Purchased at BMV in Toronto, $4.99
Jeff Beck’s first solo album, Blow By Blow, was co-produced by George Martin. The talents of both need no elaboration. A guitar god and “the” producer’s producer were bound to make something special together. With an ace quartet (Max Middleton on keyboards, Phil Chen on bass and drummer Richard Bailey), there were no weak links.
Blow By Blow spans many musical genres, all augmented with Jeff’s sharp and slippery fingerwork. Funk, jazz, blues, Carribean and progressive rock all collide in the grooves. The songs are instrumental hybrids of styles, but Jeff keeps it consistent. His guitar speaks. There really isn’t a better way to describe what he does with tone, technique and technology. There is even an uncredited Stevie Wonder cameo on “Thelonius”. If you can’t get enough funky clavinet, you’ll love Blow By Blow.
This albums is tops in almost every conceivable measure. The drum rhythms and bass grooves are hard hitting and relentless. Musicianship like this is rare and valuable. Without Jeff Beck there could be no Steve Vai — this, I firmly believe.
Play Blow By Blow, and then play it again. Thanks to George Martin’s fine musical sensibilities, it reveals new nuances each time. A complete triumph.
This has been a 200 word review in the tradition of the #200wordchallenge.