265

Lenny Breau: The Hallmark Sessions

Elliott Simon By

Sign in to view read count
Lenny Breau: The Hallmark Sessions Following the reissue of Lenny Breau's Complete Living Room Tapes, Art of Life Records has released another CD of historical import and musical excellence. Recorded in 1961, The Hallmark Sessions are the heretofore unreleased first studio recordings of this guitarist who most capably fused classical, flamenco, and country finger picking with contemporary jazz. Seven of the thirteen unique cuts feature a trio consisting of 20-year-old Breau, 17-year-old bassist Rick Danko and 21-year-old drummer Levon Helm. The sound quality, aside from a few minor rough spots, is excellent and the six re-presented stereo versions of the trio pieces sparkle. Breau in a word is awesome and to think that his playing was this developed at such a young age is mind boggling.

The fast runs, the polyrhythms, his adeptness at accompanying himself while playing lead and his proficiency at slipping from country to jazz to flamenco and back are all here. Jazz trio pieces such as "It Could Happen To You," with its extended chordal opening and self accompaniment, or the delicately presented "My Old Flame," are evidence that Breau had already conceived, to a large degree, his singular approach to the jazz genre. "Oscar's Blues" and "D Minor Blues" also attest to his ability to artfully blend styles while maintaining a traditional form. Likewise, there are solo originals and covers that allow the listener to better understand how Breau grew into the powerfully transcendent artist that he became. "Lenny's Western Blues" and "Cannonball Rag" are country finger pickin' gems that complement three flamenco pieces, while "Brazilian Love Song" is an exciting version of "Batacuda" by guitarist Luiz Bonfa, who, like Breau, played melody, rhythm and bass all at the same time. The Hallmark Sessions are the first piece of the Lenny Breau legacy.


Track Listing: 1. It Could Happen to You (Burke/VanHeusen) - 5:42 2. Oscar's Blues (Breau) - 3:38 3. I'll Remember April (DePaul/Johnston/Raye) - 4:25 4. Undecided (Robin/Shavers) - 3:34 5. My Old Flame (Coslow/Johnston) - 5:29 6. 'D' Minor Blues (Breau) - 5:10 7. 'R' Tune (Breau) - 3:20 8. Lenny's Western Blues (Breau) - 2:33 9. Cannonball Rag (Travis) - 2:13 10. Solea (Traditional) - 4:01 11. Taranta (Traditional) - 3:58 12. Arabian Fantasy (Traditional) - 2:51 13. Brazilian Love Song (Batucada) (Bonfa) - 2:07 14. Oscar's Blues [*] (Breau) - 3:39 15. I'll Remember April [*] (DePaul/Johnston/Raye) - 4:24 16. Undecided [*] (Robin/Shavers) - 3:34 17. My Old Flame [*] (Coslow/Johnston) - 5:29 18. 'D' Minor Blues [*] (Breau) - 5:08 19. 'R' Tune [*] (Breau) - 3:17 *stereo version

Personnel: Lenny Breau - Acoustic and Electric Guitar; Rick Danko - Bass; Levon Helm - Drums.

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Art of Life Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Vortex Generation Mechanisms" CD/LP/Track Review Vortex Generation Mechanisms
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 25, 2016
Read "R Train On The D Line" CD/LP/Track Review R Train On The D Line
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 10, 2016
Read "Strange But Not Entirely Unattractive" CD/LP/Track Review Strange But Not Entirely Unattractive
by Dave Wayne
Published: August 21, 2016
Read "Prairie Burn" CD/LP/Track Review Prairie Burn
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 9, 2016
Read "Of Sound Mind" CD/LP/Track Review Of Sound Mind
by Budd Kopman
Published: September 30, 2016
Read "Left" CD/LP/Track Review Left
by John Sharpe
Published: November 22, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!