Half Notes: Jeff Beck – Emotion and Commotion (2010)

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by S. Victor Aaron

This one’s not dropping until April 13 and I’ve listened to it only a few times, but I think it’s a pretty easy album to peg. This is one Jeff Beck long player where there’s a lot more emotion happening than commotion. The stomping blues-rock fusion of “Hammerhead” excepted, much of the record recalls the slower, soulful cuts from There And Back and Guitar Shop. Sometimes Beck tosses in vocals numbers on his albums, sometimes he doesn’t. This one has four vocal tracks total, two of them by young British soul singer sensation Joss Stone. Her rendition of “I Put A Spell On You” manages to wrest the spotlight from Beck for that one song, and tends to tower over her other vocal, as well as the ones by Imelda May and Olivia Safe. I still prefer to shuffle the track order a bit and play all the instrumentals first, then the vocals, and pretend they are two different albums (or two sides of a vinyl platter, if you prefer that comparison). And yes, bass phenom Tal Wilkenfeld is on here, too (check out her steady groove and surprising, quick visits to the high notes on “Serene”). But this is still Beck’s show. He forgoes the blistering runs in favor of extended, weeping expressions, a side of him that’s just as satisfying as the former one.

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SVictorAaron
S. Victor Aaron
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