JEFF BECK – Live at the Hollywood Bowl
"Live at the Hollywood Bowl" is a grand celebration of the man’s impressive and exciting 50-year long career in music and it is filled to the brim with passionate and awe-inspiring tunes that all sound wonderfully timeless and full of genuine artistic depth. Highlights include the riveting and emotionally charged Yardbirds tune entitled "Over Under Sideways Down", the haunting "I’d Rather Go Blind", the melancholy "Live in the Dark", and the atmospheric and brooding "The Revolution Will be Televised", but singling out or picking favorite tracks would be a futile exercise here as none of the songs that constitute this double album seem out of place or fail to deliver something exhilarating and moving. Pretty much every aspect of Beck’s discography is represented; there are songs lifted from the splendid "Loud Hailer" album (2016), the early years as a member of the aforementioned The Yardbirds, the dazzling jazz-rock fusion records from the 70s, and even a surprising yet utterly memorable cover rendition of "Purple Rain" by the sadly missed Prince, just to list a few examples.
The musicianship is stunning and leaves nothing to be desired. Beck has always surrounded himself with talent and "Live at the Hollywood Bowl" is no different. Renowned artists such as Steven Tyler, Buddy Guy, Billy F. Gibbons, Jimmy Hall, Jan Hammer, and Beth Hart all make an appearance and everyone contributes something unique and special to the songs in question.
The production is flawless in that every nuance and shade of the tunes and the playing are clearly audible and present in the mix while it also retains a gloriously raw, vibrant, and lively vibe. Good thing they let Beck handle the production duties himself; the man clearly knows what he is doing. The digipak version of the superb release looks stunning and there are some interesting liner notes included that are well worth a read.
"Live at the Hollywood Bowl" is full of soul and character, and it strikes the perfect balance between the disciplined and structured on the one hand and the organic and playful on the other. This album not only showcases musical skill and talent; it is also a powerful display of exceptional songwriting and a celebration of the never-ending journey of creativity.