Jeff Beck Honors Les Paul — An Unforgettable Tribute Concert to the Legendary Guitarist
“Come on everybody take a trip with me, way down the Mississippi down to New Orleans, If you ain’t been to heaven, then you ain’t been there!”
Gary U.S. Bonds gets the crowd involved in a favorite rock and roll song at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York City on the 95th anniversary of the birthday of the man who invented the solid body guitar, Les Paul. Paul is also credited with inventing the multi-track recording machine. Together, these inventions made the music of the 1960’s possible and affected guitarists of every genre, particularly jazz and rock and roll.
Five-time Grammy winner, Jeff Beck, a world renowned guitarist, hosted a tribute concert June 9, 2010, to honor Paul. Paul’s accomplishments and innovations with the guitar are widely recognized by artists such as Lee Ritenour, Eric Clapton and many more, including another guest for this show, Brian Setzer.
The show opens with Beck, Imelda May, and her band covering several songs long associated with Les Paul, particularly “How High the Moon”, “Bye Bye Blues” and “Tiger Rag” (one of my personal favorites!). Beck takes advantage of numerous opportunities to display his talent with several different models of Gibson Les Paul instruments.
The theme from “Peter Gunn” brings in the brass (“Trombone Shorty” Andrews) and the woodwinds (Leo Green and Lou Marini on sax) and the pace and temperature go up several notches. Imelda May belts out a scorching, show-stopping rendition of the ultimate teen angst song, “Walking in the Sand.”
Setzer joins for “Twenty Flight Rock” and the finale, “Shake, Rattle & Roll.” It’s a show (including sixteen tracks in all) not to be missed, so check your local listings. Jeff Beck Honors Les Paul premieres on some PBS stations November 27 and others throughout December during annual pledge campaigns. Check the PBS site online for the eventual availability of the DVD.