Armed with his Fender Stratocaster guitar and assorted gear, guitar god Jeff Beck’s performances at London’s famed Ronnie Scott’s jazz venue provides the legendary artiste and his fantastic band with an intimate environ. Perhaps no one projects as much emotion with a guitar as Beck. As these selections are culled from his weeklong residency. Fittingly the DVD commences with the minor-classic 1967 piece "Beck’s Bolero," amid other works originally performed with his 70s foil and keyboardist Jan Hammer and Guitar Shop era band: drummer Terry Bozzio and keyboardist Tony Hymas. Fellow guitar hero Eric Clapton and others join Beck on selected tracks.
Sparks are flying high while attitudes are noticeably positive throughout these performances. Here, Beck employs a superband, abetted by famed session drummer Vinnie Colauita and keyboard wiz Jason Rebello. The guitarist also cheers on young bassist Tal Wilkenfeld during her animated solos. Indeed, Beck transmits an expressive and jubilant staged persona throughout.
The musicians supercharge drummer Billy Cobham’s classics fusion composition "Stratus." Moreover, the camera crew often zooms in on the players, while frequently panning and honing in on Beck’s fretboard during his weeping bottleneck slide licks and sizzling single note lines. The group executes former Jeff Beck Group pianist Max Middleton’s "Led Boots," with a slamming and thumping rhythmic gait while the guitarist bends his strings into submission. Then guest vocalist Joss Stone assumes Rod Stewart’s role during the band’s rendering of "People Get Ready." Otherwise, several works showcase the ensemble’s intense improvisational aspects, where they morph jazz-rock, jazz and blitzing jazz-fusion motifs into the big picture.
Beck’s now famous take on Charles Mingus’ "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat" falls inline with the original version, yet they extend it into walking blues motif, highlighted by the guitarist’s resonating phraseology. Hency, the divergent program continues during Hymas’s "Space Boogie," which is given a jazzy uplift due to Rebello’s high-octane acoustic piano solo. The historical aspects are rekindled by Clapton’s appearance for two blues-rockers, reminding us that it all began when Beck replaced him in the Yardbirds. On "Little Brown Bird," and "You Need Love," the guitarists revisit their roots and at times, seem in awe of each other.
It’s a comprehensive film that is analogous to a fast forward perspective of Beck’s storied legacy. Yet it’s all enacted with a sense of renewed vigor and undeniable glee. Beck and his band-mates seemingly attain a magical component that for many musicians, doesn't always come to fruition. Zealously recommended.... !