Laurindo Almeida (September 2, 1917 – July 26, 1995) was a Brazilian virtuoso guitarist and composer who made many recordings of enduring impact in classical, jazz and Latin genres. He is widely credited, with fellow artist Bud Shank, for creating the fusion of Latin and jazz which came to be known as the jazz samba. Almeida was the first artist to receive Grammy Awards for both classical and jazz performances. His discography encompasses more than a hundred recordings over five decades.   Almeida was first introduced to the jazz public as a featured guitarist with the Stan Kenton band in the late 1940s during the height of its success. According to author Michael Sparke, Almeida and his fellow Kenton bandmember drummer Jack Costanzo "endowed the music of Progressive Jazz with a persuasive Latin flavor, and the music is enriched by their presence." Famed Kenton arranger Pete Rugolo composed "Lament" specifically for Almeida's cool, quiet sound, and Almeida's own composition "Amazonia" was also featured by the Kenton orchestra. Almeida stayed with Kenton until 1952.   Almeida's recording career enjoyed auspicious early success with the 1953 recordings now called Brazilliance No. 1 and No. 2 with fellow Kenton alumnus Bud Shank, bassist Harry Babasin, and drummer Roy Harte on the World Pacific label (originally entitled "The Laurindo Almeida Quartet featuring Bud Shank"). Widely regarded as "landmark" recordings, Almeida and Shank's combination of Brazilian and jazz rhythms (which Almeida labeled "samba-jazz"-) presaged the fusion of Latin and jazz, which is quite different in bossa nova, although jazz critic Leonard Feather credited Almeida and Shank as the creators of bossa nova sound.   Other observers note that the beat, harmonic stamp, and economy of expression were different than the bossa nova, giving Almeida and Shank's recording "...a different mood and sound...certainly valuable in its own right."   Almeida's classical solo recording career on Capitol Records began in 1954 with The Guitar Music of Spain. Almeida made a series of highly successful classical recordings produced by Robert E. Myers.Among Almeida's notable classical recordings is an album widely considered to be the first classical crossover album, the 1958 Grammy winner Duets with Spanish Guitar with mezzo soprano Salli Terri and flutist Martin Ruderman. In this recording, Almeida arranges standard classical and folk repertoire through the prism of several Latin musical forms, including the modenha, charo, maracatu and boi bumba. The result, according to Hi-Fi and Music Review was "...a prize winner in my collection. Laurindo Almeida's guitar playing captures the keen poignancy and rhythmic élan of Brazilian music with superb assurance and taste...".The recording was nominated for two Grammy Awards and won for Best Classical Engineering for Sherwood Hall III at the first Grammy Awards ceremony. In her recent memoir Simple Dreams, singer Linda Ronstadt discusses Duets With the Spanish Guitar and notes that her aunt, the renowned Spanish singer Luisa Espinel was a friend of vocalist Salli Terri: "Knowing I wanted to sing, Aunt Luisa had sent me a recording, Duets with the Spanish Guitar, which featured guitarist Laurindo Almeida dueting alternately with flautist Martin Ruderman and soprano Salli Terri. It became one of my most cherished recordings."Of Almeida's five career Grammys, four were awarded in classical categories (listed below). His classical recording discography also includes the debut recordings of two major guitar works, Heitor Villa-Lobos' Guitar Concerto and Radamés Gnattali's Concerto de Copacabana.   In 1964, Almeida again expanded his recording repertoire by joining forces with the Modern Jazz Quartet on Collaboration (Atlantic Records), which combined classical with jazz, called "chamber jazz." Almeida also toured with the MJQ, both in the 1960s and again in the 1990s.
  Laurindo Almeida (September 2, 1917 – July 26, 1995) was a Brazilian virtuoso guitarist and composer who made many recordings of enduring impact in classical, jazz and Latin genres. He is widely credited, with fellow artist Bud Shank, for creating the fusion of Latin and jazz which came to be known as the jazz samba. Almeida was the first artist to receive Grammy Awards for both classical and jazz performances. His discography encompasses more than a hundred recordings over five decades.   Almeida was first introduced to the jazz public as a featured guitarist with the Stan Kenton band in the late 1940s during the height of its success. According to author Michael Sparke, Almeida and his fellow Kenton bandmember drummer Jack Costanzo "endowed the music of Progressive Jazz with a persuasive Latin flavor, and the music is enriched by their presence." Famed Kenton arranger Pete Rugolo composed "Lament" specifically for Almeida's cool, quiet sound, and Almeida's own composition "Amazonia" was also featured by the Kenton orchestra. Almeida stayed with Kenton until 1952.   Almeida's recording career enjoyed auspicious early success with the 1953 recordings now called Brazilliance No. 1 and No. 2 with fellow Kenton alumnus Bud Shank, bassist Harry Babasin, and drummer Roy Harte on the World Pacific label (originally entitled "The Laurindo Almeida Quartet featuring Bud Shank"). Widely regarded as "landmark" recordings, Almeida and Shank's combination of Brazilian and jazz rhythms (which Almeida labeled "samba-jazz"-) presaged the fusion of Latin and jazz, which is quite different in bossa nova, although jazz critic Leonard Feather credited Almeida and Shank as the creators of bossa nova sound.   Other observers note that the beat, harmonic stamp, and economy of expression were different than the bossa nova, giving Almeida and Shank's recording "...a different mood and sound...certainly valuable in its own right."   Almeida's classical solo recording career on Capitol Records began in 1954 with The Guitar Music of Spain. Almeida made a series of highly successful classical recordings produced by Robert E. Myers.Among Almeida's notable classical recordings is an album widely considered to be the first classical crossover album, the 1958 Grammy winner Duets with Spanish Guitar with mezzo soprano Salli Terri and flutist Martin Ruderman. In this recording, Almeida arranges standard classical and folk repertoire through the prism of several Latin musical forms, including the modenha, charo, maracatu and boi bumba. The result, according to Hi-Fi and Music Review was "...a prize winner in my collection. Laurindo Almeida's guitar playing captures the keen poignancy and rhythmic élan of Brazilian music with superb assurance and taste...".The recording was nominated for two Grammy Awards and won for Best Classical Engineering for Sherwood Hall III at the first Grammy Awards ceremony. In her recent memoir Simple Dreams, singer Linda Ronstadt discusses Duets With the Spanish Guitar and notes that her aunt, the renowned Spanish singer Luisa Espinel was a friend of vocalist Salli Terri: "Knowing I wanted to sing, Aunt Luisa had sent me a recording, Duets with the Spanish Guitar, which featured guitarist Laurindo Almeida dueting alternately with flautist Martin Ruderman and soprano Salli Terri. It became one of my most cherished recordings."Of Almeida's five career Grammys, four were awarded in classical categories (listed below). His classical recording discography also includes the debut recordings of two major guitar works, Heitor Villa-Lobos' Guitar Concerto and Radamés Gnattali's Concerto de Copacabana.   In 1964, Almeida again expanded his recording repertoire by joining forces with the Modern Jazz Quartet on Collaboration (Atlantic Records), which combined classical with jazz, called "chamber jazz." Almeida also toured with the MJQ, both in the 1960s and again in the 1990s.
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Laurindo Almeida
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