The Vince Guaraldi Trio – Jazz Impressions Of Black Orpheus – Deluxe Vinyl Edition –  Craft Recordings

by | Mar 24, 2023 | Jazz CD Reviews, SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

Craft Recordings releases an expanded triple vinyl of Vince Guaraldi’s breakthrough 1962 album. 

The Vince Guaraldi Trio – Jazz Impressions Of Black Orpheus – Deluxe Expanded 180-gram stereo 3-LP Edition Fantasy Records (1962)/Craft Recordings CR00542 (2022), 61:44 ****1/2:

(Vince Guaraldi – piano; Monte Ludwig – double bass; Colin Bailey – drums)

San Francisco jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi became a household name, scoring the various Peanuts television specials. However, he was successful prior to these projects. Guaraldi played with Cal Tjader and became a fixture on the jazz scene as a solo artist. In 1962, he released an album with his trio, Jazz Impressions Of Black Orpheus. In addition to covering tracks from the 1959 French/Brazilian movie of the same name, the album included popular covers and an essential original composition titled “Cast Your Fate To The Wind”. This single was originally released as a “B” side, but U.S. disc jockeys played it regularly. It won a Grammy  for Best Original Jazz composition, and led to his iconic role in the world of Charlie Brown.

Craft Recordings has released a deluxe expanded 3-LP 180-gram stereo vinyl of Jazz Impressions Of Black Orpheus. It has the original album tracks and 16 various alternate takes and/or unreleased material. He is accompanied by double bassist Monte Ludwig and drummer Colin Bailey. The trio opens Side A with “Samba De Orfeu” (Bonfas/Maria) as bass and drums push the tempo. Guaraldi comes in with trademark swinging jazz. His notation is quick and forceful with great phrasing. “Manha De Carnaval” is a signature Jobim composition with a haunting melody. Guaraldi’s steady ethereal take is colorful and bluesy. His play is somewhat restrained and distills the melancholy of the song. “O Nosso Amor” is rendered with breeziness and soulful articulation in another straight jazz arrangement. Guaraldi always injects some tempo-driven riffs with well-placed chords as Budwig and Bailey solo. With a feathery touch, “Felicidade” exudes a finger-snapping cool as Guaraldi weaves around the main theme with exotic motifs in a uniquely ebullient musical statement. 

Side B takes on a variety of material with two original compositions and three covers. The hypnotic bass note and jubilant piano runs of “Cast Your Fate To The Wind” are rightfully jazz history. The tempo break will remind listeners of what would evolve into the “classic” Guaraldi sound. This has become an all-tine favorite jazz standard for many pianists. Reflecting the early 60’s, Guaraldi offers an exquisite version of Henry Mancini’s beloved “Moon River” from Breakfast At Tiffany’s. Guaraldi captures the heartwarming strains of Mancini, but is able to reinvent it as a jazz translation with subtle rhythm adjustments. Picking up the pace, Alma-Ville” is Latin-infused with syncopation and gritty exuberance. There is the customary medium-swing break to remind everyone who is playing. In ballad mode, “Since I Fell For You” maintains the integrity of the popular tune that was originally a blues record in the 40’s, and then an early rock and roll favorite. This is another great version of this number.

Album Cover for Vince Guaraldi Black Orpheus, VinylThe last four sides are various unreleased (mostly) alternative takes. Side C consists of short and long versions (both previously unreleased) of “Samba De Orfeu”. Both are similar in trio structure and flat out swing. There are also two covers of ‘Manha De Carnaval”. The “short” version is tender and evocative with a steady tempo. The second cover features Guaraldi’s stylish runs. Side D offers two pairs of lively renditions (“O Nosier Amor”, “Felicidade”) and Guaraldi, Ludwig and Bailey are expressive, with a more cinematic resonance on the latter pair. For those who have a connection with “Cast Your Fate To The Wind”, there are three takes that envelop all of the finger-snapping grooves. It also shows different approaches to parts of the song. Side E concludes with previously unreleased versions of “Alma-Ville” (which swings) and “Since I Fell For You” (late night rumination). In what feels like accelerated 3/4 time, there are three percolating cuts of a song (“Jitterbug Waltz”/Side F) that did not appear on the original album.

Jazz Impressions Of Black Orpheus – Deluxe Expanded Edition is another triumphant release by Craft Recordings. The re-mastered sound mix (Kevin Gray/Cohearant Audio) is vibrant with excellent stereo separation. This 180-gram vinyl (RTI) is pristine with no hisses or pops.   

—Robbie Gerson

The Vince Guaraldi Trio – Jazz Impressions Of Black Orpheus


Side A: Samba De Orfeu (Samba De Orpheus); Mahna De Carnaval; O Nosso Amor; Felicidade

Side B: Cast Your Fate To The Wind; Moon River; Alma-Ville; Since I Fell For You

Side C (Alternate Takes): Samba De Orfeu (Short Version Take 1 Set 3: Samba De Orfeu (Long Version Take 1 Set 3; Manha De Carnaval (Take 1 Set 3): Manha De Carnaval (Take 2 Set 3):

Side D (Alternative Takes): O Nosso Amor (Take 1 Set 3); O Nosso Amor (Take 2 Set 4); Felicidade (Take 2 Set 2); Felicidade (Take 4 Set 3)

Side E (Alternate Takes And Outtakes): Cast Your Fate To The Wind (Take 2); Cast Your fate To The Wind (Take 3); Cast Your Fate To The Wind (Take 5); Alma Ville (Take 2); Since I Fell For You (Take 3)

Side F (Alternate Takes): Jitterbug Waltz (Take 1): Jitterbug Waltz (Take 1A); Jitterbug Waltz (Take 2A)


More information through Craft Recordings:

Logo Craft Recordings

Album Cover for Vince Guaraldi Black Orpheus

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