In the 60s & early 70s, Jeff Beck was considered by many to be in the Rock Guitar Pantheon with Clapton, Page and Hendrix. Even before Jimi Hendrix, Beck established himself with his volatile amalgam of electric blues, rockabilly and electronic effects (especially feedback), yet the restless and reclusive Beck yearned for other pastures to till. In the mid-70s, he moved into the not-quite-played-out-creatively zone of jazz-rock fusion (now known simply as "fusion"). It wasn't a jump on the bandwagon - Beck (respected by no less a player than Les Paul) brought a fresh, vibrant approach to the style (which by then was starting to get "diluted" by commercial considerations).
Wired - re-released in glorious digitally remastered sound -- is my favorite of Beck's instrumental albums - he brings a rock guitarist's audaciousness to fusion and combines that with a jazz guitarist's taste, restraint and affinity for interplay. Imagine John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra (circa 1971-73) in a relaxed, slightly funky, loose-limbed mode, and that notion would come close to Wired. Along with Beck, there's fine work from Max Middleton, pre-Miami Vice Jan Hammer and pre-adult-contemporary Narada Michael Walden. Worth the price of admission: a passionate, gently searing, mystery-of-the blues-laden version of Charles Mingus' tribute to Lester Young, "Goodbye Porkpie Hat" and the delicate-but-not-wimpy acoustic closer "Love Is Green."