Jimmy Page

Session Man, Vol. 2

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Before he was a guitar god with Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Page was a guitarist for hire, bouncing from studio to studio while lending his growing talents to a host of British beat groups. Session Man, Vol. 2 gathers up some of those recordings he made as a session cat between 1963 and 1965, along with a fuzzily recorded live track, an electric take on the solo instrumental "White Summer" from a the New Yardbirds date cut in 1968 at the Marquee Club in London. The early tracks on which Page played are mostly standard beat group stompers and mid-tempo ballads worth hearing only for the guitar breaks on which his wildness totally eclipses the otherwise bland band. When Page's inspired playing is added to an inspired track, the results are frequently breathtaking. Examples of this include the storming "I Like It" by Neil Christian & the Crusaders; the heavy, fuzzed-out "Baby I Go for You" by the Blue Rondos; Lulu's wonderful "I'll Come Running Over," which features Page with some ahead of their time wah-wah effects; Billy Fury's rollicking "Nothin' Shakin';" and the really dumb "Everybody Knows" by Sean Buckley and the Breadcrumbs that is totally redeemed by Page's Ike Turner on acid solo. Of special interest is the hard rocking cut "Is It True?" by the usually non-hard rocking Brenda Lee and the cover of "The Train Kept a Rollin'" by the Scotty McKay Quintet, which features an over-dubbed solo by Page that out hustles the Jeff Beck solo on the Yardbirds' version. Despite the fact that many of these songs have turned up on other Page collections and are sometimes low fidelity (which is not too surprising given the quasi-bootleg nature of the release), Session Man, Vol. 2 is still worth checking out as the song selection is very good and Page's solos are sure to blow you away.

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