Hartford Courant March 26, 1977


   The possibilities of the Beck-Hammer relationship were hinted at in the album Wired, released last year, in which Hammer wrote and produced one of the key tracks, “Blue Wind,” as well as performing on and re-mixing four other tracks.
   A subsequent tour in which Beck joined Hammer’s group on tour (or Hammer’s group joined Beck) and now a live album from the tour have revealed that Beck and Hammer are a perfect pair of kindred spirits musically.  Both play and compose with astonishing visceral energy and excitement.
   It’s worth repeating a conclusion reached after seeing the two in concert: this group is the cutting edge of rock-jazz groups.  There are many skilled musicians in the pop field, but for artistic risk taking, with commensurate rewards for the listener, none can equal Beck and Hammer.
   It’s clear from watching them play on stage and from hearing the vitality come through this album, that they both love the stimulation of the stage.  Four of the cuts on the live album are on the two previous Beck albums, Blow By Blow and Wired.  But they are, with the exception of “She’s A Woman,” better live. Throughout, Beck’s sensational electric guitar feats are matched in kind by Hammer’s frenetic synthesizer work.
   “Freeway Jam” (the opening cut) shows Beck in full flash and Hammer picking up where he leaves off.  They “honk” at each other electronically and good humoredly at the beginning and end.  “Earth (Still Our Only Home)” is a heavy funk piece with a good Hammer vocal.     “Darkness/Earth In Search Of A Sun,” is a positively brilliant composing and playing opus of Hammer’s.  “Scatterbrain” evolves from a soft blues into a lightening-fast guitar-synthesizer-violin (Steve Kindler) crescendo.  On “Full Moon Boogie,” drummer Tony Smith, a powerhouse in his own right does a Stevie Wonderish vocal, leading into more instrumental action.  “Blue Wind,” the Hammer composed tune from Wired, is every bit as good as the studio version.  Beck, ever the joker, works in a heavy riff from Aerosmith’s “Train Kept A’Rolling” as if to show them how it should be done.
   If the mercurial Beck and Hammer can keep it up, the sky’s the limit artistically.


Chicago Tribune April 15, 1977


Jeff Beck With The Jan Hammer Group Live (Epic PE 34433)

   It is a rare achievement when the electricity and excitement generated during a live performance are captured on vinyl.  But Jeff Beck With The Jan Hammer Group Live succeeds in reproducing the spirit of this unusual collaboration in concert.
   Jeff Beck, an unparalleled rock guitarist, has joined forces with Jan Hammer, a synthesizer genius formerly with the Mahavishnu Orchestra.  The joy of this record is that it never degenerates into a typical superstar jam.  Rather Beck shades his razor-sharp guitar work to accent the jazz/rock fusion music of the Jan Hammer Group.  The amazing guitar wizardry of Beck combines with haunting keyboard playing by Hammer to make Jeff Beck With The Jan Hammer Group truly come alive.



Breathless jazz-rock gymnastics from Beck, of the celebrated ‘60’s Yardbird trinity (with Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page).  He has mastered virtually all modern guitar dialects-heavy metal, blues, astral jazz-and can scorch or soothe at will.  Hammer the master of electric keyboards (piano and synthesizers) who played with the Mahavishnu Orchestra adds his exuberance to the collaboration.

Beck/Hammer                                      Detroit Free Press        March 27, 1977

Jeff Beck with the Jan Hammer Group “LIVE” (Epic PE 34433)

               Recording Quality:  Superb
               Performance:  Exemplary

  Jeff Beck is of course, one of  the finest guitarists around.  From the time he first achieved fame in the legendary Yardbirds, he has been in the forefront of a number of developments extending the scope of modern music.
  Jan Hammer, originally from Czechoslovakia, has been in the mainstream of both jazz and rock and has contributed many innovations with his exciting keyboard and synthesizer work.
  Here they combine their talents in an album that ranges from jazz/rock to almost classical with some Eastern influences thrown in.  It’s an exciting album, made even more so by the subtle live feel of the recording.