Beck, Joe

Band members               Related acts

- Joe Beck - guitar

- Michael Brecker - sax (1977)

- Tom Flynn - vocals (1977)

- Don Grolnick - keyboards

- Steve Kahn - guitar

- Will Lee - bass

- Alan Mansfield - keyboards, guitar (1977)

- Doug Margets - bass (1977)

- Ray Mantilla - percussion

- Chris Parker - drums

- Rudy Romero - percussion (1977)

- David Sanborn - sax

- Jack Waldman - keyboards (1977)



- none known





Genre: jazz

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Beck

Company: Kudo

Catalog: KU-21-51

Year: 1975

Country/State: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: --

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 4640

Price: $10.00

Cost: $66.00


I'll readily admit I bought this album for the bizarre Abdul Nati Larwein cover and the fact it was released of Creed Taylor's Kudu label.  I literally didn't have a clue as to who Joe Beck was (no, I didn't think I was buying a Jeff Beck album).


Best known for his work as Miles Davis' original guitarist and as a sessions player, I believe 1975's "Beck" stands as the artist's solo debut.  Musically this isn't rock, rather features a mix of funky moved and light jazz that now attacks you from every 'lite jazz' radio station. Reportedly recorded in three days, the album's actually pretty entertaining.  Beck's styled may be jazzy, but on tracks such as 'Star Fire' and 'Brothers and Others' he plays with enough rock moves to keep it interesting.  That said, probably the most interesting track is the most-jazz oriented effort; Back's steaming cover of Jalaluddin Mansur Nuriddin's 'Cafe Black Rose'.  This may be what Walter Becker and Donald Fagen always aspired to.  Beck's also backed by an impressive cast including Steve Kahn, Will Lee and David Sanborn which may explain why the album reminds me of the Saturday Night Live theme show.


"Beck" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Star Fire (instrumental)   (Joe Beck) - 4:31

2.) Cactus (instrumental)   (Don Grolnick) - 4:55

3.) Texas Ann (instrumental)   (Joe Beck) - 7:53


(side 2)
1.) Red Eye (instrumental)  (Joe Beck) - 7:10

2.) Cafe Black Rose (instrumental)  (Dinwiddle) - 4:23

3.) Brothers and Others (instrumental)  (Joe Beck) - 6:23






Genre: jazz

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Watch the Time

Company: Polydor

Catalog: PD-1-6092

Year: 1977

Country/State: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: cut top right corner

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 4733

Price: $9.00

Cost: $66.00


While Joe Beck's easily as talented as a myriad of his better known contemporaries, his jazz orientation all but ensured that he would never enjoy the same level of success they have.  Notice I'm pointedly not naming any of those contemporaries ...


Beck himself seemed to take notice of the situation with the release of this Jack Richardson produced 1977 set.  While "Watch the Time" still features quite a bit of Beck's jazz and fusion roots ('Stand Up and Be Somebody' and the instrumental 'Polaris'), but elsewhere the collection is populated with a wide range of more commercial material including out and out funk ('L-O-V-E'), sizzling guitar rock (the instrumental 'Ain't It Good To Be Back Home') and (straight forward AOR pop 'Now's the Time').  In another departure from the past, a lot of the material featured vocals from Tom Flynn (whose voice sounds familiar though I can't place him).


"Watch the Time" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) L-O-V-E   (Joe Beck - Georgie Fame) - 3:46

2.) Stand Up and Be Somebody   (Joe Beck - Georgie Fame) - 5:43

3.) Ain't It Good To Be Back Home (instrumental)   (Joe Beck) - 6:23

4.) Happy Shoes - 4:07


(side 2)
1.) Watch the Time - 3:41

2.) Polaris (instrumental) - 7:35

3.) Now's the Time - 5:39

4.) Dr. Lee - 3:00



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