Exhaust Note (Mid Valley Records MVR 432/433/434/435)
Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club,
November 29, 2007 – Jeff Beck with guest Eric Clapton
Disc 1: Leo Green Introduction, Beck’s Bolero, Breath Eternal, Stratus, Cause We’ve Ended As lovers, Behind The Veil, You Never Know, Blast From The East (False Start), Nadia, Blast From The East, Led Boots, Angel (Footsteps), Scatterbrain
Disc 2: Goodbye Pork Pie Hat, Brush With The Blues, Space Boogie, Big Block, A Day In The Life, Introduction of Eric Clapton by Jeff Beck, Little Brown Bird (with Eric Clapton), You Need Your Love (with Eric Clapton), Where Were You
November 30, 2007 – Jeff Beck with The Big Town Playboys
Disc 3: Leo Green Introduction, Race With The Devil, Crazy Legs, Train Kept A Rollin’, My Baby Left Me, Matchbox, Baby Blue, Honky Tonk (with Leo Green on Sax)
Jeff Beck – Main Set: Beck’s Bolero, Breath Eternal, Stratus, Cause We’ve Ended As lovers, Behind The Veil, You Never Know, Blast From The East, Led Boots, Angel (Footsteps)
Disc 4: Scatterbrain, Goodbye Pork Pie Hat, Brush With The Blues, Space Boogie, Blanket (with Imogen Heap), Big Block, A Day In The Life, Rollin’ And Tumblin’ (with Imogen Heap), Where Were You
Exhaust Note from Mid Valley documents two consecutive nights’ performances from Jeff Beck’s five night stint at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club that ran from November 27th to
“The idea was to have special guests every night as the shows would be filmed and recorded for a possible future DVD or album. However, as most fans know, Jeff hardly ever releases anything recorded live. I guess he has his reasons but if anybody should be releasing live albums, it should be Jeff.
As it turned out, the guests were Joss Stone, the adorable and ever so talented Imogen Heap and some guitar player named Eric Clapton. Joss Stone cocked up her guest spot on “People Get Ready” on the second show so don’t expect to be seeing that anytime soon. Imogen sang at most shows and, as always, put in a truly memorable performance every time. Other names such as Paul McCartney, Jimmy Page, and Jon Bon Jovi were possible guests, but, other than Clapton, all the A listers were in the audience to watch the show.”
The first two discs of Exhaust Note are from the November 29th show and the taper managed to capture an astounding recording. All the instruments are very clear with only the keyboards slightly lower in the mix. Ronnie Scott’s is a very small venue, only holding 200 guests, and this no doubt contributed to the nice intimate atmosphere. While listening, you get the feel of being right in the room to witness the event. The crowd saves their applause for in between songs so this is never an issue and there appears to be no cuts during songs. What can I say about the band? Not enough! Jeff is his usual playful self not withholding to any boundaries and is joined by Tal Wilkenfeld on bass, Jason Rebello on keyboards, and Vinnie Colaiuta on drums. After a set full of classic Beck tunes that span his career from the very early “Beck’s Bolero” to the more recent “Blast From The East” , “Angel(Footsteps)”, and “Nadia”, Jeff introduces Eric Clapton before the first encore and they proceed to play some blues which features Beck on some amazing slide guitar in Muddy Waters’ “Little Brown Bird”. Clapton lends vocals on this and “You Need Your Love”. The night ends with the somber “Where Were You” from 1989’s Jeff Beck’s Guitar Shop.
The last two discs contain Beck’s performance from the following night and Leo Green’s introduction tells the audience that they will be treated to an extra set of Jeff Beck tonight. The night starts off with a short set from Jeff Beck and The Big Town Playboys doing their 50’s style rockabilly. Beck’s playing is very impressive and features some Elvis as well as a few tracks from their LP, Crazy Legs. Also included is a barely recognizable version of “Train Kept A Rollin” that sounds as if it were added to the set without rehearsal. The main set is similar to the previous night. There are many highlights in these performances and some of my personal favorites are “Stratus”, “Cause We’ve Ended”, “Behind The Veil”, and “Led Boots”. Beck also includes The Beatles “A Day In The Life” which he recorded for the Sir George Martin production In My Life released in 1998. Imogen Heap joins the band tonight for “Blanket” and “Rollin and Tumblin”as she did previously on the 27th. Again, the quality of this recording and performance is equal to that of the previous night making this an amazing set to own.
The song selection is excellent in these shows and Jeff can’t possibly fit in all the greats so some tracks like “Freeway Jam”, “The Pump”, and “Going Down” were not featured in the line up. “Blue Wind” was played on the 27th but isn’t featured in these shows. It’s great to see Beck still making live appearances some 40 years on and still sounding as great as ever. Exhaust Note is an excellent budget priced 4CD set from Mid Valley and is worth every penny. Hopefully the label will continue to offer these quality sets at these very affordable prices.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)