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Uptown Groove

Zachary Breaux

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Album Review

Guitarist Zachary Breaux, who tragically died just a few months after recording this CD (his debut), was a potentially great guitarist with a style coming from George Benson. In fact, his solos are generally more memorable than the purposely commercial material on this set, which largely consists of melodic, jazzy funk jams, usually with rather basic electronic rhythms. The cover versions of "All Blues" (which is given simplified harmonies) and "The Thrill Is Gone" (Breaux's one vocal) are lightweight throwaways, but most of the other selections show off the guitarist's obvious talents as a player; "After 2:00 AM on the East Coast" (a purely acoustic piece with a catchy melody) matches Breaux quite successfully with fellow guitarist Ted Dunbar. The final selection, ironically titled "I Love This Life," is quite odd, for it has Breaux interviewing Dunbar about his life over an overdubbed two-guitar quintet jam (which is sometimes too loud). Among the other guest musicians are flutist Hubert Laws, bassist Brian Bromberg and pianist Renee Rosnes. A diverse and sadly final statement from a fine player.

Biography

Born: 26 June 1960 in Port Arthur, TX

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s

Influenced by George Benson and Wes Montgomery, Zachary Breaux was a flexible guitarist who could handle soul-jazz, post-bop, and hard bop as well as more commercial pop-jazz and NAC music. Though the jazzman only recorded a handful of albums — including 1992's Groovin' and 1994's Laidback, both on NYC, and Uptown Groove on Zebra — he kept busy as a sideman in the 1980s and 1990s and backed such major artists as Stanley Turrentine, Jack McDuff, Donald Byrd, Lonnie Liston Smith, and Dee...
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Uptown Groove, Zachary Breaux
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