Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Jeff Beck & the Jan Hammer Group: Freeway Jam

I’ve mentioned before about the record store in Huntington, WV that was selling promo copies of new recordings and that eventually landed the proprietor in prison. The prices were well below retail on these albums that sometimes had stickers hiding the stamp stating “Promotional Copy – Not for Sale.”

As a poor college student – eh, let me rephrase that – as a college student with limited financial resources, I often frequented this store. In 1977, I picked up a white label copy of “Jeff Beck with the Jan Hammer Group Live.” What a great album that stretched the bounds of Jeff Beck’s guitar and Jan Hammer’s keyboard techniques.

The album kicked off with a song written by the Jeff Beck Group’s keyboardist Max Middleton. While the album is great in its entirety, “Freeway Jam” received a modicum of airplay on the progressive stations. It’s a cut you never hear today, and if you’ve never heard it before, I hope you enjoy. The keyboard created horns at the beginning are reminiscent of Kraftwerk’s “Autobahn.” That’s where the similarities end.

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