The Walter Wanderley Trio – Cheganca

More Walter Wanderley

More Bossa Nova

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  • Cheganca finally makes its Hot Stamper debut here with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or very close to it throughout
  • Spacious, sweet and positively dripping with ambience – both the sound and the bossa-nova-meets-exotica music are nothing but ear candy on the right system
  • Creed Taylor (the CTI man) produced and Val Valentin engineered – what’s not to like?
  • Cheganca would be a welcome addition to any bossa nova fan’s collection. The fat, swinging sound of this surprisingly small combo is a marvel even by modern standards. Alongside organ giants like Jimmy Smith or today’s Joey DeFrancesco, Wanderley will go down in history as one of the instrument’s champions.”

This vintage Verve pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records can barely 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 Cheganca 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 1966
  • 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 studio space

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.

Engineering Excellence

Val Valentin’s list of credits runs for days. Some high points are of course Ella and Louis and Getz/Gilberto, two records that belong in any audiophile collection worthy of the name.

Recently we played a copy of We Get Requests by the Oscar Peterson Trio that blew our minds. And we have been big fans of Mel Tormé Swings Shubert Alley for more than a decade (but only on the reissue, not the original. Go figure).

Pull up his credits on Allmusic. No one I am familiar with other than Rudy Van Gelder recorded more great music, and in our opinion Valentin’s recordings are quite a bit more natural sounding than Rudy’s, especially with regard to the piano.

What We’re Listening For on Cheganca

  • 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 so common to these LPs.
  • Tight punchy bass — which ties in with good transient information, also 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 instruments.
  • Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Chegança (The Great Arrival)
Amanha
Take Care, My Heart
Aqua De Beber
Here’s That Rainy Day
O Ganso

Side Two

Mar Amar
Voce E Eú
O Menino Desce O Morro
Dá-Me (Stay, My Love)
Amor De Nada
A Man And A Woman ( Un Homme Et Une Femme)

AMG  Review

Powerhouse organist Walter Wanderley defies convention with his trio release Cheganca. Most jazz listeners would assume Wanderley would not want to hold down the fort without another tonal instrument in the lineup. In this case, he chooses to fill out his trio with a drum set player and auxiliary percussionist, forgoing bass or guitar entirely. He doesn’t need to help harmonically, and he’s all set melodically. Just that supple, confident Brazilian groove, expertly performed by percussionists Bobby Rosengarden and Sol Gubin, and Wanderley is ready to cook.

With repertoire choices that most modern-day jazz aficionados would find familiar, either because they were classics at the time or because Wanderley’s rendition made them such, like “Agua de Beber” or “Here’s That Rainy Day,” Cheganca would be a welcome addition to any bossa nova fan’s collection. The fat, swinging sound of this surprisingly small combo is a marvel even by modern standards. Alongside organ giants like Jimmy Smith or today’s Joey DeFrancesco, Wanderley will go down in history as one of the instrument’s champions.

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