4 out of 5 Stars!
Beck, Bogert & Appice was a “supergroup” power trio that released only a single studio album back in ’73 (and a double-platter live album later that same year) before disbanding. Although there’s nothing innovative on offer here, the musical performances are generally outstanding.
Guitar fans will certainly appreciate Jeff Beck’s skillful and tasty fretwork, jazzy at times yet wild and volcanic where necessary (such as on the excellent cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition”), while Tim Bogert’s frantic and melodic bass runs (“Lady” and “Livin’ Alone,” for example) and Carmine Appice’s lively and occasionally thunderous percussion showcases their formidable talents also. The music varies from straightforward rockers (“Lose Myself With You,” “Black Cat Moan,” “Why Should I Care?”) to a few ballads (the beautiful “Sweet Sweet Surrender” and “Oh To Love You”), and a few of the aforementioned tracks have Soul, Funk, and even Gospel influences mixed in.
And with Duane Hitchings supplying keyboard accompaniment, the album seems almost like an extension of Cactus (the former group of Bogert, Appice, and Hitchings) that had disbanded the previous year, only with Jeff Beck taking over guitar duties, of course.
Also, it’s no shock that the vocal harmonies on tracks such as “I’m So Proud” periodically bring to mind Three Dog Night, considering that vocalist Danny Hutton (along with TDN’s keyboardist Jimmy Greenspoon) make appearances on this album as well.
In my opinion, Beck, Bogert & Appice was one of the more promising power trios from the ’70s and, in a perfect world, the band should have lasted many more years.