Laurindo Almeida

Outra Vez

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The gracefully aging Brazilian guitarist takes a trio into a jazz club in Pacific Beach (near San Diego) and delivers a lovely, swinging set of transcriptions and arrangements of music from three continents, bracketed by the music of Jobim ("Outra Vez" to start, and a medley of hits to close). Almeida spends a good deal of time on classical transcriptions -- a convincingly flowing arrangement of Enrique Granados' "Danza No. 5," a multi-rhythmed treatment of the "Largo" from Dvorák's New World Symphony, "'Round Midnight" in counterpoint to Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" -- musicological acrobatics, to be sure, yet always appealing. Very often the rhythms are those of the older samba as well as the bossa nova, a reflection of the veteran guitarist's deeply embedded roots, and he includes a delicate reprise of one of the pioneering Brazilian/American records that he recorded with Bud Shank way back in 1953, "Carinhoso." While Almeida was not a technical dazzler at age 74, it doesn't matter; his selection of notes, his feeling for the samba, his selection of material, and his fine-tuned timing with his rhythm section (Bob Magnusson, bass; Jim Plank, drums) make this a hugely enjoyable record.

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