11
Feb
11

JEFF BECK-HOW HIGH THE STRATOSPHERE-ROCK N’ ROLL PARTY HONORING LES PAUL-BLU-RAY-REVIEW BY JOHN EMMS

Jeff Beck’s Rock N Roll Party Honoring Les Paul has the integrity and musicality to become one of the most important documents of his career. On emotion and soul alone Beck and a giving host of players launch this concert experience into the stratosphere simply by being themselves.

Filmed in high definition at The Iridium Jazz Club this is probably one of the best looking Blu-Ray concerts that I have seen. This room holds only 200 or so people, and this intimate setting simply lets the audience experience the musicians and their chops  

The show is authentic and true to the spirit of early rock n’ roll and Beck’s guitar tone and solos on Baby Let’s Play House, Double Talkin’ Baby and Cruisin embrace the Scotty Moore/Cliff Gallup feel.

Later in the show, Beck steps up and out as only he can. Vocalist/guitarist Darrel Higham is in great voice, and his chops get even better as the show continues. In fact along with May his vocals frame the entire evening

Imelda May is a total joy. Her vocals on Cry Me A River, The Shangri-Las Wallking In The Sand andthe multiple tracked Mary Ford tributes on How High The Moon and Bye Bye Blues will raise the hair on the back of your neck.

However, the whole feel and emotional impact of the night revolves around Jeff Beck’s astounding guitar playing. He is  simply one of the most gifted musicians in any genre of music.  On tracks like Apache, Sleep Walk and Peter Gunn he iginites emotions from everyone in the room.

There are  spot on guest shots from Gary US Bonds (New Orleans) and the explosive playing of Brian Setzer who raises the stakes in a super cool riff- fest with Beck on Twenty Flight Rock, as well as Trombone Shorty who blows his soul out on Peter Gunn.

On the players side I have to be honest and say Bassist Al Gare and drummer Steve Rushton may start looking for a raise in pay after this star turn. They are incredibly tight and along with the gifted tone of well known piano man Jason Rebello stoke the fire in Beck while never getting in the way of his emotive phrasing. Sax man Leo Green (Van Morrison) is a wicked solist and together with Lou Marini and Dave Priseman they form a  tight but fluid horn section.

Bonus features to look for are an excellent behind the scenes look on how this film and show was put together along with a a hip feature At Home with Jeff Beck and his Guitars (my personal bonus fave), along with a blues jam with Les Paul and Beck from 1983. Yep believe it folks, that clip is a beauty.

It is simply amazing that Jeff Beck’s career is on the rise with his last two releases. I’ll be darned and say his pairing with Eagle Rock Entertainment on these past two dvd/blu-ray concerts is a gift that gives his fans a close up look at his genius. Considering Beck has fans all over the world, look for this concert dvd to sell big numbers.

This product is set for release Februray 22/2011.

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, radio show host   http://emms.podbean.com/ and musician

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