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Swingin' On a Seven-String (Re-mastered)

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Album Review

In 1982 the great guitarist Lenny Breau decided to combine a couple of his strongest musical loves, recording country songs with jazz chords in a swinging setting. Half of the music on this set is comprised of duets with bassist Jim Ferguson, while the remainder is played in a quartet with Ferguson, steel guitarist Buddy Emmons and drummer Kenny Malone. It has long been an open secret that many country standards have fairly simple chord changes that are ideal for jamming. Breau, who splits his time between an acoustic seven-string guitar and a regular electric guitar (and takes a completely spontaneous off-mic vocal on "Bonaparte's Retreat"), is in exuberant form throughout this laid-back but happy release. But because jazz/country fusions were not exactly in vogue in 1982, this date was only released very briefly by the tiny Tudor label before the company failed and the record went out of print. Lenny Breau was killed in 1984 and this was his last studio album. It is a long-overdue joy to have this highly enjoyable music available again, and it is highly recommended to anyone at all interested in Lenny Breau's artistry.

Customer Reviews

Even material from an odd fellow

Lenny was a rare prodigy that matched his natural talent with persistent, hard work. The result is one of the most unique voices in fingerstyle guitar.

Unfortunately, the quality of Lenny's recordings is uneven. Not so on this release. Whether he is comping or soloing, he is in good form with his band mates: Buddy Emmons (steel guitar), Kenny Malone (drums), and Jim Furgeson (acoustic bass). My favorites are "I'm so Lonesome" and "You Needed Me."

The steel guitar may be a turn off, but if you are a fan of the Buddy Emmons steel guitar jazz then you'll love this. This is a must have for Breau fans and highly recommended to fingerstyle guitar fans.

Lenny and Buddy

There has never been a player like Lenny nor like Buddy. Both are amazing expressive virtuoso players. Despite Lenny's issues this is a fantastic recording. Very highly recommended.


Born: August 5, 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...
Full Bio
Swingin' On a Seven-String (Re-mastered), Lenny Breau
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Bop
  • Released: Jun 21, 2005

Customer Ratings


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