with some searing riffs. 'Come Dancing' is more funky and has a free form blues guitar solo passage. 'Goodbye Pork Pie Hat' is a cover version of jazz virtuoso Charlie Mingus and has slow phrases and incredible string bends, helped by tremelo arm trademark work and soulful guitar licks on the Gibson Les Paul. 'Head For Backstage Pass' with a loud drum and Bascomb's bass solo figure gives Beck a chance to let rip with improv playing and technical fret work. The Fender Rhodes piano played by Max Middleton has a great sound.

Side two begins with 'Blue Wind' that features powerful percussion by Hammer, and is a true fan favourite of Beck's lengthy repertoire. The synth and guitar trade off beautifully competing for the spotlight and it rocks hard with an electrifying atmosphere. 'Sophie' is a melodic piece with rhythmic tempo, tremelo bar guitar notes and sweet clavinet embellishments. 'Play With Me' is a sensational track with Hammer and Beck amusingly enjoying the rhythmic time sigs playing along with each other sporadically. The MiniMoog sound is always a welcome addition to the music. 'Love Is Green' is a melancholy gentle piece that ebbs and flows with acoustic and piano beauty.

Both "Blow By Blow" and "Wired" are essential Beck albums and both deserve recognition among jazz fusion and guitar instrumental artists. Beck's style may be considered close to that of Steve Hackett or Andy Latimer in the fact that he focuses on a melodic style and rather than fret melting speedy arpeggios, Beck aims for the emotions and touches the soul with his excellent guitar work. I would prefer the more progressive Steve Hackett, or the blistering fret shredders Yngwie Malmsteen or Steve Vai, but Beck still has his place among the guitar greats.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 3/5 |


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