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Rare Breau Released

On November 18, 2003, Art of Life Records will release The Hallmark Sessions, a lost album from legendary guitarist Lenny Breau (pictured).

The previously unreleased session is notable because it was the first time Breau was professionally recorded. The session took place at Hallmark Studios in Toronto in 1961 when the guitarist was only 20 years old.

With help from acoustic bassist Rick Danko and drummer Levon Helm -yep, of the Band-on seven tracks plus six solo guitar works, these lost sessions find the young virtuoso guitarist tackling jazz standards like “It Could Happen to You” and “I’ll Remember April,” running through a repertoire of flamenco and country-western tunes, and later contributing four original compositions making for quite an eclectic listening experience. The six bonus cuts are stereo versions of the trio tracks.

Known for his exceptional jazz improvisational skills and revolutionary technical proficiency, playing chords while improvising single-string melodies, Breau is considered by many to be among the greatest jazz guitarists. In 1984, he was mysteriously murdered, believed to have been strangled in his pool. The murder has still not been solved.

Here’s the track listing for the The Hallmark Sessions.

1. It Could Happen To You

2. Oscar’s Blues

3. I’ll Remember April

4. Undecided

5. My Old Flame

6. ‘D’ Minor Blues

7. ‘R’ Tune

8. Lenny’s Western Blues

9. Cannonball Rag

10. Solea

11. Taranta

12. Arabian Fantasy

13. Brazilian Love Song (Batucada)

14. Oscar’s Blues (stereo version)

15. I’ll Remember April (stereo version)

16. Undecided (stereo version)

17. My Old Flame (stereo version)

18. ‘D’ Minor Blues (stereo version)

19. ‘R’ Tune (stereo version)

For more information on Lenny Breau, check out: http://www.guitarchives.com/lenny.htm.

Originally Published