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  •  

     L.A. Four

    Often called LA4, this Los Angeles jazz quartet were formed in the mid-1970s as a follow on from the bossa nova influenced music that Laurindo Almeida and Bud Shank had recorded on The Laurindo Almeida Quartet Featuring Bud Shank on Pacific Jazz Records and the later Brazilliance albums.

     

    After the recording with Bud Shank, Laurindo met up with the bassist Ray Brown in Los Angeles and they started to perform as a duo, recording Blues In Greens: Bach Ground.   Calling on Bud Shank, twenty years after they had first performed together, and the drummer Chuck Flores they got together to make up the quartet known as The L.A. Four and gave their first performance together at Cal Tech in 1974.

     

    They performed at several local venues and one of them was at the club of the drummer Shelly Manne.  He asked if he could join, and as Chuck Flores hadn’t wanted to go on the road, he became his replacement and remained with them for the next three years or so, to later be replaced by the drummer, percussionist and arranger Jeff Hamilton in 1977.

     

    It was at the time of Shelly Manne joining them that the quartet’s name changed from The Laurindo Almedia Quartet to The L.A. Four, with Laurindo saying in an interview in 1979 with Les Tomkins that the L.A. didn’t stand for his initials, but “can mean Los Angeles, or anything”.  Also in the interview he said “There’s no leader in this group; we’re all the star.  We have a corporation”.

     

    Performing music mostly arranged by Laurindo, they covered much Brazilian influenced music, bossa nova, jazz and samba styles and also that of classical composers such as Bach, Beethoven and Vivaldi, they recorded many albums on the Concord label during their time together, before disbanding in 1982.

     

    Their first album was recorded at the Concord Jazz Festival and the many that followed include The Concord Jazz Heritage Series, Executive Suite, Going Home, Just Friends, L.A. 4, Live at Montreux, Montage, Pavane Pour une Infante Defunte, Scores, Two by Four, Watch What Happens and Zaca.

     

    The L.A. Four members:

    Laurindo Almeida (guitar)

    Ray Brown (bass)

    Chuck Flores (drums)

    Jeff Hamilton (drums/percussion)

    Shelly Manne (dums)

    Bud Shank (saxophone/flute)

     

    Sources:

    1. http://www.jazzprofessional.com/interviews/laurindo%20almeida.htm
    2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_L.A._Four_(group)
    3. http://allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:jifwxqt5ldte
    4. http://www.answers.com/topic/the-l-a-four-scores
    5. http://laurindo-almeida.blogspot.com/
    6. http://www.vinyl-records.biz/LAFour.htm
    7. http://avaxhome.ws/music/jazz/la_four_-_two_by_four.html
    8. http://www.amazon.com/Zaca-L-4/dp/B0000006D6
    9. http://www.concordmusicgroup.com/albums/The-Concord-Jazz-Heritage-Series-MP3-CCD-4827-25/
    10. http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:jifwxqt5ldte~T4

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     



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