Various Artists - Jeffology - A Guitar Chronicle
Just out on the eclectic Cleopatra label is this diverse and inspirational tribute to guitar legend Jeff Beck. Appropriately enough, the players come from a wide cross-section of musical genres: pop, metal, reggae, blues, and funk; and the chosen selections are culled from a broad perspective of Beck’s long career. From as far back as The Yardbirds and Jeff Beck Group, through his inventive jazz fusion years, and on in to his current groundbreaking work.
There are several highlights that jump out here, but among my favorites are Def Leppard’s Phil Collen playing a tight and heartfelt rendition of the emotive instrumental “Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers”. Collen’s band mate Vivian Campbell also dips in to the ‘Blow By Blow/Wired’ era catalog, with extended frenetic soloing on the stomp and romp of “Led Boots”.
The later-day Yardbirds single “Happenings Ten Years Time Ago”, performed by Mötley Crüe’s Mick Mars, is perhaps the heaviest track on this collection, with it’s feedbacky and sustained psychedelic guitar fuzz. Another exceptional Yardbirds cover is “Shapes Of Things” as interpreted by funky Native American guitarist Stevie Salas, featuring chunky wah-wah improvisation as a driving force to contend with.
Since Jeff Beck is such an innovative and unique artist, it is only fitting that this tribute runs the gamut as well. There’s a lot to learn in this lesson of “Jeffology”!