Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Lenny Breau: Lenny Breau Trio

Recorded direct-to-disc in the spring of 1979, this recording documents the genius of guitarist Lenny Breau, a startlingly original player who combined elements of country, jazz and flamenco into an organic voice.

A champion of both fingerstyle and seven-string guitar (with a high A-string), Breau was also known for his bell-like harmonic passages, a technical innovation that was emulated by a whole lineage of great guitar stylists from Larry Coryell to Steve Masakowski, Phil deGruy, Bireli Lagrene and Charlie Hunter.

Accompanied by the Canadian rhythm section of Don Thompson on bass and Claude Ranger on drums, Breau demonstrates mind-boggling facility and fluidity on a jazzy interpretation of Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice (It’s Alright)” and on a blistering, pent-up rendition of John Coltrane’s “Mister Night.” They turn in a burning rendition of “On Green Dolphin Street” (moronically mistitled here as “Neptune”) and cool out on a gorgeous “The Shadow of Your Smile” (here mistitled as “Claude”), in which Breau demonstrates his uncanny affinity for pianist Bill Evans’ impressionistic approach on guitar. Breau’s mentor, guitar great and Nashville executive Chet Atkins, guests on a lovely rendition of Anne Murray’s “You Needed Me.”

Jazz guitarists everywhere need to check out this remarkable (and remarkably overlooked) player.

Originally Published