Laurindo Almeida, A Man And A Woman, Capitol T-2701 1967
Oh what a time it was! Before the British Invasion, there was another country that sent it’s music to North America. A huge bossa nova from the south arrived from Brazil, and like the British Invaders, there was a mad scramble for talent by the major US record labels. While the most prestigious names like Joao Gilberto were embraced by Jazz labels like Verve Records, others were singed by pop labels like Capitol.
Unfortunately for the Art Department, middle aged Brazilian guitar virtuosos didn’t have the teen idol appeal of, say, Herman’s Hermits, so they had their hands full with Laurindo Almeida. That’s why they went with a snappy mid century modern couple sitting on some groovy orange shag carpet for the cover, with just a small snapshot of the artist going over some sheet music in the studio on the back cover.
Artwork aside, this is a very fun album. “Standard” music was enjoying it’s last gasp of commercial success by the time this record was released, and no matter how great the musician is, major labels didn’t award contracts to virtuosos anymore. Most of the tunes are recognizable, with film hits, Beatles tunes, and Brazilian classics included. And even if you don’t recognize the name, virtually every has head the guitar playing of Laurindo Almeida. He performed on the soundtracks of over 800 films including The Godfather, and many musicians credit his Jazz Samba style of playing as being a major influence on their career. Not bad for a $1 record!
Cost: $1, $222 Remaining