6 January 2012, gsparaco @ 7:47 pm
Day On The Green 1976 Day 2 (Wardour-092)
Day On The Green 4, Oakland Stadium, Oakland, CA – June 6th, 1976
(66:11): Intro., Oh Yeah?, Country And Eastern Music, Darkness / Earth In Search Of A Sun, You Know What I Mean, Freeway Jam, Sophie, Diamond Dust, Earth (Still Our Only Home), Blue Wind, Full Moon Boogie
Jeff Beck’s collaboration with Jan Hammer was the most serious step he took towards the Mahavishnu Orchestra style rock-jazz-fusion popular in the mid seventies. After releasing Wired in May 1976, his first live performance with Hammer was at the Roundhouse in London on May 23rd.
They traveled to the US for a gig on May 29th in San Diego and followed that with shows in Concord, California, and two “Day On The Green” sets on June 5th and June 6th. Day On The Green Day 2 features the first silver pressed edition of the June 6th set.
The sound quality is excellent. It must have been taped at or very near the stage. It has a wonderful three-dimensional presence, capturing the atmosphere of the set extremely well. The only cut is a short tape flip after “Diamond Dust.”
1976 was a productive and fascinating year for the Day On The Green concert series. The first featured Peter Frampton at his peak, Brian Wilson’s first live gig with The Beach Boys, and two great sets by The Who on October 9th and October 10th. For Day On The Green 4 on June 6th, the bill featured Sammy Hagar, Mahogany Rush, Blue Öyster Cult, Jeff Beck and the headliners The J. Geils Band.
The recording begins with the Jan Hammer group tuning their instruments and Hammer telling the massive crowd: “I hope everybody is ready because we have different kinds of boogie.” The quirky rhythm and Hammer’s shouts of “oh, yeah??” is more than enough to get the audience’s attention.
After “Country And Eastern Music,” Hammer introduces the band and continues, saying that “on this next piece … Jeff Beck will join us.” Someone close to the taper comments “but it’s Jeff Beck’s band” before the plodding “Darkness / Earth In Search Of A Sun.”
“Freeway Jam” rocks hard, one of the highlights of the show. “Sophie” is introduced as a song from the new album that will be out “in three or four months” (even though Wired was released before this show). Steve Kinder on violin plays a beautiful duet with Beck on guitar, pushing into Kansas-style progressive rock.
There is a short delay after “Earth (Still Our Only Home),” and Beck plays a bit of his cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition,” perhaps trying to goad the rest of the band into the song. They don’t follow. “Blue Wind,” referred to as “just a piece of rock and roll,” follows instead.
Their set ends with a fun version of “Full Moon Boogie” where Hammer tears it up on the keyboards.
Day On The Green 1976 Day 2 is a very nice release from Jeff Beck’s mid-seventies foray into fusion with Jan Hammer. It’s a great sounding tape with wonderful atmosphere of an exciting concert. The graphics on front recall the Jeff Beck With The Jan Hammer group live album released in 1977, and is just as potent a reminder of their collaboration as the official release.