At the Purple Onion

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At the Purple Onion
At the Purple Onion.jpg
Live album by Lenny Breau
Released November 16, 2004
Recorded August 1962 at the Purple Onion, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Genre Jazz
Label Art of Life Records
Lenny Breau chronology
The Hallmark Sessions
(2003)The Hallmark Sessions2003
At the Purple Onion
LA Bootleg 1984
(2014)LA Bootleg 19842014

At the Purple Onion is a live album by guitarist Lenny Breau with Don Francks and Eon Henstridge, recorded in 1962 and released in 2004. Breau, Francks and Henstridge performed as a trio called Three.


Breau's former manager kept the original tapes of this live performance for over 40 years before they were re-discovered. It features Breau, Francks, and Henstridge with Joey Hollingsworth — one vocal and also tap dancing — performing at the Purple Onion club in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Liner notes and commentary by Francks, Hollingsworth, George B. Sukornyk and Ron Forbes-Roberts are also included.[1]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars [2]
JazzTimes (equivocal) [3]

Allmusic critic Ken Dryden describes the release as "Although fans of Lenny Breau are likely to be interested in all of his previously unreleased recordings, the focus is primarily on Francks... All fans of Lenny Breau will want to check out this previously unreleased CD, though some listeners may feel a bit overwhelmed by the emphasis on Francks' comedic vocals and narratives."[2] In reviewing the release for JazzTimes, critic Russell Carlson wrote Breau's "comping hangs in the background on this less-than-even recording. But when Breau gets space to himself, he uses it like a Breau fan wants him to... Serious Breau collectors and fans of wacky jazz theater (do any exist?) will invest wisely in this; those uninitiated in Breau's artistry should turn to Art of Life's previous The Hallmark Sessions."[3]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Introduction" – 32:29
  2. "A New Electric Chair" (Lenny Breau, Don Francks, Eon Henstridge) – 3:14
  3. "The Surrey With the Fringe on Top" (Oscar Hammerstein II, Richard Rodgers) – 5:26
  4. "The Newspaper Song" (Breau, Francks, Henstridge) – 9:17
  5. "Gum Addiction" (Breau, Francks, Henstridge) – 4:09
  6. "Tea for Two" (Irving Caesar, Vincent Youmans) – 13:18
  7. "A Gentile Sings the Blues" (Breau, Francks, Henstridge) – 21:04
  8. "Work Song" (Nat Adderley) – 5:14
  9. "Oscar's Blues" (Oscar Moore) – 1:53
  10. "Joey's Solo" (Joey Hollingsworth) – 1:43


  • Lenny Breau – guitar
  • Don Francks – vocals
  • Eon Henstridge – bass
  • Joey Hollingsworth – vocals on "Work Song", tap dancing on "Work Song", "Oscar's Blues" and "Joey's Solo"

Production notes:

  • Paul Kohler – producer, art direction, mastering, mixing, graphic layout, liner notes


  1. ^ At the Purple Onion liner notes. Accessed August 2009.
  2. ^ a b Dryden, Ken. "At the Purple Onion > Review". Allmusic. Retrieved June 22, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Carlson, Russell. "At the Purple Onion > Review". JazzTimes. Retrieved June 22, 2011. 

External links[edit]