- Outra Vez (Once Again)
- The Jolly Crow
- Danza Five
- Blue Skies
- Goin' Home (From New World Symphony) (A. Dvorak)
- Samba De Break
- Beethoven & Monk (Moonlight Sonata & 'Round Midnight)
- Um A Zero (One To Nothing)
- Carinhoso (Affectionate)
- Jobim Medley: Corcovado (Quiet Nights) / The Girl From Ipanema / Desafinado
"Here contemporary jazz at its best meets not only the Latin classics of the Garoto period, but the classics of Western music in general... To Laurindo, there aren't any musical boundaries worth mentioning..."
Laurindo Almeida, guitar
Bob Magnusson, bass
Jim Plank, percussion
Recorded live at The Jazz Note, Pacific Beach, CA, October 5, 1991.
He's played classical concerts in some of the world's most prestigious halls. He's toured and recorded with the Modern Jazz Quartet and worked as featured solist and composer-arranger with the equally famous Stan Kenton orchestra. (Coincidentally, Almeida tours with the MJQ in Japan in May 1992, and performs with fellow alumni of the Stan Kenton orchestra the following month).
You want more? He brought jazz into Brazilian music into jazz. Over the past 40 years five-time Grammy winner Laurindo Almeida has worn more different hats with distinction than any other guitarist in the business.
All that time he's stayed a bit ahead of the pack. During his classical-music career, for instance, he did more first recordings of major works (including the important Villa-Lobos Guitar Concerto) than any other guitarist but Segovia.
Now, in his mellow 70s, concertizing with the trio he organized during the past decade, he finds himself as usual on the cutting edge, this time of a major renaissance of interest in Brazilian crossover jazz.
Today's fusion-minded jazz world, it appears, is rediscovering the half-forgotten, but delightful, Brazilian acoustic music of the 40s, when Rio studio musicians like "Garoto" (A.A. Sardinha) and Laurindo were mixing lush, sophisticated jazz harmonies with the subtly catchy rhythms associated with such guitar masters as Joao Pernambuco and Dilermando Reis, and making magic with the results.
But for most working musicians of today, including Brazilian ones, working this rich vein requires a bit of retraining if it's to come out sounding right. Not so with Laurindo. He is, in fact, the last surviving great master from that period. He worked with all of the above, and extended Garoto's already powerful ideas into the next level of harmonic and rhythmic complexity.
The result, blended with his natural leanings toward healthy and good-humored eclecticism, is the present recording. Here contemporary jazz at its best meets not only the Latin classics of the Garoto period, but the classics of Western music in general.
Thus we find not only new works (his own Escadoo and Samba de Break), but other surprises as well, as Laurindo pays return visits to such Antonio Carlos Jobim standards as Outra Vez (which he last recorded nearly 30 years ago with Stan Getz) and revives deliciously fresh works by his old colleague Alfredo Vianna ("Pixinguinha").
Here again he's on legendary turf: his 1954 recording, with Bud Shank, of Pixinguinha's great tune Carinhoso presaged the whole bossa movement. Granado's Danza Five, too, is a re-run of sorts: Laurindo recorded this item - a piano piece that plays like a guitar original - years ago, and he revisits it here with an impish smile on his face.
But the most striking moment on the album has him playing the first movement of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, straight and unchanged, while bassist Bob Magnusson plays, as counterpoint, Thelonious Monk's lovely standard 'Round Midnight. Only a complete musician like Laurindo, adventurous and endlessly inventive, would have noticed that the two tunes go together.
But there you are. To Laurindo, there aren't any musical boundaries worth mentioning, and it'd be boring to be stuck in only one idiom the rest of your life. "It's all music," he says amiably. "We're meant to have a good time with it". And he's a god bet to keep right right on doing just that.
(George Warren, from the original liner notes)