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Chester & Lester [Bonus Tracks]

( 2 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Originally issued in 1976 and now available on CD with four previously unreleased bonus tracks, this genial in-studio pairing of electric guitar titans remains a most ingratiating disc, as much a pleasure for the listener as it must have been for the artists. Working with a sharp ensemble of Nashville studio stalwarts (including Larrie Londin on drums), Atkins and Paul turn a clutch of standards from the Great American Songbook into a most scintillating conversation in song. Sometimes they play it straight, the better to enhance the beauty of great melodies, such as "Moonglow/Theme from 'Picnic' " and "It Had to Be You." Being witty fellows, too, Atkins and Paul inject ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Originally issued in 1976 and now available on CD with four previously unreleased bonus tracks, this genial in-studio pairing of electric guitar titans remains a most ingratiating disc, as much a pleasure for the listener as it must have been for the artists. Working with a sharp ensemble of Nashville studio stalwarts (including Larrie Londin on drums), Atkins and Paul turn a clutch of standards from the Great American Songbook into a most scintillating conversation in song. Sometimes they play it straight, the better to enhance the beauty of great melodies, such as "Moonglow/Theme from 'Picnic' " and "It Had to Be You." Being witty fellows, too, Atkins and Paul inject some whimsy into the proceedings, as when a dreamy workout on the Sammy Cahn-Jule Styne evergreen "It's Been a Long, Long Time" suddenly breaks into a spirited, speed-picked dialogue before settling back into its romantic mode. Near the end of a swaying rendition of "Out of Nowhere," Paul pays homage to his beloved former partner, Mary Ford, by piping up with "Sounds good, Mary!" to which Atkins responds, "Why thank you, honey!" Of the four bonus tracks, two are alternative versions of songs on the original album, but two others are knockout numbers that didn't make the final cut. "The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise" is a brisk, melodious affair with a slight country-swing flavor and wonderful interplay up and down the neck as the guitarists one-up each other's flourishes, whereas the timeless "You Brought a New Kind of Love" is a striking mid-tempo shuffle that finds the axemen trading variations on the melodic theme. Precisely because it's so unassuming, and the virtuosity so matter-of-fact, Chester & Lester sneaks up on you and then refuses to let go.
All Music Guide - Tim Griggs
Chester & Lester is a beautiful and fun album by two masters. It was recorded in the mid-'70s when Chet Atkins was in his fifties and Les Paul was in his sixties. The latter had been in retirement for a decade before the recording of this album. Nashville studio musicians, including Randy Goodrum on piano and Larrie Londin on drums, back up the master guitarists, but this is by no means a country album. In fact, this album swings on classics such as "Birth of the Blues," "Avalon," and "Caravan." Other classic songs, including "It's Been a Long Time" and "It Had to Be You," are beautifully rendered, featuring Les Paul's instantly recognizable ringing bell tone and Chet Atkins' fluid, slightly twangy sound. The recording has an informal feel, with between-song banter (and even some joking in the middle of songs) included on the record, which adds to the enjoyment and warmth of this album. The listener knows that the musicians are having a great time. According to the liner notes, only two songs have any overdubs, so, "You hear the music just as it came down." And it all "came down" beautifully. [The 2007 edition included bonus tracks.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/24/2007
  • Label: Rca
  • UPC: 828767637921
  • Catalog Number: 76379
  • Sales rank: 9,655

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 It's Been a Long, Long Time - Les Paul (3:31)
  2. 2 Medley: Moonglow/Picnic - Les Paul (4:43)
  3. 3 Caravan - Les Paul (3:17)
  4. 4 It Had to Be You - Les Paul (3:32)
  5. 5 Out of Nowhere - Les Paul (3:12)
  6. 6 Avalon - Les Paul (6:30)
  7. 7 Birth of the Blues - Les Paul (3:04)
  8. 8 Someday Sweetheart - Les Paul (3:20)
  9. 9 'Deed I Do - Les Paul (2:29)
  10. 10 Lover Come Back to Me - Les Paul (2:45)
  11. 11 The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise - Les Paul (2:19)
  12. 12 You Brought a New Kind of Love to Me - Les Paul (2:47)
  13. 13 Caravan - Les Paul (3:19)
  14. 14 Medley: Moonglow/Picnic - Les Paul (5:16)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Chet Atkins Primary Artist
Ray Edenton Rhythm Guitar
Randy Goodrum Piano
Henry Strzelecki Bass
Paul Yandell Rhythm Guitar
Larrie Londin Drums
Bob Moore & His Orchestra Bass
Technical Credits
Sigmund Romberg Composer
Chet Atkins Producer
Les Paul Author
Sammy Cahn Composer
Buddy DeSylva Composer
Oscar Hammerstein II Composer
Nat Hentoff Liner Notes
Edward Heyman Composer
Isham Jones Composer
Gus Kahn Composer
Richard King Mastering
Fred Rose Composer
Jule Styne Composer
Bill Vandevort Engineer
Rich Kienzle Liner Notes
Bob Irwin Producer
Howard Fritzson Art Direction
Walter Hirsch Composer
Benjamin Franklin Spikes Composer
Eugene Lockhart Composer
Ernest Seitz Composer
John Spikes Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 19, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    These two guitar masters were so loose it is a wonder they didn'

    These two guitar masters were so loose it is a wonder they didn't fall off their chairs! Paul in particular acts as if he doesn't know he's being taped. The best tunes are the up-tempo numbers. The contrast in their styles is very interesting; Chet's languid country licks and Les's jazzy runs. A minor classic. 3 1/2 stars.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Genius guitar innovators duet on pop standards

    Recorded in 1975, this LP (augmented here by four bonus track) found two innovators of electric guitar playing in easy-going sessions filled with friendly instrumental interplay. The elder of the two, Les Paul, had been effectively retired for a decade when Atkins lured him into the studio. The seeds had been planted a few months earlier when the guitarists met up in a New York hotel room for an informal jam session the music flowed so smoothly that it suggested a recording date was in order. ¶ The connection between Paul and Atkins happened many years before they met. Paul's jazz trio featured Atkins' half brother Jimmy as a vocalist and rhythm guitarist at the end of the 1930s, and as the younger Atkins followed his brother's work, he picked up the band leader's fingerings. Atkins' love of Merle Travis led him more towards country, but like Paul, he always kept a love of pop and jazz in his playing. Aktins even acquired one of Les Paul's guitars, and used it on his very first session for RCA. ¶ By the mid-70s Les Paul was retired and Chet Atkins was increasingly absorbed by executive work at RCA Nashville. In 1974 Atkins paired himself with Merle Travis for an album, "The Atkins-Travis Travelling Show," which prompted a friend to suggest he try a pairing with Les Paul. The two guitarists worked out a song list that collected pop and jazz standards, with arrangements that merged details from each of their lengthy recording and performing careers. ¶ With Atkins' guitar stage left, and Paul's stage right, the disc plays like a conversation, with each taking turns at lead between some coordinated unison playing. The difference in their styles is subtle but immediate, with Atkins' staccato inflections often more country and blue than the cool of Paul's jazz fingerings. The use of head (non-written) arrangements gave these sessions a very organic feel, with the Nashville rhythm section (piano, drums, bass, guitar) integrated seamlessly with the guitarists. There's some friendly competition, with each showing off their remarkable chops and goading the other to greater heights, and there's plenty of friendly verbal jousting before, after and during the. Paul used his renowned overdubbing on only a pair of tracks ("Caravan" and "Lover Come back to Me"), so the sessions remained quite spontaneous. ¶ The four bonus tracks include an alternate version of "Caravan," as well as a rehearsal of "Moonglow / Picnic" that picks up slowly as the duo finds their way through the medley, and eventually dissolves into their own instant review of the performance. Superstar pairings have become such common "events" that they've lost a great deal of their magic, but this one – two genius innovators getting together just to play – is still as musically rich as the day it was originally recorded. [©2007 redtunictroll at hotmail dot com]

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