Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 35 No 5. March 29, 1972

Jeff Beck Group - Rough & Ready

Jeff Beck Group - Rough & Ready.

Jeff Beck Group - Rough & Ready album cover

Its hard to give a stuff about records like this. Beck's a very curious guitarist, often either too studied or too haphazard- he doesn't appear to have any idea of when or what to play, I feel. And for a band named after the guitarist, there's little guitar in it; Beck plays rhythm most of the time, and once in a while rips off a couple of soggy riffs, a few effects or double-tracked solos. His solos are pretty much the same as the solos on his last album, 3 years ago, or the one before that - once lie's conquered the first five actual notes, Jeff gets a bit tired, and winds up a few effects to help his imagination out.

However, his guitar has a nice richness it's never had before, and he does have his moments; and for a change, the feel of the group as a whole tends to be soully, Latin ...even if it reminds me of the Shadows playing Latin hits, its bound to remind others of Rare Earth or Santana. The songs, all written by Beck, are pretty good, with some nice rhythms and unusual chord changes. I mean, when there are groups like Family or Yes doing so many well-structured songs, you get pissed off listening to whats obviously the Lead Break, chucked in to spin it out.

Beck's band is pretty good on this album: drummer Cozy Powell used to play with Georgi Fame, and he and bassist Clive Chairman are good and tight; pianist Max Middle-ton is jazz-orientated, and holds the whole thing together. The singer is a West Indian, Bob Tench, with an extremely agile voice- he manages some awkward intervals and changes very nicely, but relies a bit too much on his own favourite little milismas.

Oh well, its a record that has its moments; together, but not convincing; most of the time, I think the group takes the easy way out (the statutory swopping of undistinguished solos, for instance) without being aware of what directions they're moving in. As noted, the singing is good, and Beck plays a couple of really nice chops, but it aint gonna raise any cripples.