5

Joe Beck Trio: Get Me Joe Beck

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Joe Beck Trio: Get Me Joe Beck The jazz world, it seems, has always been awash in talented guitarists, from Reinhardt and Christian through Montgomery, Pass, Farlow, Hall and their like to the present day. This is both a blessing and a curse, as only a handful of such splendid musicians are able to rise above the throng and become household names or even widely known. Joe Beck, who was one week shy of his sixty-third birthday when he died in July 2008, was one of those "fringe" players, an astute and versatile artist who was familiar to and respected by his fellow musicians but produced no more than a slight blip on the listening public's collective radar screen.

Beck, witty and self-effacing, always took such things in stride. Get Me Joe Beck, recorded live at Anna's Jazz Island in Berkeley, CA, in November 2006, was the guitarist's last album, and expresses in its title his philosophy about the transient nature of fame and fortune: First, he writes, it was "Who's Joe Beck?," followed by "Get me Joe Beck!," then "Get me someone who sounds like Joe Beck!," and finally "Who's Joe Beck?" Those to whom questions one and four apply will be pleasantly surprised not only to learn who Joe Beck is (that is to say, was) but thoroughly charmed by his remarkable ability to take a guitar and make it sing like the sweetest birds they've ever heard.

While it's true that Beck's trio (Peter Barshay, bass; David Rokeach, drums) takes no undue risks on this even-tempered concert date, the music they play and their earnest approach to it leaves no room for censure. Everyone is on his toes in a program that is comprised of seven standards, Luiz Bonfa's "Manha de Carnaval" and Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Corcovado," lightly sprinkled with wry commentary by Beck. The scrupulous choice of music affirms, in fact, that if nothing else, Beck had excellent musical taste, as the trio opens with Victor Young's unforgettable "Stella by Starlight" before moving on to a number of other classics: "Alone Together," "Tenderly," "I Can't Get Started," "You and the Night and the Music" and two versions of "Georgia on My Mind" (the second trimmed for radio play).

Beck says in spoken commentary between numbers that his rhythm section is "stupid good" (meaning they don't come much better), and he's right about that, as he is about how to precisely align notes, chords and phrases for greatest impact. The translucent recorded sound is another bonus. A trio session that is well worth hearing—more than once.


Track Listing: Stella by Starlight; Manha de Carnaval; The Guitar Is a Six-Piece Band (spoken); Georgia on My Mind; Alone Together; Trio Intros (spoken); Tenderly; On Ballads and Drinking (spoken); I Can’t Get Started; You and the Night and the Music; Jobim (spoken); Corcovado; Georgia on My Mind (radio edit).

Personnel: Joe Beck: guitar; Peter Barshay: bass; David Rokeach: drums.

Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Whaling City Sound


Related Video

Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Pat Metheny Pat Metheny
guitar
McCoy Tyner McCoy Tyner
piano
Jim Hall Jim Hall
guitar
Tal Farlow Tal Farlow
guitar
Gary Burton Gary Burton
vibraphone
Charlie Byrd Charlie Byrd
guitar
Emily Remler Emily Remler
guitar
Gabor Szabo Gabor Szabo
guitar

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "The Long Slog" CD/LP/Track Review The Long Slog
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 11, 2017
Read "Live At The Open Gate" CD/LP/Track Review Live At The Open Gate
by John Sharpe
Published: August 29, 2016
Read "Unstatic" CD/LP/Track Review Unstatic
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 11, 2016
Read "A Multitude of Angels" CD/LP/Track Review A Multitude of Angels
by Geno Thackara
Published: December 2, 2016
Read "Sarabande" CD/LP/Track Review Sarabande
by Budd Kopman
Published: March 3, 2016
Read "In Concert" CD/LP/Track Review In Concert
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 6, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!