Perhaps one of the greatest jazz guitarists ever, Lenny Breau was anything but a purist and drew on a huge variety of influences including flamenco, classical music, Indian ragas, and of course, his true pedigree as the son of a pair of traveling Country musicians. Breau practiced obsessively from a very early age and dropped out of grade school to go on the road with the family band. His singular sound came out of similarly singular focus on music and a voracious appetite for different forms of guitar styles. This obsessiveness rendered him largely unable to cope with the more mundane aspects of everyday life and led to his lifelong addiction to drugs. There is clearly a downside to doing literally nothing but play guitar every day to the exclusion of all other things, but it definitely made him one of the most incredible guitarists on the planet.
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He sought to continue the development of his playing styles by using custom made 7-string guitars. Throughout his career he struggled with alcohol and drug abuse. At the age of 43, he was found dead in a Los Angeles swimming pool. His death remains an unsolved homicide.
In , he was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. The Berklee College of Music offers a course in his unique style, and he continues to be studied as one of the most innovative and influential guitarist who has ever lived. Randy Bachman , considers him his most powerful influence. Lenny Breau Trio. Viewing All Lenny Breau. Breau , L. Data Quality Correct. Show 25 50 Refresh. What he did on that 7-string was deemed to be impossible, but he did it.
He blows away pretty much any guitarist out there even to this day, and even Chet Atkins looked up to him As a guitarist, but was more a father figure to him. Impressive that he, at age 14 could play "stride" style that Chet and Merle Travis was known for.
Im 34 and not even close. A sad loss and story. But what talent he possessed.. A true guitar legend. Reply Notify me 3 Helpful. Definitely on the Top 5 list of greatest Jazz guitarists most people have never heard of.
Master Release - [Help] Release Notes: optional. Submission Notes: optional. Save Cancel. Contained Releases:. RCA Victor. Sell This Version. Album 8 versions. Buddy Emmons With Lenny Breau. Stony Plain Records , Flying Fish 2.
Lenny Breau Album 3 versions. Direct-Disk Labs. Five O'Clock Bells Album 3 versions. Adelphi Records Inc. The Legendary Lenny Breau Sound Hole Records. Lenny Breau And Chet Atkins. When Lightn' Strikes Album 2 versions. Tudor Records 2. Relaxed Rabbit Records. Electric Muse Records. Livingroom Records 2. Last Sessions Album 4 versions. Lenny Breau and Brad Terry.
Musical Heritage Society. Lenny Breau With Dave Young 3. Guitarchives Music, Inc. Cabin Fever Album 2 versions. Boy Wonder Album 2 versions.
String Jazz. Lenny Breau , Richard Cotten. Art Of Life Records. Jazz Cat Records.
How Did Lenny Breau Do That?
The dazzling guitar style that so impressed Atkins was a unique synthesis of jazz, flamenco, country, classical and other musical genres that Lenny worked tirelessly to refine throughout his life. Along the way, he created new techniques that baffled and amazed even the most accomplished guitarists of his time. The musical result enthralled listeners as much for its technical complexity as the depth of its emotional expression. How is it then that such an enormously talented and innovative musician is only now—over thirty years after his mysterious death at the age of forty-three—finally beginning to receive the attention and acclaim that eluded him during his lifetime? This conundrum is perhaps best understood by looking at the life, times and character of Lenny Breau, who at an early age dedicated himself to the passionate pursuit of a unique musical voice.
Lenny Breau: The Forgotten Guitar Genius
Breau blended many styles of music, including jazz , country , classical , and flamenco. Inspired by country guitarists like Chet Atkins , Breau used fingerstyle techniques not often used in jazz guitar. By using a seven-string guitar and approaching the guitar like a piano , he opened up possibilities for the instrument. From the mid to late s they played summer engagements in southern New Brunswick, advertising their performances by playing free programs on radio station CKCW Moncton. Lenny began playing guitar at the age of eight.