Walter Wanderley Trio – Chegança (1966) (1971 reissue)

The Walter Wanderley Trio – Cheganca
Original release 1966 on Verve
1971 Reissue MGM Records
Series: MGM Latino Series – 10,010 MGS 610

Like many musicians looking for reprieve from the turmoil of mid-60s Brazil, keyboardist Walter Wanderley had left the country and settled in the United States.   He emigrated at the behest of Creed Taylor and made half a dozen albums for Verve. Most of them can be classed under ‘lounge’ or ‘exotica’ music, which has its own charms, although often as sweet as the half ton of bagged sugar featured on the front of this album.  But “Chegança” is more like the bossa-jazz records Wanderley made in Brazil and has much less of the Creed Taylor background-music schmaltz factor.   The whole band grooves together.  There is appropriately unsubtle cuica playing on O Ganso (“The Goose”)  The highlight, though,  is still the organ playing.  Have a listen to the solo in “Você e eu” below. Continue reading

Baden Powell – Apresentando Baden Powell e Seu Violão (1961)

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Baden Powell
Apresentando Baden Powell e Seu Violão
1961 Philips 630 415 L 
2003 Remaster

 1 Stella by starlight (Victor Young)
2 Amor sincopado (Marino Pinto, Chico Feitosa)   
3 Estrellita (Manuel Ponce)   
4 Na Baixa do Sapateiro  (Ary Barroso)   
5 Lover  (R.Rodgers, L.Hart)
6 Maria (Ary Barroso)
7 My funny valentine  (L.Hart, R.Rodgers)   
8 Love letters (Victor Young, Edward Heyman)
9 Samba triste  (Baden Powell, Billy Blanco)   
10 Aquellos ojos verdes  (N.Menendez)   
11 Carinhoso  (Pixinguinha)   
12 All the things you are (Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein)
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A small post just to remind you I’m still here.  Although Baden Powell was no neophyte by the time this was recorded in 1959, this was the first record released under his own name.  And to be honest, it’s utterly forgettable.  The fact that Philips waited two years to release it indicates that there’s probably a good story there, perhaps one involving artistic direction or marketing, but not one that I happen to know.  Baden Powell experts are welcome to explain it.  Or just make something up if you like, I’ll let you.  The fact is that this is as close to “light” music as Baden would ever get, playing against a backdrop of pop string arrangements,  without any of the urgency and intensity we associate with him.  There’s still some great guitar playing here, of course, and a surprising amount of blues and bop flourishes sprinkled throughout.  But there is no fire and no smoke.

Hey there are LOTS of tunes associated with the golden age of Hollywood on this record, with forays into the Rogers and Hart, Kern and Hammerstein songbooks.  I’ve put together a little list of films and plays where some of these songs first became well known –

1 – The Uninvited  (1944)
5 – Love Me Tonight (1932)
8 – Love Letters (1945)
12 – Broadway Rhythm (1944), A Letter For Evie (1945), written for Very Warm For May (Broadway production, 1939)

There is only one original composition on this record, Samba triste co-written with Billy Blanco and sung by an alternating male and female chorus dressed in coat-tails and Capri pants.  Yet another unnecessary version of “Carinhoso” also graces the record in an arrangement suited for a Les Baxter or Martin Denny album.

It should be noted that in spite of the title, the red-haired, blue-eyed beauty on the cover of the album is not Baden Powell.

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