In the mid-seventies guitarist Jeff Beck
released Blow by Blow
, two albums that are considered the best and most successful instrumental fusion albums ever. But also before and after these milestones this master guitarist had – and still has – a striking career. We first learned about the now 61-year-old Beck back in the beginning of the sixties, when he replaced Eric Clapton in The Yardbirds. A few years later he started his Jeff Beck Group, featuring a/o Rod Stewart and Ron Wood, and he laid out the fundaments of a style that, later, was to be called heavy metal. The fact that Beck often interrupted his career in the following years has everything to do with his adoration for fast cars. He loves being in the garage under a Corvette just as much as being in the studio or on stage with a guitar. And it’s on stage where he manages to draw the strangest sounds from his instrument and usually he does that with out any sound processing pedals. He once said in an interview: “I love it when people come and listen to my music and can’t seem to figure out which instrument I am playing.” Jeff Beck is definitely one of the big names of the impressive fusion program North Sea Jazz presents this year. Drummer Vinnie Colaiuta is a musician with the same reputation. He can be heard on the albums of Sting, Zappa and Joni Mitchell and he sets an example for many drummers.