Music Reviews

Jeff Beck

Live in Tokyo


Eagle Vision

Formats available: DVD & Blu-ray

I’ve seen Jeff Beck a couple of times over the last 15 years but on neither ocassion did he play as well as he does here. He says he likes Tokyo because they listen, well he certainly gave them something to listen to in April, 2014. A spectacular set with a mix of his own worksand those of his contemporaries, McLaughlin’s You Know You Know being particularly fine as is Stratus, the Billy Cobham masterpiece originally featuring the live fast, die young talents of Tommy Bolin. A hard act to follow. Inevitably it’s Beck’s own work that reveals the breadth of his talent, that thatch may seem unfeasible on a man who could claim state pension if he needed it but it hides a steely, even wiry mind that never stops pushing the envelope of guitar rock. Even the heavier of the more recent works seems to work without turning to bludgeon as it often seems to.
This can’t be unrelated to the line-up providing the backing, for whom this is the first release. They consist of Jonathan Joseph on drums, Nicolas Meier on guitar and Rhonda “she’s my anchor” Smith on bass. A clearly talented and well honed band over which Beck has the freedom to unleash his considerable skills. Highlights include the aforementioned titles as well as Where Were You, Little Wing, Angel (Footsteps) and A Day in the Life. The sound is good for Blu-ray, thus it’s compressed by CD standards but very clean, wideband and powerful. The fact that it’s Beck’s finest release in over a decade is another point in its favour.

Jason Kennedy

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