Beck, Bogert & Appice is the eponymous debut album by the 1970s band Beck, Bogert & Appice. They were a supergroup and power trio, with the line up of guitarist Jeff Beck (who had already been a member of The Yardbirds and The Jeff Beck Group), bassist Tim Bogert, and drummer Carmine Appice (both formerly members of Vanilla Fudge and Cactus). The album had solid sales in 1973. One of the most notable tracks is Beck's version of the famous song of Stevie Wonder's and his creation: "Superstition". This was the band's only studio album, as Beck left the band without warning during the recording of their second album, forcing a sudden dissolution in 1974.
One of the great things about Jeff Beck is his utter unpredictability. It's also one of the most maddening things about him, too, since it's as likely to lead to flights of genius as it is to weird detours like Beck, Bogert & Appice…
Mezzo-soprano singer Héloïse Mas is one of a long line of musicians who have won prizes in Belgium’s prestigious Queen Elisabeth Competition while receiving acclaim from the jury, critics and audiences alike. Héloïse Mas stood out: as soon as she appears on stage, she inhabits her role entirely, her golden voice is able to combine tragedy with humour. It is a real privilege to hear such a talented singer at the start of her career; she was in her element, playing her roles without affectation, owning the stage and filling these vast architectural spaces with her powerful, rounded voice, with its irresistibly warm tone and crystal-clear diction that is as seductive in French as it is in Italian or German. It comes as no surprise that the competition jury was just as impressed as the audience!
Although Carmen McRae is the obvious star of her live record, she gives plenty of solo space to her notable all-star band (Red Holloway on tenor and alto, organist Jack McDuff, guitarist Phil Upchurch, bassist John Clayton, and drummer Paul Humphrey). McRae did not record in this context with an organ group very often. All seven songs (which range in length from four minutes to the nine-and-a-half-minute title track) are swing-era standards except for Eubie Blake's "My Handy Man Ain't Handy No More," which dates back to the early '20s, but McRae updates them a bit and makes them sound relevant and swinging.
Yes, there's a concept on the loose here - all the songs are about birds. Fortunately, there are plenty of good songs on the subject, and it's not so narrow that all the focus hinges on birds themselves. Carmen McRae is supported by a good small group, directed and arranged by Ralph Burns, featuring guitarist Mundell Lowe and many solos for an uncredited "tenorman" (i.e., Ben Webster). Both McRae and Webster do their best on the driving, horn-heavy score for "Bob White (Whatcha Gonna Swing Tonight)." First, Webster follows closely along with trumpeter Irwin "Marky" Markowitz while McRae vocalizes clearly and with some swing, then launches a beautiful solo before McRae returns for the closer. Other highlights include the touching "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square" and a relaxed, pastoral "When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano."