Definition Of Blow (Wardour-38)
Aichi-Taiikukan, Nagoya, Japan – August 5th, 1975
(68:25): Introduction, Constipated Duck, She’s A Woman, Freeway Jam, Definitely Maybe, Superstition, Air Blower, keyboard solo, Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers, Power, Got The Feeling, Thelonius, You Know What I Mean
Yuya Uchida, who was best know for performing as a supporting act for the Beatles in 1966, organized the first “World Rock Festival” in Japan in 1975. Performers invited from overseas included Felix Pappalardi, New York Dolls, and making his first appearance in Japan as a solo artist Jeff Beck. He played three days at the festival, on August 3rd in Sapporo, August 5th in Nagoya and August 7th in Tokyo. All three sets were taped and have been released before by various labels.
Definition Of Blow introduces a new recording of the August 5th show in Nagoya. It is an excellent, three-dimensional stereo audience recording with fantastic separation of the instruments, depth to the sound and presence of the performance. It is so good it’s hard to believe it was taped in 1975. It misses Uchida introduction, has a cut after “Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers,” a small cut after “Got The Feeling,” and misses the “Superstition” reprise at the end of the show.
Blow By Blow was released in March 1975 and is a seminal release both for Beck and for fusion. Although he was not the originator of the sub-genre or its most creative artist, he did give it commercial appeal evidenced by the album going gold in 1976 and being praised as “the guitar album for the guitarist.” Beck’s set relies heavily on numbers from the album in a confident display of virtuosity.
There is an emphasis upon the faster numbers in the first half beginning with “Constipated Duck” (the only wholly original composition), the clever Beatles cover “She’s A Woman” and “Freeway Jam” preserving its jazz roots. The largest applause is reserved for the Stevie Wonder cover “Superstition” in which Beck plays through the voice box to startling effect.
“Air Blower” is another heavy excursion where Beck makes his guitar sing in the middle improvisation. Max Middleton plays a short keyboard solo before the slower paced “Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers.” Bassist Wilber Bascomb starts off “Power” with the heavy funk beat, leading the band into a number that adroitly mixes funk with seventies metal.
The improvisational centerpiece of the set and the final number is a ten minute instrumental version of “Got The Feeling” from the Jeff Beck Group’s Rough & Readyalbum. Beck plays both light and shade and even gets into a duel with drummer Bernard Purdie by the song’s end. The encores include a quick “Thelonius,” the first song on Blow By Blow “You Know What I Mean” and a quick reprise of “Superstition” (this time with normal vocals). Both the astonishing sound quality and the performance make this highly recommended.
Nagoya 1975 Another Tape (Wardour-038 Bonus)
(74:43): Introduction, Constipated Duck, She’s A Woman, Freeway Jam, Definitely Maybe, Superstition, AIR Blower, keyboard solo, Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers, Power, Got The Feeling, Thelonius, You Know What I Mean, Superstition
Wardour include as a bonus CDR Nagoya 1975 Another Tape. This is a very good and clear mono audience recording of the entire show with a second, fair sounding tape used for the “Superstition” reprise in the encores. It was pressed earlier incomplete on World Rock Festival 1975 (JB-001) and complete on Scatterbrain (Improvisation IL-366816), Nagoya World Rock Festival 75 (2000GFRR 012) and on disc one of the two disc set World Rock Festival (Masterport 040) paired with the August 7th Tokyo set. It was nice of the label to include this freebie so the entire show would be made available. Some collectors would argue they should have simply edited the missing sections on the new tape from the old, but this works as well. The artwork for both includes many photos of the actual event and is overall a great effort.