The L.A. 4

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Altoist Bud Shank (who doubles on flute) and acoustic guitarist Laurindo Almeida first teamed up in 1954 to make a couple of albums called Brazilliance that hinted at but greatly predated bossa nova. Shank and Almeida came together 20 years later to form the L.A. Four, a quartet also including bassist Ray Brown and drummer Shelly Manne. Their debut recording as a unit was made at the 1974 Concord Jazz Festival, and it finds the appealing musicians blending together well on bossa nova tunes (including "Manha de Carnaval"), Almeida's classical-oriented originals, and some swing. This was a particularly inventive chamber jazz band.

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