Shorty Rogers – Bossa Nova Exciting Jazz Samba Rhythms


  • Shorty’s 1961 Bossa Nova exploration finally makes its Hot Stamper debut with STUNNING Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades on both sides
  • Rich, smooth, sweet, and wonderfully natural, this is the sound we love here at Better Records
  • Rogers assembled a top-notch ensemble for this Bossa Nova album, including Bud Shank and Shelly Manne

Two covers for the same album!

For us audiophiles both the sound and the music here are wonderful. If you’re looking to demonstrate just how good a 1961 All Tube Analog live-in-the-studio jazz recording can sound, this killer copy will do the trick.

This fairly rare vintage Reprise stereo pressing is super spacious, sweet and positively dripping with ambience. Talk about Tubey Magic, the liquidity of the sound here is positively uncanny. This is vintage analog at its best, so full-bodied and relaxed you’ll wonder how it ever came to be that anyone seriously contemplated trying to improve it. No recordings will ever be made like this again, and no CD will ever capture what is in the grooves of this record.

Here is the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records rarely even BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to “see” the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with the band, this is the record for you. It’s what vintage all analog recordings are known for — this sound.

If you exclusively play modern repressings of vintage recordings, I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it — not often, and certainly not always — but maybe one out of a hundred new records do, and those are some pretty long odds.

What the best sides of Bossa Nova Exciting Jazz Samba Rhythms have to offer is not hard to hear:

  • The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
  • The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1961
  • Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
  • Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the instruments having the correct timbre
  • Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional space of the studio

No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.

Copies with rich lower mids and nice extension up top did the best in our shootout, assuming they weren’t veiled or smeary of course. So many things can go wrong on a record! We know, we’ve heard them all.

Top end extension is critical to the sound of the best copies. Lots of old records (and new ones) have no real top end; consequently, the studio or stage will be missing much of its natural air and space, and instruments will lack their full complement of harmonic information.

Tube smear is common to most vintage pressings and this is no exception. The copies that tend to do the best in a shootout will have the least (or none), yet are full-bodied, tubey and rich.

What We’re Listening For on Bossa Nova Exciting Jazz Samba Rhythms

  • Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
  • The Big Sound comes next — wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
  • Then transient information — fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness common to most LPs.
  • Tight, note-like bass with clear fingering — which ties in with good transient information, as well as the issue of frequency extension further down.
  • Next: transparency — the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the players.
  • Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.

The Players

Alto Saxophone – Bud Shank, Paul Horn
Bass – Joe Mondragon
Drums – Milt Holland, Shelly Manne
Flute – Bud Shank, Paul Horn
Guitar, Liner Notes – Laurindo Almeida
Percussion – Chico Guerrero, Emil Richards
Piano – Pete Jolly
Producer – Chuck Sagle
Trombone – Kenneth Shroyer, Richard Leith
Trumpet – Joe Burnett, Oliver Mitchell, Shorty Rogers
Vibraphone – Larry Bunker


Side One

Samba do Lorinho
Chega de Saudade (No More Sadness)
Samba Triste (Melancholy Samba)
Samba de Uma Nota So (One Note Samba)
Pao de Assucar

Side Two

O Amore E a Rosa (Love Is a Rose)
So Voce (Only You)” (Laurindo Almeida, Shorty Rogers)
Chora Tua Tristeza (Cry Your Sadness)
So Um Amor (Only One Love)
O Menino Desce O Morro (Little Brown Boy)

A Brief History of Bossa Nova

Bossa Nova began on the tropical beaches of Rio de Janeiro in the late 1950s, when a small group of mainly middle-class students, artists and musicians came together to create a new sound. Bossa Nova was a soft samba based on traditional Brazilian music and rhythms, American jazz, and a new style of Portuguese lyrics. It was a youthful celebration of romance, beach culture and sensual pleasure.

Bossa Nova’s twin figureheads are Antônio Carlos Jobim (Tom Jobim), a gifted composer, also blessed with classical good looks, and João Gilberto, a guitarist and singer who came to Rio from the poorer Bahia region.

Surrounding these central figures is a wider Bossa Nova family. It includes ‘Girl from Ipanema’ lyricist Vinícius de Moraes, jazz pianist Sérgio Mendes, composer/guitarist Roberto Menescal, and the Bossa Nova’s muse, Nara Leão, who often hosted musical gatherings in her flat.

While there was a concurrent scene in São Paulo, picturesque Rio de Janeiro is Bossa Nova’s natural home. Quieter beach-inspired sounds were combined with jazz in Rio’s thriving nightclubs; ‘Bottles Bar’ was the most famous of these small, sweaty venues.

According to legend, Bossa Nova was ‘discovered’ in one of these clubs by an American A&R man on holiday, when he saw Tom Jobim and João Gilberto playing. Other stories relate that it was US jazz-men jamming with locals who made the original connections.

Whatever happened in Rio, Americans latched onto Brazil’s ‘New Beat’. In 1962, there was a concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall and the Bossa Nova craze had arrived. In 1964, American Stan Getz recorded ‘The Girl from Ipanema’ with João Gilberto and his wife Astrud on vocals, along with Tom Jobim, the song’s co-composer, on piano.

The album Getz/Gilberto spent 96 weeks in the US charts and ‘The Girl from Ipanema’ would become the world’s second most played song behind the Beatles’ ‘Yesterday’.


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