LES PAUL: CHASING SOUND
Few musicians have had the impact in as many distinctive areas as Les Paul.
He gave birth to what is, hands down, the most influential instrument in modern American music. Without his contributions, the intricate technology and sensuous beauty of the solid-body electric guitar would not exist.
In LES PAUL: CHASING SOUND, the father of the solid-body electric guitar, inventor of overdubbing and multi-track recording, king of the ‘50s pop charts, and architect of rock ‘n’ roll tells his own rags-to-riches story, with a wall-to-wall soundtrack of the greatest hits from "Tiger Rag" to "My Generation."
Overflowing with vintage concert clips, television performances, music recordings, radio show excerpts, still photographs, memorabilia, and celebrity interviews, the film is the definitive portrait of the late Les Paul.
Les' joyous and star-studded 90th-birthday celebration at a New York jazz club, his induction into National Inventors Hall of Fame, a Grammy-winning “rock duets” album with Jeff Beck, and lifetime achievement award from Songwriters Hall of Fame provide the verité framing devices for Mr. Paul’s remarkable life.
Les Paul has been “chasing the perfect sound” since boyhood. In his insatiable quest, he punched new chords into his mother’s piano roll and turned his bed springs into a radio antenna to pull in raucous jazz from Chicago, and lonesome hillbilly music from the Grand Old Opry.
Irascible, egotistical, indefatigable, an inveterate tinkerer and practical joker, he’s the last of that self-educated, brilliantly innovative generation of musicians and media pioneers who revolutionized popular music and re-invented the global culture.
Captured here at age 90, Les Paul was still bursting with curiosity and brimming over with optimism; his undeniable exuberance and unadorned charm is one-hundred percent contagious.
Features Tributes, Live Performances, Commentary and Clips by:
Paul McCartney, Keith Richards, Steve Miller, Eddie Van Halen, Bing Crosby, Chet Atkins, B. B. King, Keith Richards, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Pete Townsend, Bonnie Raitt, The Beatles, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Tony Bennett, Tommy Emmanuel, Ahmet Ertegun, Richard Carpenter, Bucky Pizarelli, Phil Ramone, Al Schmitt, Gary Giddens, Merle Haggard, Kay Starr, Jon Paris, The Les Paul Trio (Lou Pallo, Nikki Parrott, John Colianni).
LES PAUL: LIVE IN NEW YORK
Every Monday night, Les Paul descended into a subterranean jazz joint, strapped on solid-body electric guitar, and staked his musical claim on the New York metropolis.
He was the godfather of the electric guitar and inventor of multi-track recording, overdubbing, reverb, and echo, a singular force who expanded the sonic and musical palettes of American popular song.
His virtuoso playing, and the mythical Gibson electric guitar that bears his name, inspired the legends of the rock & roll revolution--Clapton, Beck, Page, and Richards and so many more. And at 90 years old, he was still a damn good guitarist.
LES PAUL: LIVE IN NEW YORK captures Les Paul during his final performances, and portrays a joyously ribald and roasting-toasting entertainer, gifted picker, and master raconteur.
The club where he played during the last decade of his life became a destination for the biggest names in show business. These weekly gigs were love-fests in which friends, fans, and musicians from around the world came to see him play, secure his autograph on their own Gibson Les Paul guitars, and pay homage to their idol.
Guitarists, singers, fiddlers, trumpeters, tap dancers, joke-meisters--any and all comers--showed up every Monday for another reason, to "take on" the mighty Les Paul.
The hilarious, and often tender, jam sessions were renown in East Coast music circles, and Les continued to welcome the cadre of music adversaries to his watering hole right up to August 2009, when the great guitarist passed away.
LES PAUL: LIVE IN NEW YORK preserves these priceless performances, jams, and cutting sessions, many of which occurred on Les Paul's 90th birthday, when luminaries of the music industry gathered to celebrate at New York's historic Iridium Jazz Club.
The trademark elements of the Les Paul Sound - heavy reverb, crisp echo, trebly and twangy tone, bends, and glissandos are on full display, as is his consummate showmanship, sometimes-risqué humor, and insatiable appetite for show-stopping hi jinks.
Watching LES PAUL: LIVE IN NEW YORK, it's easy to see why Les had millions of fans all over the world. No one had more fun on his Monday night gig than Les. Thanks Les!
Tributes, Live Performances, and Jamming with Les Paul by:
Keith Richards, Steve Miller, José Feliciano, Bonnie Raitt, Tony Bennett, Tommy Emmanuel, Sonya Hensley, Christian Howes, and The Les Paul Trio: Lou Pallo, Nikki Parrott, and John Colianni.