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Laurindo AlmeidaViva Bossa Nova! ... CD
Capitol (Japan), 1962. New Copy .... $14.99
A sweet little album from Laurindo Almeida and his "Bossa Nova All Stars" – not a group of Brazilian musicians, and instead a hip set of LA players who really help make the set sparkle! There's a bit more jazz here than on some of Laurindo's other Capitol records of the time – a great 60s update to the groove he first forged in the 50s with Bud Shank – featuring even more swinging rhythms, inventive instrumentation, and a slightly larger group with players who include Jimmy Rowles on organ, Howard Roberts on guitar, Bob Cooper on tenor, Don Fagerquist on trumpet, Justin Gordon on flute, and Shelly Manne, Chico Guerrero, and Milt Holland on percussion! The use of organ is especially nice – a warm wave of sound on top of some great bossa rhythms – and titles include "Naked City Theme", "Teach Me Tonight", "Desafinado", "Mr Lucky", "Theme From Route 66", and "One Note Samba". CD

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CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Les BaxterFruit Of Dreams (Ports Of Pleasure/The Sacred Idol) ... CD
Capitol/El (UK), 1957/1960. New Copy .... $6.99
2 rare slices of exotica by Les Baxter – back to back on one CD! The first half of the set features material from the album Ports Of Pleasure – a dreamy exploration of south sea ideals that's got a more lightly drifting quality than some of Baxter's more percussive exotica albums, and which is awash in dreamy soundscapes penned by Les himself! The orchestrations are large and bold throughout – mixing strings and woodwinds almost in a soundtrack-y mode – but always with the light sense of interplay that makes Baxter's work so great. Titles include "Monkey Dance Of Bali", "Pearls Of Ceylon", "Tahiti A Summer Night At Sea", "Hong Kong Cable Car", "Tramp Steamer To Singapore", "Harem Silks From Bombay", and "Sidewalk Cafes Of Saigon". The Sacred Idol is a real standout set from the end of Les Baxter's run at Capitol Records – originally scored for a film that was never released, but a great set of tracks that more than stands strongly on its own! The theme here is a Mexican/Latin American one – explored by Baxter with his trademark blend of larger orchestrations and lighter exotica touches – often swirling around in an extremely evocative mode that makes us wish the film had been issued to the public, and at a few key moments even hinting at the funkier modes that would follow on some of Les' later work for other labels. Titles include "Aqueducts", "Gardens Of The Moon", "Pyramid Of The Sun", "Temple Of Gold", and "Procession Of The Princes". CD
 
 
 
 



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