Bob Brookmeyer was in the studio just a few months after Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd helped to launch the bossa nova craze in the United States with their hit LP Jazz Samba, but this extremely enjoyable LP didn't come close to matching the success of the earlier album; it may be because the valve trombone is not envisioned as a lush melodic instrument by the average jazz listener in comparison to the tenor sax. Brookmeyer's mellow solos are complemented by the presence of guitarists Jim Hall (who plays all of the solos) and Jimmy Raney, along with vibraphonist Gary McFarland and a trio of Latin percussionists, including Willie Bobo. Luiz Bonfá's "Samba de Orfeu" and "Manha de Carnaval" as well as Antonio Carlos Jobim's "A Felicidade" (all three of which have become standards within the genre) are given imaginative arrangements, but there are a few twists thrown in by the leader. Brookmeyer's catchy "Blues Bossa Nova" works very well, as do his loping bossa nova treatment of Bronislaw Kaper's theme from Mutiny on the Bounty and a hilarious brisk chart called "Colonel Bogey Bossa Nova," a reworking of the well-known song made famous by the film The Bridge on the River Kwai. Long out of print, this album deserves to be reissued by Verve -- although there are hopefully some unissued tracks, as its brevity (under 28 minutes) is a handicap.
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden