February 25, 2011

AFTER A WEEKEND OF LIGHTING the Iridium on fire with his Robby Krieger Jazz Project, the Doors guitarist joined the parade of stars that have been sitting in with the Les Paul Trio Monday nights at this New York Jazz club. Following in the footsteps of Larry Carlton, Albert Lee, and Steve Morse, Krieger joined the trio on tunes associated with their departed genius front man. “Les Paul and Mary Ford was some of the best stuff on the radio. I always loved the sound of his guitar,” he says. “I never realized until later what a great guitar player he was. I thought he was just a guy who did studio tricks. When I saw him play I realized that this guy is a real jazz guitarist.”

Though comfortable with the standards, Krieger was at first nonplussed. “It was weird— I am not used to playing at that volume. It was so low—it is like you are whispering, but it was fun,” he says. “We did ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow,’ ‘Caravan,’ and ‘Georgia on My Mind.’

“‘Georgia on My Mind’ is what I did with Les at his 85th birthday party. I felt so bad for him because all these guys were there who wanted to play loud, like ‘Crossroads’ and stuff. Les had this weird look on his face like, ‘What the hell is going on here—what have I sprung, did this come out of me?’ I knew he did ‘Georgia’ with his band so I did ‘Georgia’ with him. He looked so relieved.”

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