Jeff Beck – Cape Cod Jam (Wardour 061)

Cape Cod Jam (Wardour 061)

Cape Cod Coliseum, Hyannis, MA – August 27th, 1976

(76:07)  Intro., Oh Yeah?, Sister Andrea, Country And Eastern Music, Darkness – Earth In Search Of a Sun, Earth (Still Our Only Home), Freeway Jam, Scatterbrain, Diamond Dust, Full Moon Boogie, You Know What I Mean, Blue Wind incl. Train Kept A Rollin’

Jeff Beck’s fruitful collaboration with Jan Hammer produced some of his more interesting performances in the middle of the seventies.  The integration of Beck’s guitar and Hammer’s keyboards bore interesting results both on the studio effort Wired and Jeff Beck with the Jan Hammer Group Live album from the resulting tour.  The August 27th show in Cape Cod comes from the middle of their intermittent touring throughout the year on a very hot and sticky night.  Hammer especially can be heard complaining about the heat throughout the show.  

Cape Cod Jam debuts a new, very good to excellent mono audience recording of most of the show.  The final song of the night “Led Boots” is missing from the tape.  There are non-destructive cuts between some of the tracks but no music is missing.  It is a bit lacking in dynamics and the tape becomes a bit unstable in the opening and closing of “Scatterbrain” and during parts of “Diamond Dust.” 

There is a two and a half minute intro on the tape when the Jan Hammer Group sets up.  They begin the show with an energetic “Oh Yeah?” which is followed by “Sister Andrea” which Hammer calls “some good old unadulterated piano rock and roll.” His opening set ends with “some country and eastern music.”

Jeff Beck comes on stage for “Darkness – Earth In Search Of A Sun” and proceeds to dominate the rest of the show.  It becomes easy, while hearing these tapes, to understand the clash in egos between the two artists.  It is apparent the audience are there to hear Beck play.  However the weight of the show rests upon all of the talent musicians on stage.  Hammer is key, but also the violin of Steve Kindler carries much weight in the arrangements which add contrast to the electric voices of the others. 

“Darkness – Earth In Search Of A Sun” segues nicely into “Earth (Still Our Only Home).”  “Freeway Jam” is one of the more melodic pieces played in the set and sounds very pretty.  “Scatterbrain” contains the most jamming of the night.  “Diamond Dust” carries a gorgeous guitar / violin duet in the middle in the most sublime moments of the evening.  “Full Moon Boogie” sounds more disco than blues, which was the popular music style at the time.   It does speed up in the middle with Beck, Kindler, and Hammer each trading and duelling riffs in a pure adrenaline rush to the end.  It’s the virtuoso performance of the night. 

“You Know What I Mean” from Blow By Blow is a great piece of funk augmented by Hammer’s electronic contributions and Kindler’s violin.  The final song on the tape is the great “Blue Wind,” perhaps the catchiest of the Jan Hammer and Jeff Beck collaborations.  There is an interlude in the middle where the band get into a few bars of “Train Kept A-Rollin'” in acknowledgement of the Yardbirds.  Overall Cape Cod Jam, despite the minor defects in the tape, is a great release of a nice sounding tape and excellent show from the Wired era. 

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