Les Paul & Mary Ford

Lover's Luau

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Funny that history should repeat itself so blatantly, for as was the casse with Decca, Les Paul's first album for Columbia was -- surprise -- a Hawaiian album. Whose idea it was is not clear, but the sequel is only intermittently satisfying, despite the advances in recording technique (this was Les Paul's first released stereo recording). Five of the 12 tunes are retreads from the Decca album, if anything even more leisurely in tempo and lazy in feeling. While side one is rather down and dreary, Paul's gleaming tone, still-savvy selection of notes, a few gee-whiz glissandos, reverb effects and lively jazz-inflected solos on side two enliven potentially deadly tunes like "On the Beach at Waikiki" and "My Little Grass Shack." Although Mary Ford is given co-billing, her singing is relegated to occasional wordless, overdubbed choral vocals in the background, although it is possible that she is playing rhythm guitar (she was actually a fine overlooked guitarist in her own right).

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