Walter Wanderley

Kee-Ka-Roo

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With a sound that since his death skyrocketed in popularity almost to a point of becoming cliché, it would be an understatement to say that Walter Wanderley was ahead of the times. His compositions and trademark band sound became one of the most prominent voices in bossa nova. Though often mimicked, few were able to reproduce the combination of sophisticated harmonic progressions and a cool, laid-back groove. Wanderley's slick, idiomatic organ comping style, thanks to recordings like 1967's Kee-Ka-Roo, set trends and standards for generations of jazz musicians to come. Unlike many subsequent recordings, where Wanderley records in a trio setting, this record offers the opportunity to hear a fleshed-out group of musicians, including percussion, vibraphone, guitar, flute, and voice. All the players on the session are smooth, confident players who seem to enjoy drifting lazily alongside one other. Even in livelier compositions like "Sambao," Wanderley and his crew don't seem to break a sweat. The relaxed, collected, martini-sipping aesthetic seems to pervade every solo, every chorus. If the listener can get past the postmortem lounge-ifying of this great Brazilian artist, Kee-Ka-Roo will surely put a swing in their step, and might even lower their blood pressure.

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