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Various Artists: Freeway Jam- To Beck and Back

The best thing about this tribute to everyone's favorite guitar recluse? No one dared touch "Since We've Ended As Lovers." Aside from that, we've got a pretty mixed bag of fuzak-infused takes on JB classics. Steve Morse does his best to tear "Freeway Jam" a new one, Adam Rogers throws in a convincing "Led Boots," Warren Haynes gives us what for on "The Pump" and Greg Howe offers some smooth sailing on "Blue Wind." But John Scolfield turns "Over Under Sideways Down" into an uninteresting mush while Eric Johnson further denigrates his legendary status with "Beck's Bolero." Others, including "El Becko" and "Behind The Veil" (with Chris Freakin' Duarte) are as unremarkable as Waffle House coffee.


Track Listing
1. Freeway Jam
2. Over Under Sideways Down
3. Beck's Bolero
4. Led Boots
5. El Becko
6. Diamond Dust
7. The Pump
8. Behind The Veil
9. Blue Wind
10. Brush With The Blues

Added: June 21st 2007
Reviewer: Jedd Beaudoin
Score:
Related Link: Shrapnel Records
Hits: 775
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Various Artists: Freeway Jam- To Beck and Back
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2007-06-21 08:08:04
My Score:

Shrapnel is really pumping out the all-star tributes to the greats of the fusion era lately (where's that DiMeola offering at guys?) and this latest Freeway Jam is of course in honor of Mr. Jeff Beck, one of the most legendary of all guitarists, rock or fusion. Once again the core group of guitarist Jeff Richman, drummer Simon Phillips, bassist Stu Hamm, and keyboard player Mitchell Forman, sets everything up here, selecting 10 Beck classics on which a myriad of top players to add their touch to. Some of the winners here include Warren Haynes' spot on rendition of "The Pump" (honestly, he gets closest to Beck's tone and attack), "Freeway Jam" featuring the mercurial talents of Steve Morse, the great Mike Stern giving a traditional jazz feel to "Diamond Dust", and Eric Johnson's take on "Beck's Bolero". The latter is noteworthy as the Texas gunslinger really adds his own style into the piece-you know it's Johnson from the get go!

Chris Duarte sounds rather pedestrian on "Behind the Veil", and John Scofield seems uninspired on "Over Under Sideways Down". Some of the other players, like Greg Howe (listen to those chops!), Walter Trout, Adam Rogers, and Richman himself do amirable jobs though covering their tunes, so overall this is much more hit than miss. The amazing Simon Phillips is a joy to listen to througout, as his nimble drum fills add an aura of excitement, especially on "Diamond Dust" and "Blue Wind".

If you dig the music of Jeff Beck, this is an enjoyable way to enjoy some fresh takes on some of his classics.



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