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Chester & Lester

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iTunes Review

By 1976, Chet Atkins and Les Paul were practically in a league of their own, and here the guitar innovators go head-to-head, picking their way through a collection of jazz and pop standards. Their take on "Caravan," originally a Duke Ellington song, sounds like a snippet from an Allman Brothers jam recorded 30 years in the future, and Al Jolson's "Avalon" becomes a drag race—both legends egg each other on as they speed down the track.

Customer Reviews

Chet & Les

I thought this is one of the best easy listening albums ever. Great guitar work by Chet Atkins and Les Paul on this one. I've had the 8 track tape of this since '76 and still don't get tired of listening to this album. iTunes really brought it here digitally and it never sounded so good. I found this CD 8 years ago as an import, but paid big for it. Wish I knew then it would be here on iTunes..

Two masters having fun

This album features two guitar masters having a lot of fun tossing staff back and forth. Not much editing, because little was necessary. Here's pickin' as it's meant to be done. Transparent sound, so good that reliance on noisy and technical stunts are completely unnecessary. Six-string perfection.

Chester & Lester - Chet Atkins & Les Paul, 1976

Chet Atkins and Les Paul, two of the legendary names of electric guitar development as well as its music. Outstanding musicianship; recognizable, cross-genre style, with notes that both flow and pop like bubbles from a party gun. It is all on display here; makes you want ot run out to that Manhattan club where Lester still pays two sets every Monday night. Favorites tunes on this album tell their own stories: Caravan, instantly evoking circus action; It's Been a Long, Long Time itself evoking a sweetly imagined era when America and its allies were strong and proud and had citizens who sacrified for the rest of us. Avalon's technical sprightliness just dazzing to the ear and brain. These are a few of my all-time favorite tunes, just the way they should be remembered, and indeed, just how they should be passed down through history. This stands out with Stephane Grappeli, Django Reinhardt, with Nat King Cole's voice---all examples of perfection for the ages. This is an instant classic, and as one who has followed and played at music for over 50 years, I know there isn't a better pair of guitar kings on any album out there. A treat of a gift!


Born: June 20, 1924 in Luttrell, TN

Genre: Country

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Without Chet Atkins, country music may never have crossed over into the pop charts in the '50s and '60s. Although he recorded hundreds of solo records, Atkins' largest influence came as a session musician and a record producer. During the '50s and '60s, he helped create the Nashville sound, a style of country music that owed nearly as much to pop as it did to honky tonks. And as a guitarist, he was without parallel. Atkins' style grew out of his admiration for Merle Travis, expanding Travis' signature...
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