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The Hallmark Sessions

Lenny Breau

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Album Review

Hallmark Sessions is an extraordinary release. The previously unreleased music (which sat unheard for over 41 years) was recorded in 1961 when Lenny Breau was 20 and nearly seven years before he made his first important recording. The guitarist was already a brilliant player as he shows throughout the set of seven jazz, two country, and four flamenco tunes (plus six alternate takes placed at the end of this disc). With tasteful backing by bassist Rick Danko and drummer Levon Helm, Breau plays beautiful chords (sounding a little like Johnny Smith in spots) and inventive single-note lines. It is remarkable that this music was not released until 2003, but a happy event that it was finally put out. This is a must for Breau fans and an important release for all jazz guitar lovers.

Biography

Born: 05 August 1941 in Auburn, ME

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s

An outstanding jazz improviser who performed on both acoustic and electric guitars, Lenny Breau's right hand drew on classical, flamenco, and country (Travis/Atkins) finger-picking techniques. He was among the first guitarists to digest the impressionistic, post-bop chord voicings of pianist Bill Evans. Breau developed the ability to simultaneously comp chords and improvise single-string melodies, creating the illusion of two guitarists playing together. His facility with artificial harmonics remains...
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The Hallmark Sessions, Lenny Breau
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