Stevie Wonder reflects on the late Jeff Beck: ‘A great soul’

When Stevie Wonder met Jeff Beck in 1972, he had an artistic wind at his back, full of creative energy and striving for new musical heights.

Their meeting in the New York studio soon became a young Motown prodigy and British guitar hero.

Wonder said Wednesday night he was saddened by the news that Beck had died of bacterial meningitis in a hospital near his home in England.

“He was a great soul playing great music,” Wonder told the Detroit Free Press. “I am happy to meet him and to have him in my life and to give my music a part of his gift.”

Wonder and Beck were introduced to each other by producers Robert Malguref and Malcolm Cecil, who had worked with Wonder on 1972’s groundbreaking “Music of My Mind,” now in its follow-up, “Talking Book.” I was involved with the album.

“I really didn’t know much about him,” Wonder said of Beck. “But I heard him play in New York. What?” he said. He thought it would be great. He put one part, then another, then another. It was great. ”

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