Friday, January 06, 2012



Simply one of the most accomplished guitarists of all time, Lenny Breau developed a technique that few have been able to fathom. In his hands, the instrument sounded like four people playing simultaneously with bass, rhythm and lead work executed by each finger on his picking hand.

Musicians speak of Breau in tones reserved for deities, with some of the acknowledged masters stepping back in awe of his abilities.

Yet, he remains criminally underappreciated. Substance abuse didn't help his cause.

This record is one of the very few that were released during his lifetime. Caught in the act at Shelley's Manne-Hole, 1969, Breau's set is a stunning exercise in live jazz guitar backed by Ron Halldorson on bass and Reg Kellin on drums. Find this album or CD and you'll be giving yourself a gift that will leave your jaw on the floor in amazement with every spin.

Breau was killed in the summer of 1984, the victim of a murder that remains unsolved. Sad end for someone so prodigiously talented.

Don't know Lenny? Here are some helpful maps.

CBC TV's "A Touch of Jazz", 1961.

At the time of recording his first album, produced by Chet Atkins, in 1968.

From a clinic that he gave in the early 80's.

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