Jan Hammer was a catalyst for this explosive album
Jazz Rock, Funk Rock and Jazz Fusion
Recorded in London and California with Beatles producer George Martin behind the glass – the sound on Wired simply sparkles.
It helped that Beck’s band featured session superstars – drummer and percussionist Narada Michael Walden, Blow By Blow companion Max Middleton and his funky keyboards, and bass courtesy of American genius Wilbur Bascomb. But the newest entrant, keyboardist Jan Hammer, elevated everything to another level. Together they made a sound that has intensity like you wouldn’t believe.
Wired opens with Led Boots a track that says we’re gonna jazz-rock, and we’re gonna be as funky as George Clinton. A fantastic drum and bass intro introduces Come Dancing, a stunning instrumental pumped up by tasty Beck licks and brass backing. A cover of Charles Mingus Pork Pie Hat mellows things with shimmering high hats and floating Fender Rhodes as Beck caresses his guitar.
Hammer provided the decidedly poppy Blue Wind which feels at times like the theme to a late seventies cop show, but it’s Walden who dominates the last half of the LP with three perfect soundscapes – the acoustic beauty of Love Is Green (check out Beck’s note bending) – the clavinet-funky Play With Me with amazing keyboard soloing, and finally Sophie – a love song that goes into some serious prog fusion towards its frantic finish.
Jeff Beck has always been the most sensational spanker of a plank and every major guitarist owes him a debt. But he’s never been so soulful as he was on the mighty Wired.