The Supremacy Night (Tarantura TCDJB-8-1, 2)
Budokan, Tokyo, Japan – November 30th, 1978
Disc 1 (47:30): opening, Darkness, Star Cycle, Freeway Jam, Cat Moves, Goodbye Pork Pie Hat, School Days, Journey To Love, Lopsy Lu
Disc 2 (43:45): Diamond Dust, Scatterbrain, Rock ‘n Roll Jelly, Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers, Blue Wind, Superstition, announcement
Jeff Beck ended his short tour of Japan with Stanley Clarke with three shows at the Budokan in Tokyo on November 30th, December 1st and December 2nd. The first night has been circulating on a good audience tape released on Live Superstition (Off Beat XXCD-10), a one disc edit with seven songs from the show, and Lost Beck Tapes Vol. 7 (Sinsemilla) with the complete show on CDR.
But The Supremacy Night captures the first of the three shows utilizing a newly surfaced Mr. Peach recording. Like other tapes from this taper, it is extremely clear, detailed, powerful and represents an extremely dynamic document of the show. There are no cuts in the music so the entire hour and a half performance is presented complete.
The set for this short partnership is a strange mixture of the Jan Hammer Group tour setlist with a couple of Clarke tunes thrown in for good measure. It starts off with the same Hammer written tone poem “Darkness” as a prelude to the brand new “Star Cycle,” also written by Hammer. Beck identifies it as a song that will be on the new album coming out in the following year.
“Freeway Jam” sees Beck almost lost control in the middle and giving the lead to Clarke. “It gives me great pleasure to be back here at the Budokan. Thank you for coming to see us” Beck tells the audience before “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat.” It had been more than five years since he played in Tokyo when he visited with Beck, Bogert & Appice in 1973.
Clarke has his first spotlight during “School Days.” The short bass solo gives opportunity for the audience to clap along and join in the journey before Beck comes in with the melody, stretching the piece over ten minutes long.
He also has an interesting run in “Scatterbrain” before Simon Phillips has his type-writer style drum solo in the middle of the piece. Afterwards, Clarke tells the audience “you know today, I learned how to count in Japanese” and does so before they start to play “Rock And Roll Jelly.”
Beck tells the audience how honored he is to be playing with Clarke and to be playing for them before an amazing version of “Blue Wind” closes the show.
“Superstition,” which opened the set the last time he visited Tokyo, is the only encore. He sings the words through the talk box during the middle of the song. The tape ends with a female announcer giving instructions over the PA.
The Supremacy Night is packaged in a gorgeous gatefold cardboard sleeve with several very rare photographs from the tour. Along with Final Freeway Jazz (Tarantura TCDJB-1-1, 2) with the Mr. Peach recording of the December 2nd show, Tarantura have issued two recordings which should be considered standard for the short Jeff Beck / Stanley Clarke tour of Japan.
Absolutely spot-on review in all ways. The recording’s incredible; the performance is incredible; and the packaging is incredible. Tarantura continues to set the standard by which all others are measured.