Lenny Breau

cropped-Lenny-Breau-06Leonard Harold Breau (1941-1984) was born in Maine to musician parents and spent his early life surrounded by the country/western music that they performed. As a teenager, Lenny’s natural musical ability allowed him to figure out the licks of his favorite guitarists including Chet Atkins and Django Reinhardt, as well as jazz greats of the day like Tal Farlow, Barney Kessel, and pianist Bill Evans.

Lenny Breau - Episode 1

Lenny's ability to mix country, jazz, and flamenco styles along with his ability to play the guitar like a piano made him one of the great innovators, yet sadly forgotten today by those outside the music community. On this show we will examine some of his influences as well as his first recordings.
CompositionArtistAlbumYear
I've Been Working on the GuitarChet Atkins1950
Mountain MelodyChet Atkins1951
Les Yeux NoirsDjango Reinhardt1947
Mean to MeBarney KesselWith the Poll Winners1957
LoverTal Farlow Quartet1954
Out of NowhereLenny BreauBoy Wonder1957
Blues in ExtensionLenny BreauBoy Wonder1957
Speedy JazzLenny BreauBoy Wonder1957

Lenny Breau - Episode 2

On the podcast we will listen to his first important recording session, sometimes referred to as the Hallmark Sessions (Hallmark Studios, Toronto). This is where Lenny introduced “spanjazz” which is a combination of the flashy and highly technical flamenco style mixed with jazz. Here he displays the assimilation of his many influences into a recognizable and original approach to playing the guitar.
CompositionArtistAlbumYear
I'll Remember AprilLenny BreauHallmark Sessions1961
Oscar's BluesLenny BreauHallmark Sessions1961
UndecidedLenny BreauHallmark Sessions1961
SoleaLenny BreauHallmark Sessions1961
Arabian FantasyLenny BreauHallmark Sessions1961

Lenny Breau - Episode 3

In 1968 Lenny made his first commercially successful recording on the RCA record label in Nashville produced by Chet Atkins. The selections reflect a good cross-section of popular music from the mid to late 1960’s mixed with some jazz standards. He spent quite a bit of time in Los Angeles in mid-1969 recording with his trio and performed in a number of famous jazz clubs. These live recordings provide an accurate representation of his guitar playing at this time.
CompositionArtistAlbumYear
King of the RoadLenny BreauGuitar Sounds of Lenny Breau1968
TarantaLenny BreauGuitar Sounds of Lenny Breau1968
GeorgiaLenny BreauGuitar Sounds of Lenny Breau1968
There is No Greater LoveLenny BreauThe Velvet Touch: Live at Shelly's Manhole1969
The ClawLenny BreauThe Velvet Touch: Live at Shelly's Manhole1969
Mercy, Mercy, MercyLenny BreauThe Velvet Touch: Live at Shelly's Manhole1969