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Nadia - Jeff Beck

Well I may as well go a whole hog and a half, so I'm showcasing one more than two consecutive numbers from the same album in a row, I'm making it three (see yesterday's post). After "Rollin' and Tumblin'"on Jeff Beck's album "You Had It Coming", there's this gem: "Nadia". With the haunting evocation of the sitar on his trusty Fender Stratocaster, Beck reminds us of his first hit with the Yardbirds (see 6 posts ago) while demonstrating his ability to switch effortlessly between diverse musical styles. And not in a flashy way, or strained, but naturally, as though it belongs.

"Nadia" is a song written by the multi-faceted British Asian musician Nitin Sawnhey, from his excellent anti-nuclear 1999 album "Beyond Skin". Right from Beck's sunrise-spangled opening notes, we find ourselves musically celebrating the beauty of early morning light, the world that we are destroying with industrial pollution.

As his friend, and sometime fusion mentor, guitarist John McLaughlin wrote of Beck, “Not only does he have the mysterious talent that is innate, he has not stopped evolving over the years. He has forged a unique and wonderful style of playing that is instantly recognizable. He has the most fluid style of playing I’ve ever heard.”

Coming from the great jazz, rock and sublime guitarist of Indian fusion music with the band Shakti, John McLaughlin, that is the highest praise. Interestingly, Beck, in turn, is on record as saying that "McLaughlin is the best player around". They both should know.

As I said, play "Nadia" while watching the sun come up, preferably over the sea.


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