Cherry Red has done fans of Brazilian music several favors during the late 2000s, and the bounty continued with this Walter Wanderley compilation. Although his name isn’t as famed as Getz or Gilberto's, Wanderley’s bright, bubbly Hammond organ energized many Brazilian pop songs of the mid-‘60s, and after flirting with the American Top 40, he was co-billed with Astrud Gilberto on the 1966 LP A Certain Smile, A Certain Sadness. The 30 recordings here are all instrumentals, and come from 1958-1959, four or five years before “The Girl from Ipanema” became common parlance around the world. Wanderley had just arrived in São Paulo from his native Pernambuco and was beginning to gain fame for his hotel show. The sound is similar to the style he later made popular, although the material isn’t consistent (it includes versions of a few landmark songs in the emerging Brazilian canon, but also Paul Anka covers). Meanwhile, the liner notes offer an engaging biography of Wanderley’s career, but specific commentary on these tracks and this time in his life is entirely lacking. Still, it's clear that his arranging skills were growing by leaps and bounds, and that he would soon be the equal of Eumir Deodato and even Antonio Carlos Jobim himself.
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