Walter Wanderley (1932-1986)




If Walter Wanderley doesn't strike you as a household name, your house missed one of the definitive sounds of the mid-1960s, "Samba de Verao (Summer Samba)." The original tune had been a smash hit in Brasil several years before the remake swept U.S. airwaves in 1966.

One of the more lasting emissaries of the bossa nova school, Wanderley combined great arranging talent with a unique organ style. That style --brisk, short, and usually instrumental-- married the hip, swinging, "mod" sound of the 1960s to an unlikely instrument. Of course, jazz organ in general was just getting past its uncertain novelty status. Wanderley quickly emerged as its Brasilian master.

Born in Racife, Wanderley achieved fame in his native land before being picked up by U.S. labels. The early 1960s recordings on Odeon are his best by far; fortunately most eventually were re-released on major U.S. labels. His U.S. career benefited commercially from Creed Taylor's production and the many other Brasilians recording in the U.S. Eumir Deodato, in particular, composed much of the A&M material. Bright moments on A&M's jazz subsidiary Verve include the smash Rain Forest LP, the nutty track "Kee-Ka-Roo," and pairings with Brazilian singers Astrud Gilberto and Luiz Henrique.

Buying: All Walter Wanderley albums are worthwhile. The earlier ones recorded in Brasil (through 1964) are best. Note that at least once he recorded under another name to dodge contractual obligations.



Walter Wanderley Brasilian LPs

Rating
Walter Wanderley: Eu, voc e Walter Wanderley; Odeon MOFB-3085; c.1960
8Walter Wanderley: Organ-ized; Philips PHM-200-233 (US reissue of monaural-only Odeon recordings, possibly LP above)
8Walter Wanderley e seu Conjunto: O sucesso samba; Odeon MOFB-3204; 1962
8Walter Wanderley: Samba samba; Odeon MOFB-3248; c.1963
8Walter Wanderley: O samba mais samba; Odeon MOFB-3285; 1963 (US as Walter Wanderley's Brazilian Organ; Capitol ST-1856 & (inferior) From Rio with Love; Capitol/Tower ST-5047)
Walter Wanderley: Samba no esquema; Odeon MOFB-3358; 1964
Walter Wanderley: O toque inconfundivel de Walter Wanderley; Philips 732.726; 1964
Walter Wanderley: Entre nos; Philips 842.806; 1964
Walter Wanderley: O autentico Walter Wanderley; Philips 632.757; 1965
7Quarteto Bossamba; SomMaior SMLP-1524; 1965 (Walter Wanderley: Quarteto Bossamba; World Pacific WPS-21866)
7Walter Wanderley: Samba So!; World Pacific WPS-21856 (US reissue of Brasilian recordings)
6Walter Wanderley: Murmurio; Capitol/Tower ST-5058 (US compilation of Brasilian recordings)
6[Walter Wanderley as "Mike Falcao"]: Sonhei que estavamos dancando; Imperial IMP-30.016 (Brasilian label under alias)


Walter Wanderley U.S. LPs

Rating
6Walter Wanderley: Brazilian Blend; Philips PHS-600-227 (may reissue Brasilian)
7Walter Wanderley: Rain Forest: A&M/Verve V6-8658; 1966
6Astrud Gilberto & Walter Wanderley Trio: A Certain Smile A Certain Sadness; A&M/Verve V6-8673; 1966
7Walter Wanderley Trio: Cheganca; A&M/Verve V6-8676; 1966
6Walter Wanderley: Batucada: A&M/Verve V6-8706; 1967
6Luiz Henrique & Walter Wanderley: Popcorn; A&M/Verve V6-8734; 1967
7Walter Wanderley: Kee-Ka-Roo; A&M/Verve V6-8739; 1967
7Walter Wanderley Set: When It Was Done; A&M SP-3018; 1969/1968 (w/Deodato, Milton Nascimento, Don Sebesky, Marvin Stamm..)
6Walter Wanderley: Moondreams; A&M SP-3022; 1969
5Walter Wanderley Trio: The Return of the Original; Canyon 7711
7Walter Wanderley: Brazil's Greatest Hits!; GNP Crescendo GNPS-2137; 1980
8Walter Wanderley: Perpetual Motion Love; GNP Crescendo GNPS-2142; 1981 (w/Moog, ARP)


Walter Wanderley 45s/EPs

Rating
5Walter Wanderley Compact-33; Odeon 7-BD-1019 (Latin/cha cha cha; A Secretaria, Maria Escandalosa, Trumpet Cha Cha Cha, Vai Com Jeito)
7Walter Wanderley's Brazilian Organ/The Lee Evans Trio EP; Capitol Pro-2315; 1963 (promo; Brasilian organ/jazz piano; Wanderley's tunes are Volta Ja, Corcovado)


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