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  1. #1

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    I put this here rather than 'other styles' b/c he DOES claim a jazz influence and there IS some evidence in some of his recorded work.

    I have to admit having mixed feelings. Yes, he was a hero of my youth, but it didn't last like Buzz Feiten or Peter Green---players I still go out of my way to hear, especially Buzzy.

    He is rightfully praised for lyricism and inventiveness, but there's also flash and a pre-meditated quality I don't love. (Not a 'chopsy' flash, but a lot of guitar tricks up & down the neck that's not as musical as it is 'of the guitar'---and kind of obvious) And I never could get next to his time feel. There was a slow blues and it just wasn't in the pocket for me. If you can't lay it in there on a blues you're kind of dead.

    My buddy, the late Bobby Lenti, stayed true to his rock & blues roots, where I strayed. He was a rabid Beck fan. When I was recording Lookin' For Another Pure Love in his home studio we had a disagreement over Beck's solo on the original, my view being the above-stated. Yet no one but Jeff Beck could have played it, and that says a LOT. I came to love that solo, FWIW. (And had copped it as a teen, discovering SW's genius through Talking Book).

    So this attached vid is dredging up those old feelings. He WAS out there early on, in the Yardbirds. LOTTA edge, where other rockers were by-the-book or otherwise limited. And they knew they had something special, giving him more & more space til he went on his own.

    Thoughts? there's probably some happening stuff I never heard. Edumicate me...


  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    i dig him ,
    check out this version of Nadia
    if you haven’t already


  4. #3
    I'm watching him smash a guitar, which to me is a sacrilege. I don't care if it's Hendrix; Pete Townsend or who-all else. Instruments, especially back then, carried the souls of the makers who put so much love & craft into them. This shallow, theatrical stuff is a big part of what put me off rock.

    (Charlie Christian didn't hurt either (; )...

  5. #4

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    I think he can handle a melody much better and more expressively than most rock players. A friend lent me his copy of ‘Blow by Blow’ when I was a teenager and it knocked me out. Always loved this track for example:


  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by pingu
    i dig him ,
    check out this version of Nadia
    if you haven’t already

    Dug it most when the melody started. That's when he takes care of business.

    Started to roll my eyes at the showoffy into, but I'm glad I hung in...

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    I think he can handle a melody much better and more expressively than most rock players. A friend leant me his copy of ‘Blow by Blow’ when I was a teenager and it knocked me out. Always loved this track for example:

    I agree. To me Santana and Beck are maybe the best melody men in rock, and both can be really melodically pure soloists. But Santana does it without the flash---no beef by-product...

  8. #7
    I had all the LPs. I loved Definitely Maybe on (I think) simply Jeff Beck Group...

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    I think he can handle a melody much better and more expressively than most rock players. A friend lent me his copy of ‘Blow by Blow’ when I was a teenager and it knocked me out. Always loved this track for example:

    This is really beautiful!

    Million dollar sound; expression; lyricism.

    I LOVE this side of him...

  10. #9

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    Also check out Diamond Dust, from the same album. A great tune composed by Bernie Holland, who is an excellent guitarist too, I believe.


  11. #10
    I guess people are gonna do what THEY want, not what you want or expect. That's the beauty of it.

    That said, when you strip away the obvious and shallow stuff you have in Jeff Beck a really special voice...

  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    Also check out Diamond Dust, from the same album. A great tune composed by Bernie Holland, who is an excellent guitarist too, I believe.

    That sounded like a real string section. Was it?...

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by joelf
    That sounded like a real string section. Was it?...
    Just checked the LP cover, it says orchestral arrangement by George Martin (he was also the producer), so I expect it was.

    They could afford to do things properly back in the 1970s!

  14. #13
    The doc was very good, despite some annoyingly sycophantic talking head commentators. I came away with more respect for Beck's work than I did going in. He really is unique at his essence...

  15. #14
    This was the track that turned me on as a teen. It's a little overwrought at the top in the overdubbing and heavy vibrato, but pure Beck as it develops...



  16. #15
    I sure wish Bobby were still around, for a host of reasons, one being to apologize for all the snotty and dumb things I said to him about Jeff Beck...

  17. #16

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    Man, IDK. I have never been a huge fan personally, BUT I always assumed maybe I just wasn't "ready" for him yet... because ALL my heroes absolutely WORSHIP the guy. His vibrato bar technique and melodic sense are very unique, and highly skilled. Actually his vibrato bar technique is unparalleled, IMO... I'm sure there are guys that do what he does, but Beck invented that stuff. The Live At Ronnie Scott's was fantastic (and Tal Wilkenfeld!!!)

  18. #17

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    I believe no electric guitarist (including sonic genius Jimi Hendrix) can touch Jeff Beck when it comes to his tonal command of the instrument through fingers alone. The manner in which Beck coaxes sounds out of a guitar without pedals is just unfathomable. Check out the subtle variations he gets from his Les Paul on every phrase from around 3'30" to 4'30" on Diamond Dust (the track Graham posted earlier).

    Yes, his later playing in particular can be overly flash and testosterone-filled. I've always felt that was his compensation for not having a singer out front. As for comparing him to Santana, sorry I grew up listening to them both (my brother was and still is a huge Carlos fan) and Santana's time is square by comparison and his pentatonic noodles have never reached the melodic heights exhibited in the JB tracks listed above.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by PMB
    I believe no electric guitarist (including sonic genius Jimi Hendrix) can touch Jeff Beck when it comes to his tonal command of the instrument through fingers alone. The manner in which Beck coaxes sounds out of a guitar without pedals is just unfathomable. Check out the subtle variations he gets from his Les Paul on every phrase from around 3'30" to 4'30" on Diamond Dust (the track Graham posted earlier).

    Yes, his later playing in particular can be overly flash and testosterone-filled. I've always felt that was his compensation for not having a singer out front. As for comparing him to Santana, sorry I grew up listening to them both (my brother was and still is a huge Carlos fan) and Santana's time is square by comparison and his pentatonic noodles have never reached the melodic heights exhibited in the JB tracks listed above.
    I agree about Santana. Overrated, imo

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruger9
    I agree about Santana. Overrated, imo
    I'm sure he's a lovely chap but if he turns up, Zelig-like in one more jazz or blues documentary spouting psychobabble...

    The early Santana records are cool but it's mostly the rest of the band I prefer. As for his playing these days, I hope this fairly recent 'masterclass' clip isn't indicative, opening as it does with some of stiffest playing I've heard from a master in some years (and that pick attack - ouch!):


  21. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by PMB
    ...As for comparing him to Santana, sorry I grew up listening to them both (my brother was and still is a huge Carlos fan) and Santana's time is square by comparison and his pentatonic noodles have never reached the melodic heights exhibited in the JB tracks listed above.
    Couldn't disagree more. Santana's early solos were classics to be studied. I even copped some of his stuff on Oyo Coma Va. And I never felt Beck's time was his real strong suit---to me HE was the square one.

    But different strokes...

  22. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by PMB
    Yes, his later playing in particular can be overly flash and testosterone-filled...
    He was flashy from jump street. Listen to Jeff's Boogie---the ones the dopey talking heads were mooning over on the doc. Guitar trickery. Compare it to any decent boogie or blues player, Chuck Berry even, for honest, raw feeling. You can't. He had an unfortunate attraction to the trickster side of Les Paul---even stole things outright. But he was young, and deepened with time. I think he knew his melodic gift was the real deal, and I very much credit him for that.

    That trickster aspect is why I put him down for so long, until I recovered and listened louder...
    Last edited by joelf; 07-20-2021 at 10:01 AM.

  23. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by PMB
    I'm sure he's a lovely chap but if he turns up, Zelig-like in one more jazz or blues documentary spouting psychobabble...
    You mean you don't LIKE when he talks about the 'plastic people'? LOL...

  24. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by PMB
    OK, corny as hell for sure (the 'rap'). But when you strip that away he's speaking some real truth and wisdom...

  25. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by ruger9
    ///His vibrato bar technique and melodic sense are very unique, and highly skilled. Actually his vibrato bar technique is unparalleled, IMO...
    I was never a huge fan of vibrato, especially fast vibrato like Beck's. It was more natural in the Chicago blues players, especially Albert King. Fast comes off as nervous to me.

    And it goes across the board: I'd enjoy Sidney Bechet more w/o it; singers like Eartha Kitt drive me bananas, and let's don't even talk about Buffy St. Marie. Toe-curling. With Pops I buy it, it was real and went with his melodicism---a little Creole 'sauce' at the end of a phrase. But Bird; Miles; Clifford; Diz never used it much. Stan Getz did, but I enjoyed him most 'bare naked'---especially in his later years.

    I guess it's cool, as valid a device as any---and easy peasy on guitar (or a horn). Just don't do it nervous...

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by PMB
    I'm sure he's a lovely chap but if he turns up, Zelig-like in one more jazz or blues documentary spouting psychobabble...

    The early Santana records are cool but it's mostly the rest of the band I prefer. As for his playing these days, I hope this fairly recent 'masterclass' clip isn't indicative, opening as it does with some of stiffest playing I've heard from a master in some years (and that pick attack - ouch!):

    Yeah I saw that. Ouch.