As with WHO ELSE, Jeff Beck's previous album, YOU HAD IT COMING finds the venerable axeman coaxing wildly imaginative squalls of noise over a rhythm section constructed from samples and tape loops, mostly with a techno beat (although the concluding "Suspension" is so laid back it's practically a ballad). There's a nod to his blues roots with a nicely fractured version of Muddy Waters' "Rollin' and Tumblin'," but most of the rest of the songs find him performing in a vaguely modal framework.
Beck's dilemma has always been finding musicians capable of keeping up with him, largely because there really aren't any. He hasn't really solved that problem here, but it's nonetheless entertaining to hear him tread water.
"Dirty Mind" won the 2002 Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance.
Blow by Blow typifies Jeff Beck's wonderfully unpredictable career. Released in 1975, Beck's fifth effort as a leader and first instrumental album was a marked departure from its more rock-based predecessors. Only composer/keyboardist Max Middleton returned from Beck's previous lineups. To Beck's credit, Blow by Blow features a tremendous supporting cast. Middleton's tasteful use of the Fender Rhodes, clavinet, and analog synthesizers leaves a soulful imprint. Drummer Richard Bailey is in equal measure supportive and propulsive as he deftly combines elements of jazz and funk with contemporary mixed meters. Much of the album's success is also attributable to the excellent material, which includes Middleton's two originals and two collaborations with Beck, a clever arrangement of Lennon and McCartney's "She's a Woman," and two originals by Stevie Wonder. George Martin's ingenious production and string arrangements rival his greatest work. Beck's versatile soloing and diverse tones are clearly the album's focus, and he proves to be an adept rhythm player.
Crazy Legs is a studio album by Jeff Beck and the Big Town Playboys, released on 29 June 1993. The recording is an album of Gene Vincent songs. The album is considered to be a tribute to Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps, and in particular to Vincent's early guitarist Cliff Gallup, whom Beck recognized as his biggest influence.
Released in 1976, Jeff Beck's Wired contains some of the best jazz-rock fusion of the period. Wired is generally more muscular, albeit less-unique than its predecessor, Blow by Blow. Joining keyboardist Max Middleton, drummer Richard Bailey, and producer George Martin from the Blow by Blow sessions are drummer Narada Michael Walden, bassist Wilbur Bascomb, and keyboardist Jan Hammer. Beck contributed no original material to Wired, instead relying on the considerable talents of his supporting cast. Perhaps this explains why Wired is not as cohesive as Blow by Blow, seemingly more assembled from component parts. Walden's powerful drumming propels much of Wired, particularly Middleton's explosive opener, "Led Boots," where Beck erupts into a stunning solo of volcanic intensity. Walden also contributes four compositions, including the funk-infused "Come Dancing," which adds an unnamed horn section. While Walden's "Sophie" is overly long and marred by Hammer's arena rock clichés, his "Play With Me" is spirited and Hammer's soloing more melodic.