Just Friends

Just Friends

by Joe Beck


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Just Friends

The jazz world is full of jazz snobs -- that is, myopic, narrow-minded people who only care about straight-ahead jazz and believe that rock, R&B, country, reggae, dance-pop, folk, and hip-hop have no right to exist. But Joe Beck isn't one of them; he's an admirably versatile guitarist who has crossed paths with everyone from Gene "Jug" Ammons to Frank Sinatra to disco-soul goddess Gloria Gaynor. Unfortunately, Beck has spent so much time backing others that his own catalog isn't as large as it should be, but he still has a lot to be proud of -- and this 2002 release is an appealing addition to his résumé. A generally straight-ahead jazz effort (with some fusion moves here and there), Just Friends finds a 57-year-old Beck in a trio with bassist Mark Egan and drummer Danny Gottlieb and paying a lot of attention to well-known standards. One could complain about the abundance of warhorses that have been beaten to death over the years -- "Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise," "There Will Never Be Another You," Cole Porter's "I Love You," and the title track are great songs, but how many more versions do jazz enthusiasts need to hear in the 21st century? That said, Beck's playing is focused and inspired throughout the CD. You might think that Just Friends (which also contains three Beck originals) pays too much attention to overdone warhorses, but damned if Beck doesn't play the hell out of them. And the fact that he enjoys an obviously strong rapport with Egan and Gottlieb is also a plus. Just Friends falls short of essential, but it's still a solid -- if conventional -- outing for the veteran jazz guitarist.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/13/2006
Label: Whaling City Sound
UPC: 0687606001824
catalogNumber: 18

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Joe Beck   Primary Artist,Guitar
Mark Egan   Bass,Bass Guitar
Danny Gottlieb   Drums

Technical Credits

Sigmund Romberg   Composer
Luiz Bonfá   Composer
Smokey Robinson   Composer
Joe Beck   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
John Lewis   Composer
Jeff Ciampa   Engineer
Oscar Hammerstein   Composer
Hugh Martin   Composer
Cole Porter   Composer
Harry Warren   Composer
Ralph Blane   Composer
John Klenner   Composer
Matt Dubey   Composer
Neal Weiss   Executive Producer

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