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All About Jazz Reviews, “Get Me Joe Beck”

Joe Beck: Get Me Joe Beck (2014)

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Published: April 17, 2014

Joe Beck: Get Me Joe BeckIt would be something of an understatement to say that the late Joe Beck was a fine guitarist. In truth, he was one of the most multifaceted players to wield the instrument during his lifetime. Beck was hailed for his funky fusion work, both as an individual and in combination with saxophonist David Sanborn, he was an ace studio musician, working with everybody from Miles Davis to Paul Simon to Gloria Gaynor, and he was a brilliant and daring interpreter of standards. It’s that last aspect of his playing that shines brightly on this posthumously released live date.
If this is truly Beck’s final recording, it’s a great way to cap a recording career. This album was recorded in 2006, two years before lung cancer took his life, and it’s a shame that it took this long for it to reach the marketplace; it’s a beauty, and one that almost never came to be. Anna de Leon, the proprietor of Anna’s Jazz Island in Berkeley, California, had Beck at her club for two nights in September of 2006. Beck asked her to pick out a rhythm section, which is always a risky proposition, but she obliged. Little did anybody know that the combination of Beck, bassist Peter Barshay, and drummer David Rokeach would turn out to be such a winning combination. After the first night, de Leon realized that this music was too good not to preserve, so she arranged to have night two recorded.

It’s really hard to fathom that these three men had no history together prior to those two nights. All parties combine sensitivity and a daredevil attitude to create something special. Hearing the way Beck and Barshay dovetail and overlap on “Stella By Starlight,” for example, is hearing, to quote writer Whitney Balliett, “the sound of surprise.” Other highlights include a not-too-tender “Tenderly,” “You And The Night And The Music,” and a “Manha De Carnaval” for the ages.

Beck and company are respectful of the music, but never excessively reverential. These men are willing to go off on tangents a bit, making these oft-performed pieces that much more interesting. Almost every number starts off with a Beck introduction, alone worth the price of admission. What follows—fluid chordal pathways, unexpected harmonics, ripping single note lines, swinging passages, and quiet scenarios—is the real show. Bits of banter are interspersed throughout the album, giving Beck a chance to share recollections of Antonio Carlos Jobim, praise his musical partners of the moment, discuss drinking, and liken the guitar to a six-piece band.

Anna de Leon’s instincts about these Beck shows were spot-on; it’s a shame that night one never got recorded, but it’s a good thing night two was preserved for posterity. Beck may be gone, but he still has much to offer.
Track Listing: Stella By Starlight; Manha De Carnaval; “The Guitar Is A Six Piece Band” (Spoken); Georgia On My Mind; Alone Together; Trios Interlude (Spoken); Tenderly; On Ballads And Drinking (Spoken); I Can’t Get Started; You And The Night And The Music; Jobim (Spoken); Corcovado; Georgia On My Mind.

Personnel: Joe Beck: guitar; Peter Barshay: bass; David Rokeach: drums.

Record Label: Whaling City Sound

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream

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“Ten Hand Band” #4 most added CMJ World music chart!

This just in from New World ‘n Jazz radio promoters! 1st week out for Balval’s new album “Ten Hand Band” and they were #4 most added on the CMJ World music chart with 5 adds. Here are some quotes from Balval’s previous release, WCS 053 – le ciel tout nu

“World music fans, I implore you to buy this stunning album right now, both for your own sake and to encourage this amazing group to keep their heart-stoppingly great Romani music.- Loli Rokia (soundroots.org)

“This is fun, exuberant, sometimes dreamy, sometimes fiery stuff that bends the categories all over the place. Frank Zappa would be proud.” – Dan McClenaghan (allaboutjazz.com)

“Balval is an astonishingly modern take on the musical language of the gypsies.” – (90.5 FM WICN)

Balval’s album “Ten Hand Band” will be available for purchase everywhere Tuesday, April 29 2014.

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Midwest Record reviews “Get Me Joe Beck”

WHALING CITY SOUND JOE BECK/Get Me: There ain’t no Jeff about it and it’s undeniable that Joe Beck was one of the jazz guitar greats of modern times. Recorded shortly before his 2008 passing and playing like he knew the end was coming, just like late recordings by everyone from John Hurt to Lenny Breau, this is a gift from the great beyond that Beck left listeners. Recorded at a Berkeley jazz club laying out a set card that sounds like cocktail hour music, Beck brings the chestnuts to an open fire to really toast them nicely. This is a gorgeous capper to a career filled with nothing but high notes. 58
Chris Spector
Midwest Record
830 W. IL. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
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May 11, 2014 – Coffee ‘an’…Music

From Mary Ann Rossoni:

I am very excited that the ball is now rolling on my songwriter/artist studio. There has been an ongoing struggle to manage my love of art, design and music. So here is the answer. I have created a one-stop listening shop at Rossoni Gallery. The Songmill will feature both regional and touring artists and focus primarily on their writing process as opposed to their performance skills.

As often as I can, , I will be hosting a songwriter/art series at the Gallery. The first performance and exhibit on Mother’s Day will be myself and invited guest songwriters Mary Day and Kim Petrara. Guest artist and fiddler Betsy Ritz will be exhibiting her work. Of course the theme for the day is “Mothers”.

http://www.rossoni.com| https://myspace.com/marydaybluz

We hope you can attend:

Sunday – May 11 – $10  tickets

4:30 – 6:30 performances by Mary Day, Mary Ann Rossoni and invited guest

7:30 – 9:00 art opening, Betsy Ritz, painter

We will serve coffee, tea, soft drinks and dessert pizzas from Indigo Pizza

You are welcome to BYOB!

Seating is limited to 30 so please reserve your seats early

There is no charge if you only choose to come to the opening at 7 pm

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