The first thing you notice upon listening to this 1969 performance is that the production is very murky and causes the music to lose some of its punch. The bass and drums are very quiet, and the bass is often not heard unless playing high on the neck in the upper register, or taking a solo. The sounds emanating from the audience also become very disruptive, drowning out the music in some cases ("Green Dolphin St.," "When I Fall in Love (Version/2)"). Live at Donte's does showcase Breau's ability to make one guitar sound like two, due to his mix of classical, country, flamenco, and jazz roots that he incorporates into his fingerpicking style. Breau also uses his trademark artificial harmonics to coax sounds out of his guitar similar to that of a harp ("When I Fall in Love (Version/1)"), participates in call and response with drummer Dick Berk ("Too Close for Comfort"), and exhibits his amazing dexterity to peel off hammer-ons and pull-offs on the guitar neck at the pace of a speeding locomotive ("24/36 Blues"). If you're looking to purchase a live CD of Breau, however, it is recommended that you pick up The Velvet Touch of Lenny Breau, which has much better production.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Howell
feat: John Pisano