This is music that may be impossible to listen to while remaining still. The instant Stan Getz and Laurindo Almeida take off with "Minina Moca" ("Young Lady"), the party's on. Although the performances throughout are masterful, nothing is about showboating. This is music of great beauty in a totally relaxed setting.
By the 1960s, Almeida was already a veteran of West Coast studio dates and years with Stan Kenton's big band. Kenton first heard the guitarist in Brazil, persuaded him to come to the US and scored a huge hit with him on "Peanut Vendor." It was Almeida who introduced the Brazilian sound into a jazz context. This classic set was a part of the international phenomenon of bossa nova and a wave that Getz rode for a hugely successful period in his career.
Almeida's own tune, "Samba da Sahra" ("Sahra's Samba"), is typical of the enduring freshness of the music. It begins with his easy solo strumming until a subtle insertion of Latin rhythms from Luiz Parga and Jose Paulo, so understated they seem to be flowing out of Almeida's guitar. Getz eases in, introducing easy heat into the equation. Getz's licks can go from temperate to hot, relaxing and then gently shifting the tempo up. Throughout Almeida continues strumming countless modulations while setting a pace that has a zen-like vigor. "Maracatu-Too," a tune of his and Getz's, closes the set and kicks things up. It's another example of the remarkable timing that reflects the musical matrix of that time. Both Brazilian rhythms and jazz came together to create a new musical union that remains enduringly satisfying.
Track Listing: Menina Moca; (Young Lady) Outra Vez; (Once Again) Winter Moon; Do What You Do, Do; Samba da Sahra (Sahra's Samba); Maracatu-Too.
Personnel: Stan Getz: tenor sax; Laurindo Almeida: guitar; George Duvivier: bass; Edison Machado: drums; Jose Soorez: drums; Dave Bailey: drums; Luiz Parga: Latin rhythm; Jose Paulo: Latin rhythm.
The first jazz record I bought was Bill Evans' Sunday at the Village Vanguard. When I was in high school, I somehow stumbled
across the track My Man's Gone Now and was instantly transfixed. It was the most beautiful thing I'd ever heard. So I saved up
(times were hard for a teenager back then) and went out and bought the album.
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