"Beck's sense of dynamics, harmonics and innovative phrasing are astonishing."
Originally released in 1972, Jeff Beck Group was the fourth and final studio album for the legendary group. The band fully exploits the wildly unique instrumentation of Beck, a classical/jazz oriented pianist in Max Middleton, the soul/groove of Clive Chaman on bass, Cozy Powell's steady drumming and the expressive vocals of Bob Tench. This innovative music was way ahead of its time. The album features some of the most inspired lead playing of Beck's career.
Beck's guitar arrangements and performances are quite unlike anything from that era, a master pushing the creative envelope. His command of both right and left-hand techniques is truly awesome. The tracks feature multi-layered electric guitars, electric sitars, Beck's wah-wah touch, inspirational slide playing and two-hand tapping all beautifully performed and mixed. The tones he gets out of his guitar are unlike anything he had ever done.
The mid-tempo guitar driven blues of "Ice Cream Cakes" is the perfect album opener.The irresistible groove of "Goin' Down" has good slide and lead playing. "Glad All Over" is one of his all time best songs with sharp leads and great piano lines. The funky and jazzy "Sugar Cane" flat-out rocks, and "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You" is a soulful Bob Dylan cover. Another cover, Don Nix's classic "Going Down" has nice vocals by Tench and Middleton's gospel-tinged intro is absolutely perfect. "Highways" is a slow blues song driven by Beck's amazing use of power chords and strange and exotic leads. Two instrumentals are featured on Jeff Beck Group, the quite lovely Ashford and Simpson tune, "I Can't Give Back The Love I Feel For You" and "Definitely Maybe," one of his Beck's known songs, features a beautiful slide guitar and an emotional melody line accompanied by gorgeous harmonies.
Jeff Beck Group is a Jeff Beck showcase and one of the finest pieces of blues/rock in the history of the genre. Jeff Beck's truly inspired and creative playing is extraordinarily fluid and plain genius in a class of the top echelon of guitarists.
The record was produced by Steve Cropper of Booker T & The M.G.'s.