Saturday, January 10, 2015


LA BOOTLEG 1984   
Lenny Breau
Guitar Archives/Linus Entertainment
4 out of 5 stars

30 years ago, in August of 1984, jazz guitar legend Lenny Breau was found dead of an apparent murder that remains unsolved.   Two months before, executive producer Randy Bachman and the crew of Guitar Archives released a never before heard live album recorded by the legendary guitarist at the peak of his powers.

“LA Bootleg 1984” is a collection of tried and tested standards such as “Stella By Starlight”, “They Will Never Be Another You”, and “If You Could See Me Now” performed in a trio setting that brings elements of swing, introspection, reflection and happiness, not indicating that there are no signs of Lenny Breau slowing down and just on the brink of a new creative high.   These performances haven’t been released and can be seen as somewhat of a revelation for Lenny Breau fans and devotees who want to bring some closure to his short career.

Upon listening to this new recording, it is astonishing that Mr. Breau blended various genres and prodigious technique to create a style that is uniquely his own.    Here we get to see him interact with a fuller jazz unit that supports Mr. Breau in his explorations while he swings and burns on faster tempos such as “Four” and “There Will Never Be Another You” and reflects and plays with sensitivity on ballads such as “When I Fall In Love” and “If You Could See Me Now”.

One of the highlighted tracks in this set is an obscure piece composed by Don Thompson called “Days Gone By”.   Lenny treat’s this piece so well that it deserves to become a contemporary standard, bringing heartfelt emotion and harmonic sensibilities into the piece.   

“LA Bootleg 1984” is a welcome addition for guitar aficionados and fans of Lenny Breau to honor and pay respect to a major talent gone way too soon.

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