Jeff Beck – Hawaii 1975 (Wardour-041)

Hawaii 1975 (Wardour-041)

NBC Arena, Honolulu, HI – July 30th, 1975

Disc 1 (67:09):  Intro., 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, You Know What I Mean, Diamond Dust / Jeff’s Jam

With the March 1975 release of Blow By Blow, Jeff Beck scheduled a twenty-six date tour of North America that summer.  This was his first visit in more than a year, since Beck, Bogert & Appice played a few dates early in 1973, and the most extensive tour since the final incarnation of the Jeff Beck Group in 1972.  The final show of the trek, before heading to Japan, was at the NBC Arena in Honolulu, Hawaii. 

Hawaii 1975 was released by Wardour in September 2006 and uses the same excellent stereo audience recording also found on the CDR release In Hawaii 1975 (Masterport 037).  The sound is very similar to the Nagoya tape less than a week after this show.  There is a small cut forty-two seconds into “Got The Feeling” but otherwise it features the complete performance.

The tape begins with a ninety second introduction.  “We’ll take a few seconds to tune up” Beck tells the audience before the first songs “Constipated Duck” and the Beatles cover “She’s A Woman.” 

The only musician in his backing group that played on the album was Max Middleton on keyboards, someone with whom he has a long association.  For the rhythm section he went with two well known funk musicians, Wilbur Bascomb on the bass and Bernard Purdie on drums.  They add a subtle funk presence to the arrangements and are the more interesting rhythm section Beck had played with.  This becomes clear during “Freeway Jam” where Bascomb in particular adds interesting fills below Beck’s melody and when this song segues into “Definitely Maybe” it becomes even more so.  The Jeff Beck Group tune is sped up and its blues roots obscured by the funk of Bascomb’s bass.  Max Middleton plays one of many wonderful jazzy solos during this song.

After the quick pace of “Air Blower” Beck says “It’s about time we slow it down” introducing Middleton who plays a quick, slow electric piano solo (and fighting the whistling in the audience) as a prelude to the Stevie Wonder cover “‘Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers.”  Bascomb plays a short solo as a begining for the unreleased song “Power.”  The short concert ends with an expanded instrumental arrangement of “Got The Feeling” from Rough And Ready.  

The crowd’s cheering is so loud and goes on so long that Beck gives them two encores.  “You Know What I Mean” gets the crowd moving with more syncopation.  There are two more minutes of cheering before he comes back out on stage.  “We didn’t expect this.  We hope you like this piece.  It’s rather quiet.”  The evening ends with “Diamond Dust” segueing into “Jeff’s Jam.”  With the excellent sound quality and scorching performance, Hawaii 1975 ranks among the best documents of Becks’ Blow By Blow tour.    

The Midnight Special 1975

(25:02):  Nothing From Nothing, Them Changes, You Know What I Mean, Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers, Rock And Roll Jelly

Hawaii 1975 comes with a bonus cdr with twenty-five minutes of the May 2nd, 1975 telecast of “The Midnight Special.”  It is listed as coming from the May 2nd show at the Spectrum in Philadelphia.  It was actually taped in the studio with host Billy Preston and was telecast on May 2nd.  Beck plays with a band that consists of Buddy Miles, Max Middleton, Willie Weeks and Ollie Brown. 

Wolfman Jack can be heard at the very beginning announcing that Preston is host with guests LaBelle, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan and Tonto.  The five songs on the disc are all those Beck played on starting with Preston’s “Nothing From Nothing.” 

Buddy Mile’s song “Them Changes” is followed by Jeff Beck’s numbers “You Know What I Mean” and “Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers.”  The final song on the disc is an excellent recording of Beck and Stanley Clarke playing Clarke’s “Rock And Roll Jelly.”  It doesn’t originate from this telecast and I’m not sure where it’s from.  It is however and excellent performance and overall this works nicely as an added incentive. 

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