RELEASED: January 13, 2015 | TOTAL SONGS: 9 | GENRES: Blues | LABEL: Independent

Track Listing

  1. Jumpy – 3:04
  2. Winter Tears – 3:29
  3. Slow Slide into Blues – 3:34
  4. Edgar’s Blues – 4:30
  5. Second Line Blues – 4:31
  6. Half Full Blue – 4:15
  7. Spooky Blues – 5:02
  8. Fishin’ Blues – 3:32
  9. Jojo – 5:06

The violin has not been a prominent instrument in the blues genre, with Papa John Creach and Sugar Cane Harris being notable exceptions. Noted Canadian violin virtuoso Lenny Solomon (a Juno-winner with Myles and Lenny) now adds to that list with the highly impressive The Blues Violin. An in-demand session player, the musically eclectic Solomon has made his mark in jazz, classical and Celtic music (Bowfire), and his original compositions here (co-written with bandmates Shelley Berger and Mark Ganetakos) show his knowledge of the 12 bar form (“Winter Tears” is a nice tribute to Johnny Winter). Other ace players featured on the all-instrumental disc include horn players Vern Dorge and Dave Dunlop.

Kerry DooleNew Canadian Music

When it comes to instruments associated with the blues, which ones immediately spring to mind? Most likely “guitar,” followed by “harmonica,” “organ”, “piano” and various types of horns. “Violin,” if it’s not completely off of most people’s lists, is probably near the bottom. However, such a stringed sensation has played a foundational part in the genre, popularized by such bands as the Mississippi Sheiks in the 1930s. It is this zeitgeist, the spirit of that age, which Canada’s Lenny Solomon clearly captures in The Blues Violin, an album of all instrumentalsPurists beware: According to his website, critic Mark Rheaume of CBC Music Resources states, “The album is called THE BLUES VIOLIN, but it could just as easily been titled THE JAZZ VIOLIN, or yes, THE ROCK VIOLIN, reflecting Solomon’s roots in the pop band, Myles and Lenny, in the 1970s.” Read the Full Review

Rainey WetnightBlues Blast Magazine

After the international success of his show Bowfire, Lenny Solomon is returning to his roots with his newest release The Blues Violin. This JUNO Award-winning Toronto musician has built a solid reputation as a jazz violinist, though he has a lengthy classical and pop background. The music on this album journeys through different blues styles but that is not all – Lenny Solomon adds jazz, funk and rock elements with the craftsmanship of a mature artist. The rhythm section (Marc Ganetakos, guitar; Shelly Berger, bass; Mark Lalama, keyboards; Steve Heathcote, drums and percussion) provides a wonderful landscape for the savvy violin solos and shines in solos of their own. Greg Kolchinsky, who recorded and mixed this album, did a fine job bringing out the variety of electric violin sounds…
Read the Full Review

Ivana PopovicThe Whole Note

Lenny Solomon has been called Canada’s premier jazz violinist but he’s switched genres on his brand new album. Our music columnist Errol Nazareth reviewed “The Blues Violin” on the show today: The violin is not the first instrument that jumps to mind when I hear the word blues. But I love when artists like Kadri Gopalnath, who plays South Indian classical music on the saxophone, come along and blow my mind with exciting, revolutionary sound clashes. On his latest album, Lenny Solomon plays nine originals in styles that include jump blues, Delta blues, and some funky, hard rocking blues. He’s backed by an ace four-piece rhythm section and together they’ve made an album that cooks. Danny Marks, who’s been playing the blues in Toronto for almost 40 years, collaborated with Solomon on a track titled “Winter Tears”. Marks told me Lenny is brave to be doing a record like this and hopes The Blues Violin will expand the blues audience.

Errol NazarethCBC Radio - Errol’s Pick