Though he might be best known for the irresistible score to A Charlie Brown Christmas - the music of which is coming back in a big way this holiday season, jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi was first known for an unusual crossover jazz hit, the instrumental "Cast Your Fate to the Wind." The album that featured that unforgettable song (and put Guaraldi on the road to Peanuts perfection) will also get the deluxe treatment this year, in honor of its 60th anniversary.
Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus was so named for the four tracks on the first side of the album, all covers of tunes from the 1959 French film of the same name - bossa nova classics scored by Luiz Bonfá and Antonio Carlos Jobim. But the album boasted plenty of other riches: covers of Henry Mancini ("Moon River") and Buddy Johnson ("Since I Fell for You") along with two originals by mustachioed bandleader. The gorgeous "Cast Your Fate to the Wind" would back the single of lead track "Samba de Orfeu" - but jockeys really took to that flip side, enough for it to reach a surprising No. 22 on the Billboard Hot 100 - a rarity for a jazz instrumental. Within a year, it would win a Grammy Award for Best Original Jazz Composition, in 1965, it topped Billboard's easy listening survey. The album would even be reissued under the name of its hit.
But nothing would speak to the success of "Fate" quite like one man who heard it during a drive over the Golden Gate Bridge: Lee Mendelson, a TV producer who in turn hired Guaraldi to score a documentary on Peanuts creator Charles M. Schultz. The 1963 film, featuring animated segments with Charlie Brown and friends, never found a home on national television - but the same team was back together in 1965 assembling A Charlie Brown Christmas, a modern classic indicative of Guaraldi's signature sound.
The Black Orpheus reissue will boast 16 session outtakes - all but three unreleased - all remastered by engineer Paul Blakemore from the original analogue tapes transferred by the Plangent Process. They'll be available on two CDs or three 180-gram LPs, with new lacquers cut by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio and pressed at RTI. Jazz critic Andrew Gilbert pens new liner notes for the deluxe packages. The original album will also be repressed as part of Craft Recordings' "Small Batch" series, featuring lacquers cut by Bernie Grundman and pressed on 180-gram vinyl at RTI using an all-analogue, one-step process. That pressing will feature new liner notes by Guaraldi historian Derrick Bang.
The deluxe CD hits stores November 18, with the vinyl versions available February 24, 2023. Check it all out below.
Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus (Deluxe Edition) (Craft Recordings, 2022)
* previously unreleased
Disc 1: Expanded album
- Samba de Orfeu
- Manhã de Carnaval
- Nosso Amor
- Cast Your Fate to the Wind
- Moon River
- Since I Fell for You
- Samba de Orfeu (Short Version: Take 1, Set 3) *
- Samba de Orfeu (Long Version: Take 1, Set 3) *
- Manhã de Carnaval (Take 1, Set 3) *
- Manhã de Carnaval (Take 2, Set 3)
Disc 2: Bonus material
- Nosso Amor (Take 1, Set 3) *
- Nosso Amor (Take 2, Set 4) *
- Felicidade (Take 2, Set 2)
- Felicidade (Take 4, Set 3) *
- Cast Your Fate to the Wind (Take 2) *
- Cast Your Fate to the Wind (Take 3)
- Cast Your Fate to the Wind (Take 5) *
- Alma-Ville (Take 2) *
- Since I Fell For You (Take 3) *
- Jitterbug Waltz (Take 1) *
- Jitterbug Waltz (Take 1A) *
- Jitterbug Waltz (Take 2A) *
Disc 1, Tracks 1-8 released as Fantasy 3337 (mono)/8089 (stereo), 1962
Disc 1, Track 12 and Disc 2, Tracks 3 and 6 released on Original Jazz Classics reissue - Fantasy OJC-32328, 2010