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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Legendary jazz pianist's artistic and commercial breakthrough, October 27, 2010
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This review is from: Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus (Original Jazz Classics Remasters) (Audio CD)
Concord Records initiated a new pass through their Original Jazz Classics catalog in March of 2010, and they now add five more titles to the program. Each reissue features a new 24-bit remaster by Joe Tarantino, extensive liner notes, and bonus tracks. Five additions grace this reissue of Vince Guaraldi's 1962 artistic and commercial breakthrough. The San Francisco pianist has been making a name for himself since the mid-50s, backing Woody Herman, Nina Simone, and Stan Getz, and sitting in with the Cal Tjader Quartet, but his solo albums hadn't turned their critical praise into commercial notoriety until the original piece "Cast Your Fate to the Wind" led this album up the charts. Guaraldi would find yet another level of acclaim with his compositions for the Peanuts television specials, but it was this album that established him as a popular jazz luminary.

The album opens with covers of the four main themes from Antonio Carlos Jobim and Luis Bonfa's score for the film Black Orpheus. Despite the then-contemporary resurgence of bossa nova in American jazz, Guaraldi and his accompanists only feint towards the samba rhythms of the originals. Instead, the pianist takes the lead with his highly melodic version of bebop, both energetic, yet cosmopolitan cool. Nowhere is this balance more evident in Guaraldi's Grammy-winning original "Cast Your Fate to the Wind." The song opens with the delicacy of a light summer fog before swinging into a bluesy middle that's supported by Budwig's walking bass line and Bailey's ride cymbal and snare accents. The song communicates more about the special feeling of pre-hippie San Francisco in the early `60s than just about any other piece of music.

Guaraldi plays lush chords and sustained low notes to set the melancholy mood of Mancini and Mercer's "Moon River," and his mid-song solo again captures a unique ability to make modern jazz both melodic and compelling to pop listeners. The album finds its Latin feet with the stop-start original "Alma-Ville," but even here Guaraldi only teases, as the combo switches to straight jazz by mid-song, and returns to the bossa nova style only to close things out. The reissues five bonus tracks include the single edit of "Samba de Orfeu," and four previously unreleased alternate takes, including one of "Cast Your Fate to the Wind." The fold-out booklet includes full-panel reproductions of the original covers (front and back), Ralph Gleason's original album notes, and new liners by Derrick Bang. [©2010 hyperbolium dot com]
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Drums & bass come to the front of the mix., August 27, 2013
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This review is from: Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus (Original Jazz Classics Remasters) (Audio CD)
When it comes to some jazz remasters, I have to admit they frequently leave me wanting. Sometimes they sound hollow. A Charlie Brown Christmas for example... I have a couple different cd remasters of that album but I prefer the "warmth" of my original, purchased when cds first began appearing on music store shelves (back when music stores existed). I am happy to say, that's not entirely the case with this remaster! While it's true the drums & bass are more traditionally thrust to the front of the mix as we have become accustomed to with modern recording industry practices, it doesn't push Vince's keys too far back so as to leave it sounding "naked", for lack of a better term. Comparing the 2 versions I own of this tremendous recording, I'd hafta say this is a superior sounding cd. It may take me a bit of time to get used to it, but over all I am happy with how this came out. Somebody took great care in producing this music, and it shows.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars before the explosion, July 21, 2013
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once upon a time in a quieter america rifling the record racks was a mind-boggling adventure, and everything you found didn't have to be racing up the charts to attract your attention. vince guaraldi was a popularizer of jazz for a burgeoning suburban audience -- sort of like brubeck or ramsey lewis and sort of not -- and while popular expression has it that this is somehow the muzak of jazz, it remains what it was . . . more the kind of comfortable quiet you enjoy when you open a new door that invites you in for a longer look.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still Great 50 Years Later!, October 1, 2012
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This review is from: Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus (Original Jazz Classics Remasters) (Audio CD)
Like most people, I have been familiar with Vince Guaraldi for many years from the famous "Peanuts" theme (see for example A Boy Named Charlie Brown: The Original Sound Track Recording Of The CBS Television Special, among several other CD's also available with Peanuts music).

A recent NPR piece on Guaraldi resulted in my seeking out and purchasing this CD, which was recorded in November, 1961 and February 1962 and was one of his early hits. The cover gives prominence to the piece "Cast Your Fate to the Wind", which became a surprise hit after the Black Orpheus album was released (it was the "B" side of the single released to promote the main Black Orpheus theme, Samba de Orfeu). The disc contains music from the movie Black Orpheus (The Criterion Collection), early jazz samba in the style of Brazilian bossa nova.

There are a couple of versions of this CD available currently. I selected this one, which is a 2010 release that also contains five "bonus tracks" to supplement the contents of the original album. It also includes more extensive liner notes - along with a reprinting of the notes from the original album liner, it has a new essay on Guaraldi written by Derrick Bang, who (it states) is currently working on a book about Vince Guaraldi.

There is nothing wrong with the original CD - "Cast Your Fate to the Wind" (Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus) - although this latest release claims to be a new remaster so the sound quality may be improved. I haven't compared the two so I can't state whether or not that is correct, but if this CD is for any reason no longer available and the other version is, then I wouldn't hesitate to purchase it.

Once again I find that it is never too late to discover and enjoy great music. This is a classic album from 50 years ago, that sounds great, has superb melodies and excellent playing from all three members of the Vince Guaraldi Trio.
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5.0 out of 5 stars If I could only take 20 disc's to a desert island, this would be one of them., February 25, 2014
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This review is from: Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus (Original Jazz Classics Remasters) (Audio CD)
This is a wonderful remaster, the added takes are a great add on. It's not a remaster that is going to blow audiophiles away, but the music is fantastic. You will find yourself forgetting about sound-staging as you're just drawn into the music.
Of all the Guaraldi disc's if have, this is my runaway favorite.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love It! Wonderful musicians playing wonderful music ..., January 31, 2014
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This review is from: Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus (Original Jazz Classics Remasters) (Audio CD)
As an active musician of 5 decades I'm lucky to get to play the authenthic Brazilian classics, current and originals from my favorite jazz pianist and trio. Hearing the Vince Guaraldi Trio play these wonderful tunes on the jazz side is a reminder of the beauty of jazz and brazilian. Thank you Mr. Guaraldi ;-)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic jazz album. Excellent renditions of Jobim tunes plus the immortal song "Cast Your Fate to the Wind.", August 29, 2013
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Robert E. Gorsch (Northern California) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus (Original Jazz Classics Remasters) (Audio CD)
Excellent renditions of Jobim tunes plus the immortal song "Cast Your Fate to the Wind." New liner notes are included, together with the original ones.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My First Guaraldi Album, May 14, 2013
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Daniel Williams "the newt" (East Dorset, VT United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus (Original Jazz Classics Remasters) (Audio CD)
I've always loved Vince Guaraldi's music on the Charlie Brown TV specials so I wanted to try out some more of his music. Many reviews recommended Black Orpheus and I wasn't disappointed. Music is, of course, a matter of taste so it feels a little odd to write a review of it. I can say that I've listened to the album many times now and its appeal continues. I consider Black Orpheus to be one of my favorite albums in my jazz collection.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheusis great!, January 27, 2013
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This review is from: Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus (Original Jazz Classics Remasters) (Audio CD)
A classic recording from a period that continues. Vince Guaraldi was artistic with a great distinictive style and sound and a great commercial sucess also. "Cast Your Fate To The Wind" remains a current favorite of many. Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus
is great!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Remastered Classic., December 18, 2012
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This review is from: Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus (Original Jazz Classics Remasters) (Audio CD)
If you are looking at this version of this item you already know the content. This is a decent remastering of this timeless classic.
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