Let the buyer beware: this budget-priced Italian CD appears to have been mastered from old vinyl albums. The sound distorts at times, there is audible surface noise, and there are occasional skips in the music. However, if you're willing to accept these low-fidelity limitations, the music, compiled from three out of print LPs of the early '60s, is very good. Five of the tracks here were originally released on the United Artist LP, Brazil Blues, while four come from the 1962 Atlantic release, Right Now. These nine tracks feature sidemen who were or would be in Herbie Mann's working group of the era, plus guest guitarist Billy Bean. Mallet men Hagood Hardy on vibes and Dave Pike on marimba make important contributions to the sound, while drummer Willie Bobo and congaman Carlos "Potato" Valdes anchor the rhythm. The tenth track, "Batida Differente," was recorded in Rio de Janeiro during the sessions that produced Do the Bossa Nova With Herbie Mann, though it wasn't released until the 1964 Atlantic album, Latin Fever. This cut features soon to be famous Sergio Mendes on piano and future Weather Report percussionist Dom Um Romao on drums. Mann is on throughout the proceedings, and the samba and bossa nova rhythms still sound smooth and sweet. Now, if Atlantic, Rhino, Wounded Bird, Collectables, or some similar outfit can find the original master tapes and do this stuff justice...
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AllMusic Review by Jim Newsom