Bola Sete / July 16, 1923 - Feb 14, 1987

Feliz aniversario to Djalma de Andrade aka "Bola Sete" ("seven ball"), a great Brazilian guitarist. In Brazilian billiards, the seven ball is the only black ball, his name was given due to being the only black guy in his early jazz group. Born in Rio, he studied guitar and had a love of jazz, catching many visiting American big bands in Brazil. In 1945 he won a prestigious guitar competition and formed a jazz combo, also playing samba.

He played in Italy for a few years in the mid-'50s and toured with an orchestra through South America before moving to the US. In '62 he played in Dizzy Gillespie's band (old friend Lalo Schifrin was in the ensemble), recording the New Wave album, and soonafter joined Vince Guaraldi's group in San Fransico.

He formed his own Brazilian jazz trio in '66 and they were quite successful in the States and beyond. A fantastic solo set full of saudade, Ocean, was released in the '70s on John Fahey's label Takoma. All told, he made several albums from the '50s to the '80s, from solo to combos to larger ensembles. His tune "Bettina" was famously sampled by A Tribe Called Quest.

Tagged: Bola Sete, Celebrate Icons, classic albums, folk, guitar, John Fahey, samba

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