Chester & Lester/Guitar Monsters by Chet Atkins/Les Paul (CD, Oct-1998, One Way Records)

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Feb 11, 2002
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Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Les Paul at his most recent.

Cons:The sessions were relatively spontaneous, and it shows the good & bad of such.

The Bottom Line: This is the only place you are going to hear two guitar pioneers trading hot licks and fast runs, and creating some pretty special music.


This is a double CD (Chester and Lester (1976) and C&L Guitar Monsters (1978) that was recorded almost 25 years ago....right after Les Paul came out of a long retirement. The recording is basically a jam session featuring two of guitars greatest players.

Each guitarist trades leads on 21 standards, while his peer accompanies.... The set features some great tunes such as.. It had to be you, Caravan, It's been a long long time, Birth of the blues, Over the rainbow, Brazil and Lazy River. An admittedly odd group of songs that really doesn't include either greats signature songs.

As with any Jam session, the songs are not perfect, as each player tries to find his voice.... Biographers have indicated that the songs were chosen pretty much on the spot, and to some degree it shows.

If you know your guitar players, you will have no trouble identifying each of them.... Their styles and sounds are unmistakable. In this respect- Chester (Chet Atkins) who had been playing and recording continually for decades has the edge- technically... But Lesters (Les Paul) sweet sounds speak for themselves.

This certainly isn't either guitarist at his best, but that isn't always as important as the music... There is a wonderful charm in hearing legends trading riffs and licks and quips as well.

If your intent is to hear either of these giants at their very best..... Get one of their 'Greatest Hits' CD's... but if you want to hear what 'Playing the guitar' sounds like, find this one...


Recommend this product? Yes


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