Beck is back with a bang

David Sutton
David Sutton |

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By David Sutton

Jeff Beck might not be a household name, but he has worked with many who are.

Recently he has been touring with Eric Clapton, the guitarist he replaced in The Yardbirds in 1965.

After the Yardbirds, he formed the Jeff Beck Group with Ronnie Wood on bass and Rod Stewart on vocals.

On his latest album, his first in seven years, he is joined by contemporary stars Joss Stone, Imelda May and Olivia Safe.

Beck is difficult to categorise, having worked in heavy rock, blues, jazz and electronica. Emotion and Commotion sees him working with a 64-piece orchestra on some tracks, exploring the possibilities of classical music.

The classical pieces include an early English hymn called Corpus Christi Carol, a stirring rendition of Puccini's Nessun Dorma, and Elegy for Dunkirk from the movie Atonement, where the delicate balance between Beck's guitar and Safe's soprano is quite mesmerising.

Just to remind us that we are listening to one of rock's most influential guitarists, there is the crunching Hammerhead, which is vintage Beck, and the Latin-tinged Never Alone.

The vocal contributions, I Put A Spell On You and There's No Other Me, both sung by Stone, and May's measured performance of Lilac Wine, round off a highly enjoyable album.

YP rating: 4/5

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