Jeff Beck Rock’n’Roll Party: Honouring Les Paul
| DVD review

(Shock) 4 stars

Les Paul, godfather of the modern electric guitar and multi-tracking pioneer, was a jazz virtuoso whose country and Hawaiian-laced recordings (with wife Mary Ford) made him a star of the pre-rock era. For the last 25 years of his life, up to his death in 2009, Paul’s jam sessions were a weekly institution, attracting a who’s who of guests.


To listen to previews of tracks from the CD, press the play button

One big admirer, English guitar maestro Jeff Beck, organised a ‘‘rock’n’roll party’’ tribute last year at New York’s Iridium Club, Paul’s regular Monday night venue.

It’s a rollicking session, starring Irish rockabilly/soul vocalist Imelda May and her band (led by guitarist/vocalist spouse Darrel Higham), a stellar horn section including Troy (Trombone Shorty) Andrews, guests Gary ‘US’ Bonds (with ‘New Orleans’) and the Stray Cats’ Brian Setzer.

May features prominently, multi-tracking her vocals to great effect on ‘How High the Moon’, Seltzer delivers in spades on Eddie Cochran’s ’20 Flight Rock’, while there’s a touch of  Blue Brothers’ bravura on the horn-augmented  ‘Peter Gunn’ theme.

Beck, in scintillating form throughout, reveals yet again his versatility across genres, from breakneck rockabilly to jazzy big band swing.

- Mike Daly

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