Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Five O'Clock Bells/Mo' Breau (2 on 1)
Genres: Blues, Jazz, Pop
A cornerstone of a small but essential legacy
N. Dorward | Toronto, ON Canada | 12/04/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Lenny Breau is often named as a "guitarist's guitarist"--one of the most technically remarkable players to touch the instrument. He's unlikely to ever be that well-known to the wider jazz public because his disastrous personal life (serious drug problems which ended with his being found murdered at the bottom of a swimming pool, age 43) meant that he never got his career together, & his recorded legacy is small. This CD doubles up two of his finest LPs, two solo discs recorded in 1977-78 & released as _Five O'Clock Bells_ & _Mo' Breau_. Despite the rather casual nature of the recordings--they preserve a false start, some fluffs & a couple samples of Breau's wistful, uncertainly pitched singing--this is one of the very best jazz recordings of the 1970s, & easily rivals the best of Joe Pass from the period. Breau's ability to play simultaneous lead & accompaniment is absolutely breathtaking, & though his primary influence is Bill Evans his synthesis of this influence with country, classical, flamenco & rock influences is deeply personal & absolutely right-sounding. _Five O'Clock Bells_ is the better of the two albums, simply for its inclusion of Breau's favourite setpiece, "Visions", a McCoy Tyner tune played over a throbbing ostinato; this tune functioned in his repertoire rather like "Nardis" in Bill Evans'--as the medium for the performer's deepest & most searching explorations. Breau's performances of standards are typically freewheeling & digressive, & the line between freeform improvisation & standard is pretty blurred--"Marlborough Street" begins as an improvisation on "Beautiful Love" before moving off, while "Lone Pine" is in fact "I'll Remember April" medleyed with a blues & a countrified coda at the end. The readings of standards & blues are casual, sometimes verging on the throwaway, yet full of vibrancy, wit & unexpected twists & turns. Other tracks, like the freeform originals "Toronto", "Amy (for Cinde)" & "Other Places, Other Times", sound like Breau turning over his thoughts & memories & moods.Breau's reputation as a technical wizard is well-earned. But what really makes his work stand out is that the music has the kind of emotional fullness that distinguishes Bill Evans' work from the prettified versions of his style that one often encounters in lesser pianists. Breau's ability to combine sparkle with gravitas, even when handling garden-variety jazz standards, is very satisfying. -- Those who enjoy this disc should also pick up Breau's _Live at Bourbon Street_, a double-CD of guitar/bass duets recorded at the end of his life."
J. K. Olsen | 01/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
Sorry for my bad spelling, I'm not from the U.S.A
I`m not going to explain very much abauth this album, the other reviwes are just fine.
I will tell you a little of Lenny Breau
If you, like me, have a larg collection of guitar cd`s, I must warn you.
When I first baught this cd, I had newer heard Lenny.
I had read all the fine reviews of this album, but it is not possible to explain the music of Lenny Breau.
Wat happened was, well first of all I got a shook, had newer heard anything like this.
Then after som days lissening to Lenny, I found out, that all my collection of hundreds of cd`s had lost some of i'ts glory.
Dont get me wrong, I love meny other guitarist, Barney Kessel, Chet Atkins, wes, and so many others,,,but I have never admire any guitarist
the way I use to, since I started lissening to Lenny.
No guitarist I have heard have bean able to express fealings and pasion, through his guitar, like Lenny Breau.
And hin knowledge of the instrument and the music is endless
When it comes to technique I have never heard any one like Lenny..
Well he do not not play three or four things at the same time, all the time,,like som other Guitarists like Thuck Andress,
But Lenny was able to play free, without his technique getting in the way. He made musich,,,and uset his incredible technique to express
His harmonic are,,,well I have newer heard anyone able to play harmonic so free and so intimate...
I have admired Chet Atkins playing harmonic,,,and with all respekt for Mister Guitar,,, Lenny Breau was far ahead of Chet.
In fakt, Lenny learned harmonic from Chet,,then lather Chet learned from Lenny.
The book "one long tune" Ron Forbes-Roberts do not have high taughts abouth this album, the last sessions and cabin fever. He points outh that Lenny's playing is aimless, and he was not in good shape, focused, and not at all at his best on these albums. Most of the tunes falls apart, and so on.
Well that may be so, buth I still love these albums. Maby these things just ad to the passion that you can hear on manný of the tunes?
So wat are the best Lenny Breau cd's??
For the last 8-9 months I have bean lissening to Lenny Breau every day...
I would say that this is one of the Most essential of the Lenny Breau cd's
along with "The Velvet Touch of Lenny Breau"
But there are especially 2 other Lenny Breau cd`s that stand outh
Cabin fever,,,wich is one the most beautiful and honest guitar album I have ever heard,,
And there is "live at bourbon st" the most increddible and beutiful eletrich guitar work you are likely to ever hear..
Other must have are "the complete living romm tapes", and svvingin` on a Seven String
So what do you do? Take the risk?
well I'm glad I discovered the genius of Lenny Breau...to me,,,,the greatest guitar player ever."
Deep Jazz Guitar
Drew A. G. Engman | Pinon Hills, CA USA | 12/22/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love these albums/CD's. You can hear the depth of feeling that Lenny plays with on some of the material here more than a lot of his earlier stuff.
I have been a fan of Lenny Breau for many years, but in the last few I have really started buying everything available.
As a young guitarist my self, back in 1979, I was able to meet Lenny. In a guitar class with the great John Pisano at Los Angeles Valley Community College, I was in class, and guess who walks in with his guitar? A short, kind of quiet, unknown friend of John's. Mr. Pisano introduced him and asked him to jam with him. All of us young wannabee's weren't that impressed, until they started jamming. I don't remember what songs they did, but I think my jaw scraped the floor by the the 2nd or 3rd bar. Their interplay, taste, technique, restraint, and respect for each other were beyond reproach.
I was in this class because I was totally into Joe Pass, and as fate would have it, Mr. Pisano had played on several Joe Pass albums. But here he played fingerstyle nylon string guitar and that was what this class was about. That was one of Lenny's forte's as well. I remember he taught us a killer lick of descending or ascending triplets based on the classic pentatonic blues rock scale with notes in 4ths on 3 adjacent strings. I still use it to this day at times. The man was dedicated to his art!
It took me a few years to put all this together and rightly place these almost-famous guitarists, unfortunately with Lenny's still-unsolved murder in 1984.
I have every CD listed on this website, and much more. Every single one has a genius spark of creativity combined with a seemingly unlimited musical vocabulary. Do your ears a favor and listen to Lenny do his thing. He is gone but his music seems immortal to me. His originals, and his versions of standards are sublime. The only living guitarist that has attained his level (that I have a huge collection of) is Tuck Andress of Tuck & Patti. Please let Lenny live in your life."