Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Crazy Cat Chops

I watched the Jeff Beck Rock and Roll Party DVD for the first time tonight. What a great DVD! As if one needed any confirmation of the magnitude of the affair (the guitar maestro in small NYC club honoring the music of Les Paul and others), the camera panning over the star-riddled audience was telling (David Bowie, Warren Haynes, Steven Van Zandt, Paul Shaffer and John McEnroe were just a few of the recognizable faces in the crowd).

Regardless of the stars in the crowd, Beck’s effortless dexterity and awesome chops were the center of all attention as he worked his fleet-fingered fretting and fancy finger-picking magic on several Gretsch, Fender and Gibson guitars – it’s not too often you see Beck playing a Les Paul, but the show, after all, was in legendary Les’ honor and staged at his home away from home, The Iridium Jazz Club.

The set was a nice combination of Jeff’s paying homage to two worthy guitar heroes: Gliff Gallup of Gene Vincent's Blue Caps and Les Paul, the latter represented here in this by famous Les Paul & Mary Ford tunes, presented with the able assistance of Imelda May, who came darn close to stealing the show (such is her charisma and vocal chops). When she wasn't convincingly channeling Mary Ford, she evoked an amalgamation of Billie Holiday, Ma Rainey and Janis Joplin. She drew attention even when just singing backing vocals.

I could go on and on about the many highlights and awesome guitar moments of all sorts on this DVD, but just check it out for yourself. You’ll have no trouble finding highlights of your own.

My cat dug this one, too!

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