(2014) Boy Wonder

Lenny Breau

... read moreLenny Breau, with his inventive harmonic techniques, influenced many guitar players. When this unaccompanied guitar album was cut in 1956, however, Breau was 15 years old and still finding his way around the instrument. The title of the album is very accurate; Breau was a "wonder," but still a "boy...

01:12′:55″ 28 Songs

1
I'll See You In My Dreams
Lenny Breau
1:20
2
Cannon Ball Rag
Lenny Breau
1:59
3
John Henry
Lenny Breau
1:01
4
Medley 1: Alice Blue Gown / It's A Sin To Tell A Lie / I've Been Working On The Railroad
Lenny Breau
3:02
5
Birth Of The Blues
Lenny Breau
1:17
6
Correna, Correna
Lenny Breau
1:19
7
Medley 2: By The Light Of The Silvery Moon / Back Home Again In Indiana / Barnyard Frolic / Mr. Sandman / I'm Confessing That I Love You / Third Man Theme
Lenny Breau
6:55
8
Sonny's Special
Lenny Breau
2:16
9
Side By Side
Lenny Breau
2:38
10
Rainbow
Lenny Breau
1:51
11
The Blues Doubled
Lenny Breau
2:37
12
Speedy Blues
Lenny Breau
1:16
13
Blue Echo
Lenny Breau
1:09
14
Indian Love Call
Lenny Breau
2:37
15
Indian Love Call (Alternate Take)
Lenny Breau
1:33
16
Muskrat Ramble
Lenny Breau
2:17
17
Knock, Knock
Lenny Breau
2:15
18
Caravan
Lenny Breau
1:32
19
Chinatown, My Chinatown
Lenny Breau
1:13
20
Dance Of The Goldenrods
Lenny Breau
0:47
21
The Waltz You Saved For Me
Lenny Breau
4:18
22
Out Of Nowhere
Lenny Breau
3:39
23
It's Wonderful
Lenny Breau
2:17
24
Blue Heartaches
Lenny Breau
2:29
25
Blues In Extension
Lenny Breau
8:00
26
Speedy Jazz
Lenny Breau
3:23
27
September Song
Lenny Breau
2:43
28
Betty Coddy-Breau / Al Hawkes Interview
Lenny Breau
5:12
Released 15 April 2014, 2014 12 Hit Wonder Ltd. Under exclusive license to Linus Entertainment Inc.

Review

Lenny Breau, with his inventive harmonic techniques, influenced many guitar players. When this unaccompanied guitar album was cut in 1956, however, Breau was 15 years old and still finding his way around the instrument. The title of the album is very accurate; Breau was a "wonder," but still a "boy"; technically very sound, but stylistically undeveloped, vestiges of the country music syndrome are very apparent in his playing. This is not surprising, since his parents, with whom he was working at the time, were Hal "Lone Pine" Breau and Betty Cody, reasonably prominent country music performers in and around Northeastern U.S. and Canada. Breau's technique also reveals the influence of the picking style of the seminal guitarist, Chet Atkins, with whom Breau would record in 1981. As it turned out, there was always a slight touch of country in Breau's playing. While nowhere as developed as he was to become, this maiden album is a peek at the future. On "Caravan" and "Out of Nowhere," one begins to hear that style which eventually set the artist apart -- his dazzling skill at keeping a walking bass going along with the melody line on top. Breau's tastes were catholic; he was at home with the blues, classical, and ballads. There's some of this expansiveness in the early stages of his career, illustrated with the ballad treatment of "September Song" and the blues on "The Blues Doubled" and "Speedy Blues." What is lacking is the command of improvisation and interpretative qualities that characterized Breau's playing in later years, although "September Song" presages the way that he eventually fashioned a ballad. In fairness, most of the 26 tracks are barely two minutes long, except for an almost eight-minute romp with "Blues in Extension," leaving little space for anything beyond a chorus of the melody. The 28th track is an interview of Breau by Betty Cody, on how Breau developed his interest in the guitar. This interview was taped by Al Hawkes, the engineer on this early Breau recording. Immature playing notwithstanding, Breau's light shone far too briefly, dying at the early age of 43 and leaving behind a scant recording legacy. Guitarchives, dedicated to preserving great guitar music, gets kudos for collecting and reissuing the first of his recordings. The sound, by the way, is excellent. The Boy Wonder album will be very attractive not only to lovers of the jazz guitar in general and Lenny Breau fans in particular, but to those interested in listening to a great jazz musician as he hones his skills. ~ Dave Nathan