Customer Review

99 of 116 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Live Jeff Beck DVD delivers!, April 2, 2009
This review is from: Jeff Beck: Performing This Week... Live at Ronnie Scott's (DVD)
The Jeff Beck live at Ronnie Scott's DVD is now available and for $10 every guitarist should have one. Jeff is in great form, seeming happy and relaxed and his playing is quite precise. That man really knows how to work a whammy bar.

The whole band is good, but Drummer Vinny Colaiuta (a Zappa and Sting alumni) especially stands out. Tal Wilkenfeld, the female bassist who looks like a 12 year old, is also very good. Her appearances at the Crossroads show attracted a lot of attention due to her youthful appearance and the fact that she looked incredibly surprised and happy to be on stage with Beck.

On this DVD she doesn't seem as confident in her playing and as extroverted as she did in the band's appearance at the Crossroads festival. (I believe this DVD was shot before the Crossroads concert) However, as in the Crossroads videos, there's still those odd, charming moments when Jeff gives her a gesture of approval after she takes a solo and she looks back with a big proud and happy smile. It's a cross between the look of a proud father and daughter and the look of a lecherous college professor giving approval to the ambitious and lusty female student that he's having an affair with.

In this video we don't see much of keyboardist Jason Rebello, but he does a fine job of responding to Jeff's lines and emulating his predecessors in Beck's bands.

The interviews indicate that the band was put together shortly before the shows were shot, with about one month of rehearsal. Everyone knows their parts, but I think this project could have been taken to another level of excellence if the band had worked together for a longer period of time and had the collective experience required to confidently stretch out and improvise a bit more.

Stereo, Dolby surround and DTS surround soundtracks are provided. As usual the DTS soundtrack sounds audibly better than the Dolby. I hate it when concert films use the rear speakers only for audience noise; I want my DVD to sound better than what the audience heard, and audience noise is not my favorite part of the live performance experience. In this case, the use of surround is good, placing the listener in the middle of the band without being too obvious or gimmicky.

Another of my peeves about concert videos is that they rarely let you see the details of what the guitarist is doing. This one stands out for providing a lot of good shots that will help guitarists figure out how Beck gets his unique sounds.

The choice of material comprises a good "greatest hits" for Beck with a nice mix of the fast fusiony material and the slower, soulful material. I would have liked to have heard a bit more of the excellent techno influenced material from his most recent albums, but I'm surely in the minority in that opinion.

There are guest appearances by Joss Stone, Imogen Heap and Clapton. Stone was OK, but doesn't have the maturity and depth to add much to the proceedings, she's just another young Janis/Arethra wannabe as far as I can tell. Imogen is more unique with a quirkier presence that made for a more useful contribution.

Clapton joined the band for two blues numbers, one fast, one slow. Clapton has been in fine form lately, but as a guitarist he's not in the same league as Beck. However, his vocals have never been better and Jeff and Clapton do a nice Yardbirds style raveup on Willie Dixon's "You Need Love." (the inspiration for Led Zep's Whole Lotta Love.

This DVD is the only commercially available video of a whole Jeff Beck show and overall they did it up right. If you like Beck there is no doubt that you should get this DVD.
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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 19 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 5, 2009 2:20:29 PM PDT
Ray Hicks says:
"professor whose been having an affair with a student"? This is how you see his hiring the extremely talented Wikenfeld to simply play the bass chair? Good grief man, get a life.

Posted on Apr 7, 2009 10:04:22 PM PDT
R. Kochan says:
I believe this DVD was shot about 4 months after the Crossroads Festival.

Posted on Apr 9, 2009 10:15:23 AM PDT
Poogy says:
Excellent review--covers the DVD very well and, IMO, very accurately.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2009 5:20:12 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 12, 2009 4:32:50 PM PDT
Ray,Ray. It was just an allusion to the POSITIVE response Jeff was giving Wilkenfield. You have overreacted in your defense of her. Great review by M.Freeman

Posted on Apr 11, 2009 5:26:20 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Apr 12, 2009 4:33:05 PM PDT]

Posted on Apr 25, 2009 3:06:58 PM PDT
T. Charles says:
The fatuous remark about Clapton 'not being in the same league' shows a lack of true insight.
Clapton and Beck are stylistically poles apart, and their approaches couldn't be more different.
Clapton is a blues guitarist, but Beck's influences are primarily rockabilly. You're not comparing
like with like, and declaring someone to be the best is infantile because it's more relevant to admit
that your response is subjective, and is therefore more concerned with who moves
you more. I admire both guitarists, but can see that they are very dissimilar. If comparisons are
instructive, then it's more revealing to compare Clapton with Buddy Guy or Beck with Hendrix,
who was the closest stylistically to Beck. Hendrix was a master of the whammy bar, as is Beck.

Posted on May 31, 2009 9:46:13 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 31, 2009 9:50:58 AM PDT
A couple of corrections to your review. Actually, one comment and and a couple of correction. First off, your a pervert who obviously knows nothing about the interaction between musicians playing live music. If you knew Tal was 22 when this DVD was shot you probably wouldn't be so randy. Secondly, Beck and THIS BAND appeared at the Crossroads 6 months before this video was shot. So you can throw out all that stuff about Tal lacking stage presence and not being confident in her playing. Her solo on Cause we Ended as Lovers trumped anything she did at Crossroads. Obviously the band was real tight and did take it to another level but it apparently it went over your head. Maybe you should have read the DVD booklet instead of fantasizing about what Jeff Beck does with his bass player. I noticed Tal's stage performance at the Crossroads, were she closely watched Beck and followed his stage movements where at Ronnie's she's laid back and relaxed. Quite the opposite of what you report in your review, but we like our writing don't we? I think your comparison was a reaction to performers doing a gig for a large audience where you have to be more theatrical and a small venue like Ronnie's where you simply stay in your spot on the SMALL stage. Again, it appears you reviewed a stage performance DVD and know very little about live performing, just fantasy's about college professors diddling their students... I am a guitar player and I learned a LOT of Beck moves from watching this video. There are some great shots of his hands and closeups of him doing his thing at all the right moments. You can practically learn some of these songs and quite easily see a lot of the technique he is using from this video. They did a great job.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 18, 2009 1:56:35 AM PDT
Bob Deputy says:
Love this post. Bravo and bravo to the pure genius of the one of a kind Tal Wilkenfeld. Smith is accurate and precise.

Posted on Feb 3, 2010 1:58:41 PM PST
I found the statement about Tal quite lecherous. Sounds like you think you know how Jeff Beck thinks? ARE you Jeff Beck? Didn't think so. Keep your juvenile thoughts to yourself, please and just comment on the video. I don't know FOR SURE, but I would IMAGINE Jeff and Tal wouldn't like like to hear this too much. Or maybe they would. Who knows? You don't though and that's the point.

Posted on Jul 17, 2010 7:44:58 PM PDT
E. Houck says:
First, the Crossroads concert footage was shot summer of 07, months before the performance at Ronnie Scott's in the Fall of 07. Second, referring to Beck as a lecherous grandfather...... just so uncalled for. LISTEN to Tal play on this instead of projecting what she LOOKs like based on
what you think she was feeling based on your incorrect assumption about her confidence level based on incorrect information about what she was playing and when and you'll find she's in fine form on both of the recordings you mention. If she weren't an extraordinary musician she wouldn't be on stage with Beck regardless of her age, sex, or level of attractiveness. Her performance bares this out.

Thrashing Joss Stone, who I'm reasonably sure has more talent in her thumbnail than you and I combined was also uncalled for as was referring to Aretha as "Arethra". Look on Youtube and you'll see Beck apparently has a greater appreciation for Stone and her abilities than you, having shared the stage with her many times over the last few years. Apparently, according to you, since Joplin has passed and Aretha wasn't available, Joss Stone got the nod. Wow, this level of disrespect for people who make it look so easy that we think we can do what they do or at the very least pass judgement on their performances.......... Repent brother, repent.
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