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Talkin' Verve: Walter Wanderley

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Album Review

Possibly because he favored drippy orchestrated arrangements crossed with bossa nova beats, organist Walter Wanderley never received much attention when he was recording in the '60s. However, in the rush to uncover forgotten "lounge" recordings, Verve stumbled upon his records and decided that his overblown, occasionally campy Latin jazz was worth reissue. They assembled a 16-track compilation from his three albums for Verve, effectively selecting highlights like "Popcorn," "Agua de Beber," "The Girl from Ipanema," "Summer Samba," "Wave," "Beach Samba," and "Music to Watch Girls By." It's a good summary of his Verve years, featuring the best tracks from his uneven albums. There are certainly better places to hear bossa nova, even pop-oriented Latin jazz, but there are still some good moments on Talkin' Verve, especially if you favor kitsch over quality.


Born: May 12, 1932 in Recife, Brazil

Genre: Brazilian

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

Walter Wanderley was a talented and gifted organist with an acute ear for new harmonies. With 46 recorded solo albums in his entire career, both in Brazil and the U.S., he reached number 26 on the Billboard pop charts in September 1966, opening a large pathway of success only menaced by himself and his complex character. Ten years after his death from cancer, with a new fad coming, he was repackaged by the entertainment industry as a mere lounge player, carrying his record sales even further and...
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Talkin' Verve: Walter Wanderley, Walter Wanderley
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