The Legendary Leonard Kwan

review by d. lawrence haynes

George Winston has done more for "slack key" guitar than anyone in recent memory. He founded Dancing Cat Records to showcase past and current practitioners of this uniquely Hawaiian art. Now he has gone on to re-issue the Tradewinds Label's early recordings of some of the most influential artists on his newest label "Cord International & Hana Ola Records".

The first title was the legendary Ray Kane, a superb and enlightening look into the roots of slack key. The follow-up release, the original recordings of Leonard Kwan are even more amazing. Listening to this disc will make you think that it is a new release, recorded this year, not between 1957 and 1974.

What you hear here is the incredible power of a guitarist at the peak of his talent. To say that he set the standard for slack key guitarists to come is to underestimate what this man was doing.

Normally, I break down an album by tracks, but in this case it's impossible to pick one over the other. Each track is so flawlessly performed that I find it hard to select a favorite.

This disc also contains the famous "Red Album", the first ever all instrumental slack key album released in addition to other tracks recorded for Tradewinds. The "Red Album" has been labeled the most influential slack key album ever released, and it would be hard to argue against that assessment.

To quote George Winston "He was full of endless delightful surprises. He and his music were one--every note, chord, and musical phrase reflects who he was.

Sit back, listen and enjoy a master.

The Legendary Leonard Kwan on Cord International

"The Legendary Leonard Kwan"

For more information contact:
Cord International
(877) 648-7881
Or visit the Cord International website:

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