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Jeff Beck - Wired CD (album) cover


Jeff Beck


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.87 | 185 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Jeff Beck's celebrated 1976 album sounds like the delinquent cousin of the 1975 classic "Blow By Blow", taking the same, sinuous Jazz Funk of the earlier effort and adding a few amplitudes of energy and power. The more relaxed vibe of its predecessor is missed, but the extra kick of adrenalin makes it a fair exchange.

The immediate difference between the two LPs is in the playing. Synthesizers are more prominent, courtesy of ex-Mahavishu Orchestrator Jan Hammer. And veteran drummer Narada Michael Walden (also ex-Mahavishnu) provides his typically nimble groove to half the titles here. The lack of such fluid rhythmic grace would arguably hurt future Beck albums, anchored more by the rock-solid backbeat of Simon Phillips and Terry Bozzio.

But here the guitarist was still at (or very near) the peak of his Fusion period, with a surplus of rock 'n' roll dynamics rising into the mix. Thus the erratic drive of "Led Boots"; the strut and swagger of "Come Dancing"; and a sultry cover of the Charlie Mingus standard "Goodbye, Pork Pie Hat". And of course the Jan Hammer anthem "Blue Wind" remains one of those innate road tunes that any fan over a certain age won't fail to recognize: the perfect accompaniment for high-speed interstate travel, windows down and volume up (Hammer does his own drumming on the track, by the way).

The final three cuts, all composed by Walden, are by comparison rather undistinguished Jazz Rock instrumentals, even with the unexpected (but not unwelcome) shift to acoustic guitar and grand piano for the lyrical closer "Love is Green". But the album in total was another valuable jewel in the crown of an undisputed rock guitar monarch.

Neu!mann | 4/5 |


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