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JEFF BECK Performing This Week Eagle EAGCD396 (2008)

Jeff Beck

In 2007 legendary guitarist Jeff Beck played a series of gigs at Ronnie Scotts in London. For those who admire Beck's jazz-fusion of the seventies and eighties, they'll be in their element here.

Starting off with a rousing 'Beck's Bolero' which sounds strangely contemporary Beck is admirably assisted by Jason Rebello (keyboards) and a fine rhythm section of Tal Wikenfeld (bass) and Vinnie Colaiuta (ex-Zappa) on drums.

Beck references Mahavishnu's 'Eternity's Breath' before an excellent version of Billy Cobham's Stratus (the original featured Tommy Bolin).

Beautifully recorded, there's excerpts from all the key albums: 'Cause We've Ended As Lovers", "Scatterbrain" (from Blow By Blow), 'Led Boots', 'Goodbye Pork Pie Hat' (Wired) and 'You Never Know' and 'Space Boogie' from 'There And Back'.

Special mention must be made of 'You Never Know', funky as hell with Rebello countering Beck's frenetic riffing. It's all over much too soon. But for a moment it harks back to the glorious age of guitar/keyboard interplay. Beck's 1985 album wasn't called 'Flash' for nothing.

The more recent 'Blast From The East' gives Satch a run for his money, if ever that was needed, but it does show that Beck remains very relevant.

Guitar nerds will definitely want to check out the DVD version of this when released in December 2008.

Some might say that after a seemingly patchy career following the seminal seventies albums, Beck might be a shadow of his former self. Not at all. These performances are fantastic and may well prompt a not-before-time reinvestigation of this highly influential player.


Review by David Randall

DVD/Blu-ray review

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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