180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl Gatefold Package!
Mastered By Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio
Pressed at RTI
The jam session recording Chester & Lester was awarded a Grammy for Best Country Instrumental Performance at the 1976 awards ceremony.
Chester & Lester was probably the only jam session record to win a Grammy™. Today, such an album would merely seem like clever marketing; two virtuosos from different genres, country and pop, joining forces. Not so in 1976. Truth was, Chet Atkins and Les Paul had way more in common than many realized. Each made groundbreaking records that put electric guitars on the map and influenced the sound of rock. Both experimented with electronics. The electric guitar models named for both men over half a century ago are considered classics, still produced today by the same companies. Three decades can't diminish Chester & Lester's wonderfully free musical and personal interplay. On record, their divergent personalities were reflected in their verbal bantering, Chet's taciturn personality and dry humor a terrific foil for Les's ornery schoolkid exuberance. It was something both admired about the record.
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. - Tim Griggs, allmusic.com
Exhibit Records Audiophile Series
Mastered By Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio!
Pressed at RTI
Chet Atkins, guitar
Les Paul, guitar
Randy Goodrum, piano
Henry Strzelecki or Bob Moore, bass
Larrie Londin, drums
Paul Yandell, Ray Edenton, or Bobby Thompson - rhythm guitar
1. It's Been A Long Time
2. Medley: Moonglow / Picnic (Theme from Picnic)
4. It Had To Be You
5. Out of Nowhere
7. Birth of the Blues
8. Someday Sweetheart
9. Deed I Do
10. Lover Come Back To Me