Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive

I admit, the accompanying album, took a while to grow on me; as much as I love the genre, I wasn't convinced by Paul's interpretation of them. Over time, and with the help of this film, I have been converted. And I think it could change a lot of other peoples' perceptions about the man and his music too. It shows there is yet another string in his bow. The interactions between Paul and everyone on this film, from his own crew, to session musicians to famous musicians, are natural, relaxed and on an equal level. This, coupled with his obvious self-deprecating sense of humour and general ability to laugh, put everyone at ease and endeared him to those he worked with and definitely to me watching this documentary. The session drummer described these sessions as being "free", showing how relaxed and friendly it was, which clearly shows in the footage of them recording. Everyone seems to feel comfortable and joyous. It's a fascinating insight into the creative process of this album, and to paraphrase what the bass player on these sessions said, he respects the music, which makes me respect him. Praise for Paul comes from everyone who is interviewed, including Eric Clapton, who despite his own illustrious career, spoke of his reverence for some of the stellar musicians also playing on this record. At this stage in Paul's career, it is good to see him fulfill such a long-held ambition (according to Joe Walsh). He breathes new life into some old songs, is faithful to Sinatra with his cover of We Three and his own contribution of My Valentine is sublime. It fits in perfectly with the rest of the recordings, and is further proof that the man is versatile. Generally speaking, I think Frank Sinatra and his songs are untouchable, but I was certainly impressed by the version of We Three I heard here. The film also goes a little into the history of the Capitol building; from the photographs on the walls of legends who have previously graced its studio floors (ie Nat King Cole, Sinatra and Coltrane, to the continued use of the vintage preamps, microphones and compressors, even the marks left by Les Paul by way of the echo chambers he originally designed...a fascintating taster of how the built environment helped shape this album. Paul said that the last time there was such an adverse reaction to any title he had suggested, it was the name The Beatles, which some associated too much with creepy crawly insects. Kisses On The Bottom had the same impact and it certainly adds another dimension to the (still) cute Beatle.