Jeff Beck – Jeff

Axeman of distinction returns with 14th solo album

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With hindsight, all that ’60s brouhaha about who was the fastest guitar-slinger in town now seems pretty silly. Yet it was always clear that Jeff Beck could coax more extraordinary sounds out of his instrument than just about anyone other than Hendrix. Beck’s new album ranges from vintage blues-rock to an orchestrated version of a Bulgarian folk tune. His playing is as tasty as you would expect, and his unique guitar style provides a coherent thread that binds the diverse material together. But the hi-tech beats added to several tracks by producers Apollo 440 are gratuitous and can’t disguise the need for a few songs to give greater focus to his high-class noodling.

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