Jeff Beck Jeff (Epic/Sony) Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
Jeff Beck has never really had the level of fame his talent and influence would suggest. He was good enough to replace Eric Clapton in the Yardbirds back in 65, rocked out Rod Stewart before even Rod knew he was sexy and then dropped two 70s jazz fusion classics, Blow By Blow and Wired. Today, as always, Beck's style remains rooted in blues and jazz, but his latest work, Jeff, takes an unexpected techno turn. It's as if the 59-year-old guitar star went to a rave thinking it was some kind of Yardbirds tribute, got his mind blown and went straight home to work on some new bleepy soundscapes. Shit, the Chemical Brothers haven't sounded this playfully adventurous in years. With some help from rave ringers Apollo 440 and Splattercell, Beck's electronic fantasy becomes a reality that his old peers playing Casino Rama could never have visualized. Jeff Beck joins B.B. King at Molson Amphitheatre Tuesday (August 19).