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Duo Finds Lives, Music Are at One

August 25, 1995|BILL KOHLHAASE | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

When saxophonist-flutist Justo Almario and bassist Abraham Laboriel join forces Saturday at the San Juan Capistrano Regional Library, they'll be marking a friendship that has lasted some 35 years.

"We met at the Berklee School of Music [in Boston] in 1969," Almario recalled on the phone from his home in Los Angeles. "I'm from Colombia, and Abraham is from Mexico, and we got together because we found we both had the same problem: We couldn't speak English."

Their relationship continued, musically and personally ("My family is all back in Colombia," Almario said. "In this country, Abraham is my family"). Now, Integrity Records has released "Justo Almario-Abraham Laboriel," a collection of hymns and devotional music that features the musicians in various settings.

"Abe and I are both strong Christians and we finally had a chance to do this kind of music together but in our style with Latin and jazz touches. All the tunes are dedicated to our relationship with God."

At the library, with keyboard player Greg Mathieson and drummer Bill Maxwell, they will feature music from the album as well as from Laboriel's "Dear Friends," Almario's forthcoming "Count Me In," and earlier recordings.

* Justo Almario and Abraham Laboriel play Saturday at 7 and 9 p.m. at the San Juan Capistrano Regional Library, 31495 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano. $3 to $5. (714) 493-1752.

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