Picks and Pans Review: Flash
The 1983 ARMS tour to benefit multiple sclerosis research was the equivalent of the Yalta Conference for Brit rock guitarists; it boasted the big three, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck playing on the same stage. Night after night Beck blew away his coevals. Beck's first album in five years showcases his brilliant and volatile chops as a blues, power-trio and jazz-fusion stylist. He is joined on Flash by musicians he has often worked with, in all his incarnations, including drummer Carmine Appice and keyboardists Tony Hymas, Duane Hitchings and Jan Hammer. There is even an appearance by Rod Stewart who sang in Beck's original band for a cover of Curtis Mayfield's gospel nugget, People Get Ready. The only dubious note is struck by Jimmy Hall, former singer for the Dixie rock band Wet Willie. Even Beck's foggy vocal delivery on the techno-funk Get Workin' and Night After Night are preferable. The vocal foibles on Flash are forgotten when Beck hits one of his tumultuous solos. He has packed a fireworks display into every song. (Epic)
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