From the Vault...


Jeff Beck
"Blow By Blow"

© Epic Records

Year of Release: 1975

track listing
  • You Know What I Mean
  • She's A Woman
  • Constipated Duck
  • Air Blower
  • Scatterbrain
  • Cause We Ended
    As Lovers
  • Thelonius
  • Freeway Jam
  • Diamond Dust

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    Jeff Beck
    "Blow By Blow"

    Jeff Beck marks his official debut as our Album Pick of the Week, with his 1975 release, Blow By Blow. Like many guitarists, Beck is considered one of the best. I didn't really "grow up" on Beck's music, as I was already listening to the likes of Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page. Beck would start with the Yardbirds, and pursue a succesful solo career. (Just as Clapton did -- joining the Yardbirds, then leaving for his successful solo decades.) And, let us not forget he was in the band the Faces, with Rod Stewart.

    What's interesting, in reading other reviews on this album, is the variety of music provided here: Jazz, Funky, Rock, Blues. (A basic "everything in music" feel, so obviously, this is right up my alley.)

    Kicking off the album, is the funky jazz track, "You Know What I Mean." A definite great album to start things off, as it has a "Sanford & Son Theme" feel, with its funky bass. "She's A Woman" is the Beatles tune, with a funky/jazz beat. The jazz/funk continues with "Constipated Duck," and the energetic "Air Blower."

    "Scatterbrain" has a mix of the blues in the beginning of the song, then explodes with jazz/funk towards the end. Dedicated to the late Roy Buchanan, "Cause We Ended As Lovers" is a slow easy tune, winding down the pace, from the previous upbeat and exciting tracks. (Roy Buchanan was alive in 1975; he died in 1988 in prison, after being arrested for public intoxication after a domestic dispute. He was found hanged from his own shirt in his jail cell on August 14, 1988, in the Fairfax County, Virginia jail. Although his death was disputed by friends and family, his death was reported as a suicide.)

    "Thelonius" is a reat rock funk track. Dedicated to jazz artist/legend Thelonius Monk? Yes. The next track, "Freeway Jam" was the reason why I bought this CD, as it is one of my favorite Jeff Beck songs of all time. The album closes with a song that is probably the least favorite to listen to, "Diamond Dust." It has a later years sound to that of the band King Crimson.

    All of the songs on "Blow By Blow" are instrumentals, and having the classic sound of fusion jazz. Of course, Beck is known more for his Rock tracks and Rock style. This album basically made heads turn, for those who were familiar with the Rock style of Jeff Beck. Some interesting facts: The album was produced by George Martin, who was known famous for producing/directing albums by The Beatles. Stevie Wonder was uncredited on this album, as he participated "Cause We Ended As Lovers." Also to mention, who was the bass player? The answer: Phil Chen. His bass playing is truly incredible. He was a session musician, who worked with Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart, and later with Doors members Ray Manzarek and Robbie Krieger.

    At the time, Beck wanted to record an instrumental album, as all the tracks are great instrumentals indeed. Incredible jazz fusion is showcased here, as this album should not be overlooked, especially for the common and experienced Jazz fans. Jeff Beck's albums may or may have had a lot of coverage, popularity, or airplay -- But his music, and especially this album, is considered a classic, sa it reached #4 on the Billboard album chart, and went platinum.

    More Jeff Beck albums to come -- and this album is certainly no exception. "Blow By Blow" will definiely make you feel "blown away." It is that great of an album. Rock on Jeff Beck, with fusion jazz. Don't let this one pass you by.

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    Previous Review: #1388
    B.B. King--One Kind Favor
    Next Review: #1390
    P.D.Q. Bach--Oedipus Tex