Although she’s no longer in Jeff Beck’s band, following Tal Wilkenfeld these last few years reminded us bassists of what a highly original musical force the guitar giant is, capable of captivating capacity crowds like no rock instrumentalist before or since. Accordingly, Beck’s latest is split between guitar-andorchestra rubato readings of stately themes— such as “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “Nessun Dorma”—and atmospheric groove cuts. Wilkenfeld powers four of the latter with present, prescient parts. This includes the riff-roaring “Hammerhead,” the half-time shuffle, “Never Alone,” the Joss Stone-sung “There’s No Other Me” (dig the funky interplay between Tal and Vinnie Colaiuta’s kick), and “Serene,” with Tal’s ear-grabbing fills and brief but bright solo. Pino Palladino and Chris Bruce also pitch in with solid support on a track each.
Tal Wilkenfeld and Jeff Beck Amazing Live Jam (VIDEO)
Tal Wilkenfeld and Jeff Beck Get Into a Groovy Jam in 2007