Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Jeff Beck | Emotion and Commotion

If an artist is lucky enough to have a long career, the musical world that he or she creates over the years can be vast, ever evolving and revealing. Who would have guessed that monster, master guitarist Jeff Beck would name "Over The Rainbow" as one of his favorite songs? But then again, given his penchant for inspired interpretations of a beautifully eclectic assortment of songs, it's absolutely no surprise.

In the liner notes to his new album "Emotion and Commotion", Beck calls the song, that became Judy Garland's signature, one of the most beautiful ever written and says "I finally figured out what it is about Judy Garland's voice that gets straight to you; her vibrato is unsteady. Anyone else with an unsteady vibrato would make you cringe, but not her." No surprise, either that he notices and understands what it is about an instrument and an artist that gets to you.

Beck seems to simply love sound, and voices in particular, and all of the possibilities that present themselves when musicians gather to play. Joss Stone, Imelda May and Olivia Safe all provide guest vocals and Beck includes two Jeff Buckley songs because of being "amazed" by "the beauty of the way he sounded." The orchestration by Peter Murray is stunning and the perfect setting for Beck's guitar.



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