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; Trios Interlude (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.

Personnel

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

Album information

Title: Get Me Joe Beck | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Whaling City Sound

Post a comment about this album

Watch

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read The Rise Up
The Rise Up
Mehmet Ali Sanlikol
Read New York Moment
New York Moment
JC Hopkins Biggish Band
Read Pollinator
Pollinator
Matt Ulery
Read Hug!
Hug!
Matt Wilson Quartet
Read Touch & Go
Touch & Go
Susan Tobocman
Read The Ilkley Suite
The Ilkley Suite
Jamil Sheriff
Read Moving Through Worlds
Moving Through Worlds
Fiona Joy Hawkins

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.