Monday, 28 September 2009

WALTER WANDERLEY - RAIN FOREST (VERVE 1966) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve

Walter Wanderley was a talented and gifted organist with an acute ear for new harmonies. With 46 recorded solo albums in his entire career, both in Brazil and the U.S., he reached number 26 on the Billboard pop charts in September 1966, opening a large pathway of success only menaced by himself and his complex character. Ten years after his death from cancer, with a new fad coming, he was repackaged by the entertainment industry as a mere lounge player, carrying his record sales even further and sending the cost of his out-of-print albums to the stratosphere, but all at the cost of minimizing his significance.
The notes for this LP ask, "What issue is more topical than the Brazilian rain forest? So what reissue would be more topical than Walter Wanderley's Rain Forest?" Politically, this may be true, but musically, this collection is anything but topical. From the first tune -- the monster hit "Summer Samba," the listener is catapulted straight back to the '60s when bossa nova was new in the U.S. and everyone wanted a piece of it. Organist Wanderley made a big splash with this LP, which went platinum in two years -- and it does evoke strong water images, like "poolside" and "ice skating rink." The jazzmen are underutilized, since most of the tracks are less than three minutes long and leave little room to stretch out. One exception is the pretty Ferreira/Marconi ballad "Rain," the only track where Wanderley plays piano rather than organ and which features a fine solo by Urbie Green on trombone. On "Beach Samba," Green gets to noodle a bit, but Bucky Pizarelli is heard stating the melody and nothing else. Despite all the sadness implied in the song titles, this LP has a jaunty feel to it and will be best enjoyed by nostalgic fans of that bygone era.[allmusic]

Friday, 11 September 2009


"I was born and raised down in Alabama
On a farm way back up in the woods
I was so ragged that folks used to call me Patches
Papa used to tease me about it
'Cause deep down inside he was hurt
'Cause he'd done all he could
My papa was a great old man
I can see him with a shovel in his hands, see
Education he never had
He did wonders when the times got bad
The little money from the crops he raised
Barely paid the bills we made
For, life had kick him down to the ground
When he tried to get up
Life would kick him back down
One day Papa called me to his dyin' bed
Put his hands on my shoulders
And in his tears he said
He said, Patches
I'm dependin' on you, son
To pull the family through
My son, it's all left up to you
Two days later Papa passed away, and
I became a man that day
So I told Mama I was gonna quit school, but
She said that was Daddy's strictest rule
So ev'ry mornin' 'fore I went to school
I fed the chickens and I chopped wood too
Sometimes I felt that I couldn't go on
I wanted to leave, just run away from home
But I would remember what my daddy said
With tears in his eyes on his dyin' bed
He said, Patches
I'm dependin' on you, son
I tried to do my best
It's up to you to do the rest
Then one day a strong rain came
And washed all the crops away
And at the age of 13 I thought
I was carryin' the weight of the
Whole world on my shoulders
And you know, Mama knew
What I was goin' through, 'cause
Ev'ry day I had to work the fields
'Cause that's the only way we got our meals
You see, I was the oldest of the family
And ev'rybody else depended on me
Ev'ry night I heard my Mama pray
Lord, give him the strength to face another day
So years have passed and all the kids are grown
The angels took Mama to a brand new home
Lord knows, people, I shedded tears
But my daddy's voice kept me through the years"...


...few performances better typified the emerging Carter aesthetic than "Slip Away," a superior cheating ballad spotlighting his anguished, massive baritone alongside the remarkably sinuous backing of Fame's exemplary backing band. The record was a Top Ten hit, and its follow-up, "Too Weak to Fight," also went gold, solidifying Carter's newfound commercial appeal. He ended 1968 with a superbly funky Christmas single, the raunchy "Back Door Santa," in addition to mounting a national tour featuring backing vocalist Candi Staton, who later became Carter's wife as well as a soul star in her own right.
The percolating "Snatching It Back" was Carter's first Atlantic release of 1969 -- its B-side, a remake of James Carr's deep soul classic "The Dark End of the Street," remains one of the singer's most potent efforts, drawing on traditional blues and gospel to explore both the absurdity and anguish of infidelity. Subsequent singles including "The Feeling Is Right," "Doing Our Thing," and "Take It Off Him and Put It on Me" were only marginally successful, but in 1970 Carter returned to the Top Ten with the sentimental "Patches," his biggest hit to date. He nevertheless stumbled again with a run of 1971 releases like "Getting the Bills" and "Slipped, Tripped and Fell in Love," and in the wake of "If You Can't Beat 'Em" -- a duet with Staton -- Carter left Atlantic in 1972, returning to Fame with "Back in Your Arms Again."
Clarence can still be seen hitting the road with his bag of musical emotions. Showcasing his music of the past, while interjecting his musical vision of the future, Clarence still performs for 1000's of fans a year.
Dr.CC as he is known to his worldwide fan base, can still bring the party to life with his soulful guitar work intertwined with his sexy lyrics, reminding us that you don't have to be down to sing the blues.