For the follow-up to 1975’s landmark Blow By Blow, Jeff Beck teamed up with fusion keyboardist Jan Hammer to tackle a diverse selection of material. Overseen by Beatles studio guru George Martin, Wired exists at a crossroads of ‘70s funk, fusion, and instrumental rock. In some moments it appeals to fans of Weather Report; in others Funkadelic or Stevie Wonder. One thing is certain: Hammer’s prior experience playing against John McLaughlin in Mahavishnu Orchestra made him a perfect match for Beck’s mercurial expertise. Their chemistry really comes out in the tightly interwoven funk of “Led Boots” and “Blue Wind,” but Hammer also knows when to lay back and let Beck’s lyrical side take center stage. The album ends with a stripped-down, piano-backed ballad entitled “Love Is Green,” but a bluesy, late-night reading of Charles Mingus’ “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat” is the album’s crown jewel.

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