Joe Beck

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This article is about the guitarist. For other uses of the name, see Joseph Beck (disambiguation).
Joe Beck
Joe Beck 1977.JPG
Beck in 1977.
Background information
Born (1945-07-29)July 29, 1945
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died July 22, 2008(2008-07-22) (aged 62)
Woodbury, Connecticut, U.S.
Genres Jazz, jazz fusion, post bop, mainstream jazz, soul jazz
Instruments Guitar

Joe Beck (July 29, 1945 – July 22, 2008)[1] was an American jazz guitarist who was active for over 30 years.


Born in Philadelphia, Beck played in a variety of jazz styles, including jazz fusion, post bop, mainstream jazz and soul jazz. He began as a member of the Gil Evans orchestra. In 1967 he recorded with Miles Davis,[2] but also briefly flirted with rock music in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

In 1970 he released Rock Encounter on Polydor Records.[1] In 1975 he released an 'eponymous' album (Upon which he simply referred to himself as 'Beck') whilst recording the Esther Phillips album, What a Diff'rence a Day Makes, both on Kudu Records.[1][3] Beck was subsequently reissued as Beck & Sanborn to cash in on the success of alto saxophonist Dave Sanborn. In 1978, he went for more of a rock sound by forming a band named "Leader". They performed in the Northeast and recorded demos at Sound Ideas Studios in NYC, but soon disbanded after the band's gear was stolen after a gig at Joyous Lake in Woodstock NY. In the 1980s Beck recorded several CDs for the DMP Digital Music Products label, including co-billed work with the noted flautist Ali Ryerson. In 2000, he released a collaboration with Jimmy Bruno, Polarity,[1] and Coincidence in 2008 with John Abercrombie.[1]

Beck died in Woodbury, Connecticut of complications from lung cancer.[1] His album Get Me Joe Beck was posthumously released in 2014.[4]



  • Nature Boy (Verve, 1969)
  • Beck (Kudu, 1975)
  • Watch The Time (Polydor, 1977)
  • Back to Beck (DMP, 1988)
  • The Journey (DMP, 1991)
  • Get Me Joe Beck (Whaling City Sound, 2014)

As leader[edit]

With John Abercrombie

  • Coincidence (Whaling City Sound, 2007)

With Gene Ammons

With Sabicas

  • Rock Encounter (Polydor, 1970)

With John Berberian

  • Middle Eastern Rock (Verve Forecast, 1969)

With James Brown

With Rusty Bryant

With Hank Crawford

With Miles Davis

With Richard Davis

  • Song for Wounded Knee (Flying Dutchman, 1973)

With Duke Ellington and Teresa Brewer

With Gil Evans

With Ronnie Foster

With Chico Hamilton

With J. J. Johnson and Kai Winding

With Al Kooper

With Hubert Laws

With Brother Jack McDuff

With Blue Mitchell

With Idris Muhammad

With Houston Person

With Don Sebesky

With Paul Simon

With Leon Spencer

With Bobby Timmons


External links[edit]