In my personal Mt. Rushmore of guitarists, Jeff Beck would be one of the faces, without a doubt. His 1975 instrumental album, Blow By Blow, is simply godly. Jeff’s tone, phrasing, note choices, fearlessness, and creativity are matchless. Enlisting Sir George Martin to produce was a brilliant move, also. It didn’t hurt that Stevie Wonder contributed a pair of songs for the project, either! This was Beck’s first album to feature his long running fascination with jazz-rock fusion, and the style suited the man perfectly, allowing rampant exploration and interplay with the other musicians. Side 2 of the vinyl album were sequenced so that each song faded out and into the next song, beginning with the absolutely sublime Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers, by Wonder, one of the most expressive and soulful guitar features of all time. The hard rocking Freeway Jam was another highlight, as was the cinematic closer, Diamond Dust. This record was a product of the ’70’s, but remains timeless as a testimony to how many amazing sounds can be coaxed lovingly from an electric guitar by a true visionary.
Written By Braddon S. Williams