Sunday, April 4, 2010

Jeff Beck: Live at Ronnie Scott's (2007)

Stuart Watts, 2008 (10*) by Alan Branch..
Jeff Beck is an amazing guitarist, the best of the three from the Yardbirds (Clapton and Jimmy Page were the other two). He eventually moved into rock-jazz fusion, which this set from Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in London in 2007 ably demonstrates. Even though there's not a lot of rock here, fans of Beck or rock history will still be surprised at the melodic virtuosity he displays here, now in his mid-60's! There are guest vocals from Eric Clapton, who kills the mood somewhat with some more of his wimpy blues vocals, Joss Stone, who does her best Aretha impression on "People Get Ready", and Imogen Heap, who mixes best of the three with Beck, especially on a rock-hard version of "Rollin and Tumblin", done ironically after Clapton leaves the stage, perhaps as if to show how much more rockin Jeff is than Eric, as this song was a famous Cream cover of Clapton's.

Adding more virtuosity are amazing 22-yr old Aussie bassist Tal Wilkenfeld, whose solo on "Cause We've Ended as Lovers"(perhaps Beck's best composition) dazzles both the crowd and Jeff - by this time she had already played with the Allman Bros, Herbie Hancock, and Chick Corea, after just three years of playing bass, switching over from lead guitar. Former Zappa and Sting alum Vinnie Colauita is perfect and complex on drums, and another Sting alum Jason Rebello is intricate and dazzing on keyboards. This will more resemble a Zappa show musically, being mostly jazz-rock fusion, than Beck's first group, the Yardbirds, but will amaze fans, guitarists, and rock historians alike. Look for Beck's Grammy-winning cover of the Beatles' "A Day in the Life".

This is a "must-see" music concert dvd, shot in an intimate club setting. Look for many rock luminaries in the crowd, including Jimmy Page, Steve Perry, and I believe Ian Anderson.


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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