First Appeared at The Music Box, November 2003, Volume 10, #11
Written by Michael Cooney
Jeff Beck forever has been one of the most brilliantly creative guitarists in rock ’n‘ roll. From his stint with The Yardbirds in the ’60s to his time leading the Jeff Beck Group through his successful solo career, Beck has consistently experimented with both sound vibration and playing style, and in the process he has managed almost always to break new musical ground. In short, he has more than once redefined what it means to be a rock guitarist, and some of the most beautiful sounds ever to come from the instrument were created by his fingers. Despite his brilliance, Beck has never enjoyed the media attention or the fame of either Eric Clapton or Jimi Hendrix, but these things never seemed that important to him. Indeed, Jeff Beck is a musician’s musician, and he has spent his career quietly blowing everyone’s mind with his work, most of which has been accomplished quietly in the background.
With Jeff, his new album, Beck once again has pushed the boundaries of the genre while crafting a nearly perfect web of musical beauty. The collection combines Beck’s flowing and vividly expressive playing style with moody synthesizers, effects, and, at times, booming dance-floor-friendly beats. The sounds come together like colors on a canvas and welcome the listener into the almost other-worldly workings of Jeff Beck’s creative mind. His skill with a guitar seems effortlessly lush and gorgeous, and yet he never seeks to grandstand or hog the spotlight. There are no burning guitar solos on the album, and all of Beck’s notes blend perfectly with those of his accompanists to create a deep, rich musical experience. Jeff is some Jeff Beck’s finest recorded work, and it is even more proof that he is simply a magnificent musical genius.
46th Annual Grammy Award Winner:
Best Rock Instrumental Performance
Jeff is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2003 The Music Box