Guitarist Lenny Breau's short life (1941-1984) is a movie waiting to be made. Before his still unsolved murder, he was able to bring a new voice to the guitar by adapting country fingerpicking technique to the intricacies of modern jazz. A Breau hallmark was his highly developed ability to play bass, chords and single notes concurrently - in effect having a trio in his right hand. The newly re-released Complete Living Room Tapes, with clarinetist Brad Terry, is a 2-CD close look at Breau in peak form, circa 1979. It contains four new bonus tracks and presents a comprehensive picture of his influences and virtuosity.
Although it has come out on a budget label, these four performances (taken from concert appearances in 1978, 1980 and 1981) had never previously been released before. With support from either George Cables or Milcho Leviev on piano, David Williams or Bob Magnusson on bass and drummer Carl Burnett, the great altoist Art Pepper is in excellent form on an emotional "Kobe Blues," an intense version of "Patricia" and hard-swinging renditions of "Allen's Alley" and his own "Straight Life".
Autophysiopsychic is probably the single album that many Yusef Lateef fans either love or hate the most. Along with guest soloist Art Farmer on flugelhorn, guitarist Eric Gale, keyboardist Cliff Carter, drummer Jim Madison and bassist Gary King (except for "Sister Mamie," which features Steve Gadd and Alex Blake respectively), "Teefski" romps through five fat slices of original funk that have far more in common with the sounds of Chocolate City than with the bop sounds of 52nd Street. Autophysiopsychic is awash in the soft soul-funk-jazz sound typical of Creed Taylor's (CTI) productions in the 1970s.