Last night, Jeff Beck paid tribute to Les Paul. The intimate gig took place at New York’s Iridium on the eve of what would have been Paul’s 95th birthday.
Before the show, Beck presented Les Paul’s son and the Iridium’s owner with a plaque to hang in the club. Beck looked to Paul as a mentor and, according to the club, Paul looked at Beck as his protégé. Beck performed with Irish singer Imelda May and members of her band. The first part of the musicians’ set focused on the rockabilly music Paul helped create and which influenced Beck’s early in his career. Later in the set, Beck tackled some of Paul’s signature songs and covers, including “How High the Moon.” Special guests such as Brian Setzer, Gary U.S. Bonds and a small horn section also sat in at various points throughout the night.
The performance was filmed for a DVD release and PBS special. Beck will return to the Iridium this evening with additional special guests. Additional reporting by Jonathan Goldstein