The musician Jeff Beck called his “hero”

Jeff Beck

Legends like Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, and Jimmy Page have established themselves as fixtures on lists of the “all-time greatest guitarists.” These heroes are undoubtedly deserving candidates to be considered as trailblazing and significant members of the electric blues-rock legacy. They only provide a portion of the story, though. And what about the scores of session guitarists who go unnamed? How about virtuoso jazz players?

Jazz virtuosos and session players, often skilled but underappreciated, lack the showmanship needed for widespread recognition. Because they came of age during the height of blues-based rock ‘n’ roll, guitarists like Jeff Beck and Jimi Hendrix are regarded as all-time greats.

During a 2021 interview, Beck talked about some of his favourite guitarists with Louder Sound. Before Hendrix left the US to form The Experience in the middle of the 1960s, he remembered feeling like he and Clapton owned the scene. In a 2021 interview with Louder Sound, Beck recalled, “When I saw Jimi, we knew he was going to be trouble.” “And by ‘we,’ I mean Eric Clapton and me because, at that moment, Jimmy Page was out of the frame.”

He went on, showing signs of jealousy. “I saw him at one of his earliest performances in Britain, and it was quite devastating”. He performed nefarious stunts, lighting his guitar on fire and swooping along his neck, showcasing amazing showmanship. This sealed our coffin. I was the same way about “I’ll kill you” as Hendrix was. However, he did it in such a great package with amazing songs.

Beck continued, “I went to see him quite a few times during a period in London. But I don’t want to say that I knew him well, I don’t think anybody did.” “I gave him a bottleneck when he invited me to the Olympic Studios. Bold As Love is what he plays on Axis. We got together in New York and performed at The Scene, Steve Paul’s club.

Although Beck considered Hendrix to be the best guitarist of his time, he also held respect for a number of other artists’ techniques and styles. Beck hailed Jan Hammer, a Czech-American composer and keyboardist, as a “hero”. Despite the fact that his expertise was closely tied to the fretboard.

Most importantly, because Hammer’s style was similar to lead guitar compositions, Beck could relate to it. Choosing Hammer’s 1975 album The First Seven Days as a personal favourite, Beck described the music as “graphic” in a 2014 interview with the Express.

Beck continued, “Jan became my hero when he was in John McLaughlin’s Mahavishnu Orchestra.” “I became fascinated with how he performed it. He was using a keyboard to play bendy notes that sounded like a guitar.”

Founded in New York City in 1971, the jazz fusion group Mahavishnu Orchestra took shape. Along with McLaughlin, Billy Cobham, Jerry Goodman, and Rick Laird, Hammer co-founded the group with the visionary goal of fusing jazz, psychedelic rock, and Indian classical music. This first incarnation of the band only lasted for three years before McLaughlin reformed it with a new group of musicians.

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