Jeff Beck: Rock 'N' Roll Party Honoring Les Paul

Jeff Beck: Rock 'N' Roll Party Honoring Les Paul
Were it not for guitarist and inventor Les Paul, the world of rock'n'roll simply wouldn't exist. Accredited with creating the world's first solid-body guitar, he forever altered the course of popular music. Moreover, his inimitable design, as produced by Gibson guitars, has graced every icon, from Slash to Chet Atkins and Green Day to Ace Frehley. Therefore, it stands to reason that virtuoso six-string samurai Jeff Beck would pay homage to the guru via tribute concert Rock 'N' Roll Party Honoring Les Paul. Recorded at NYC's Iridium Jazz Club (a regular haunt of Paul's) on what would have been his 95th birthday, the concert finds the likes of rockabilly queen Imelda May, axeman Brian Setzer and more tearing through some 27 classic tunes ranging from "Train Kept a Rollin'" and "Peter Gunn" through "Sleep Walk," "Rock Around the Clock" and "Shake, Rattle & Roll," songs that would have ostensibly never been written without Paul's creative genius. Fun and sprightly, the enthusiastic renditions of each song offer a vivacious celebration of both Paul and music in general, bolstered by high-resolution footage and superb audio. Interestingly, not just the performers are of note on this fun, light-hearted DVD. Playing a game of spot-the-star in the audience, one notes Metallica's Kirk Hammett, Meat Loaf and David Bowie (amongst others) all enjoying the festivities. Completed by the type of bonus material one would expect from what is essentially a Jeff Beck release, we find a half-hour interview with the guitar grinder revealing interesting reflections on being introduced to Paul's music, becoming colleagues and so forth. Additionally, a tour of his personal guitar collection is drool-worthy to any self-respecting minstrel, while unearthed jams and behind-the-scenes titbits from the Iridium event are also pretty neat. Well-rounded, personal, boisterous and perfectly documented, Rock'N'Roll Party Honoring Les Paul is exactly what any celebration of this pivotal man's life should be: a rollicking history lesson for music fans of all sorts. (Eagle Rock)