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Luiz Bonfá (1922-2001) was a Brazilian guitarist and composer most widely known for the compositions he penned for the film Black Orpheus.Read More...
As a composer and performer, Bonfá was at heart an exponent of the bold, lyrical, lushly orchestrated, and emotionally charged samba-canção style that predated the arrival of João Gilberto's more refined and subdued bossa nova style.
Bonfá's major legacy continues to be his compositions from the Black Orpheus soundtrack, most notably the instantly recognizable bossa nova classic 'Manhã da Carnaval.' But Bonfá's huge discography also attests to his uniquely inventive mastery of Brazilian jazz guitar. Bonfá's guitar style was brassier and more penetrating than that of his major contemporary, João Gilberto, and Bonfá was a frequent and adept soloist whereas Gilberto plays his own suave, intricate brand of rhythm guitar almost exclusively. Bonfá often played solo guitar in a polyphonic style, harmonizing melody lines in a manner similar to that made famous by Wes Montgomery in the USA, or playing lead and rhythm parts simultaneously. As a composer and as a guitarist, Bonfá played a pivotal role in bridging the incumbent samba-canção style with the innovations of the bossa nova movement.
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