Gary McFarland - Soft Samba / SHM-CD

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2022 Japanese SHM-CD reissue.

“Soft Samba”, McFarland’s third of six Verve albums, was recorded over several sessions between June and October 1964 and issued in February 1965 to rather mixed acclaim. It was nothing like the previous jazz-swings-Broadway of “How To Succeed In Business” or the jazz-soloist-with-orchestra of “The Gary McFarland Orchestra”. “The jazz business is confining”, McFarland said shortly before this album’s release. “And since I’ve found other areas of music are as interesting there is no reason why I should shut myself off from them. I decided I could make an album that would be received by a much wider audience. I wanted to do something in a popular bossa nova groove, and I had the idea of humming as well as playing.”

For “Soft Samba”, McFarland fashions a delightfully playful programme, stitching requisite yet unusually well-chosen movie themes and signature songs for Lorne Green (‘Ringo’), Edith Piaf (‘La Vie En Rose’) and Al Jolson (‘California, Here I Come’), together with a healthy dose of Beatles tunes. Not a McFarland original in sight.

For the sessions, producer Creed Taylor astutely assembled several small groups of veteran Verve session players, including flautists Selden Powell and Spencer Sinatra, trombonist Jimmy Cleveland and bassist Richard Davis. Also highlighting the recordings were such contract headliners as guitarist Kenny Burrell and percussionist Willie Bobo. The key ingredient to the album’s allure, however, is the addition of the founding father of bossa nova himself, Antonio Carlos Jobim. McFarland had previously arranged Stan Getz’s “Big Band Bossa Nova”, long considered one of the finest examples of bossa nova ever recorded.


SKU 4988031524992
Barcode # 4988031524992
Brand Verve Records / Universal Japan

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