Crescent Shores
(Big Deal Records)


This brutal winter in NYC is killing me. One antidote might be a trip to Hawaii, another might be to give a listen to Crescent Shores, the 2010 CD release by renowned Florida guitarist Les Sabler. Les has remained a mainstay on the jazz fusion scene for much of the past two decades and, much like the unique and picturesque cover art of some drop dead gorgeous Florida beach (or is that Hawaii?), the eleven cut Crescent Shores takes you to a scenic and quite relaxed musical destination. Ostensibly, you might call Sabler’s surf ‘n’ sun flecked instrumental guitar sound smooth jazz, but in the spirit of guitar heroes like George Benson, his chops speak the language of jazz. Sabler's tastefully performed arrangements are light ages beyond merely straightforward and the whole CD just sounds better with each repeated spin. A solid band—including drummers Erik Hargrove and David “Frankie” Toler along with percussionist Joe Lala—puts some musical muscle behind Sabler’s tangy guitar grooves. If it’s hard to find a high point (though “Peace River Suite” is an guitar instro gem), it’s because the album moves quite smoothly from start to finish and truth be told, the CD works best as a whole. Spin after spin, Crescent Shores hardly wears out its welcome. Coupled with that mirage like island palm tree cover art, Crescent Shores will have you coming back for more. www.BigDealRecords.com / www.LesSabler.com

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Musical Background

I started playing guitar when I was nine after seeing The Beatles on Ed Sullivan like so many others at that time. I play a little piano as well, primarily for fun and some composing. Initially I was fascinated with ’60s rock and popular music and later gravitated towards the blues as I wanted to listen to those who influenced the musicians I had been listening to. Eventually my interest shifted to jazz and I had an opportunity to see many jazz and blues legends perform in nightclubs in the early to mid 1970’s in Montreal where I grew up. I graduated from Concordia University as a jazz major, moved to Florida and spent some time at University of Miami. After a short stay there I toured with a variety of groups, had some fun times and eventually settled in Sarasota where I lived for many years. It was an interesting music scene there and I started composing, recording and performing original music. My CDs began receiving national radio play starting with my first recording in 1990 and I continued to release recordings, most recently Crescent Shores.

New CD

This recording started in 1991 in Tampa on two inch analog tape however the project was shelved after the tracking sessions were done and the tapes went into storage until 2009 when I did a digital transfer and started reworking the tracks. It was a new direction for me as I played nylon string guitar on all songs. The rhythm section from the original sessions had the late Bruce Waibel on bass and David “Frankie” Toler on drums who had recently ended a long run with The Gregg Allman Band. Also retained from the original sessions were performances by Richard Elliot on sax and the late Steve Gould on sax and flute. During the recent production which was also done here in Tampa, several new tunes were added to the mix and I recorded all new guitar. Allon Sams co-produced and played keyboards and trumpet. Ruben Drake played bass on several tracks, Joe Lala (CSNY, Bee Gees, Blues Image) played percussion and Erik Hargrove (James Brown) played drums on several tracks. A few others contributed, Gene Cannon on sax, Mic Smith on flugelhorn and vocalist Velma Glover.

Favorite Guitars

I played a Ramirez 2CWE and for some extra color added steel string acoustic in the background, played on a Martin OMC Aura and 12 string played on my lovely vintage Guild F-512. When performing live, my main guitar is a ’68 Gibson ES-335 which I have owned since 1979 and I recently picked up a Sadowsky electric nylon which is an amazing instrument. I have enjoyed using a Fuchs ODS50 amplifier for several years and it is an integral component of my sound. I have a variety of pedals on my board. Some favorites are the Xotic BB and RC and a Keely compressor. I use GHS strings, Burnished Nickel for electric and La Classique nylon strings.

Musical Influences

George Benson, Larry Carlton and Carlos Santana were those that inspired me the most early on however I enjoy listening to many great musicians, guitarists and other instrumentalists. George Benson’s CTI albums, Larry Carlton’s early solo albums, his work with the Crusaders and The Allman Brothers - Live At The Fillmore East certainly had an impact on my development as a guitarist.

Upcoming Plans

I am currently looking into festival and other performance opportunities and hope to do some dates this year to present the new material and some tunes from my previous recordings. I am taking a little break from recording right now however I have some concepts in mind and look forward to getting back into production later this year.

Web Site

www.lessabler.com and email is les@lessabler.com
I am also on facebook and myspace.


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