Tidbits & Trivia
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Other items of interest: apparently, shortly after the success of "Summer Samba" and the "Rain Forest" LP, The Wanderley Trio appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson (this tidbit courtesy of Claudio Slon). I'd give just about ANYTHING to have seen that, but when it's a school night and you're only 12 years old, your parents won't let you stay up that late. . .! It was one of the only personal appearances the Trio performed during their recording years in the States.
I've also received email from one person who
said that he remembers Walter appearing on The Mike Douglas Show in
Philadelphia. Wish I had known about THAT one--as it was a daytime
If the name "Wanderley" doesn't sound
particularly Brazilian to you, it's because the name is actually a
corruption of the Dutch name "van der Ley"!
Claudio Slon has done many things since his
days with Walter Wanderley, including touring all over the world with
Sergio Mendes for several years, and most recently--forming a jazz
group of his own. After working and recording with the Wanderley Trio
in Brazil, then coming to the U.S. to record "Rain Forest", "A
Certain Smile, A Certain Sadness", and "Cheganca", Claudio then left
the Trio to go to New York to record the A&M album "Wave" with
Antonio Carlos Jobim as well as the second Astrud Gilberto LP for
Verve. After that, he became the "Brazilian specialist" for studio
calls, and lost touch with Walter. However, he has stated that Walter
"left behind good memories", and Claudio "will never forget that
Walter was the reason for him to come record and live in this
Walter recording, 1981.
The liner notes for "Perpetual Motion Love" say
it best: Walter Wanderley demonstrates again why he has won universal
renown. His music spans the entire spectrum; captivating melodies,
vivid, opulent harmonies and intricate, intoxicating rhythms--all
expressed with an instantly recognizeable originality and
The Hammond B-3 Organ and Leslie speaker (right).
On most (if not all) recordings, the organ
Walter is playing is a Hammond B-3. Walter's preferred brand of
synthesizer and acoustic piano is not known, but on some recordings
he is using the Wurlitzer electronic piano (heard on
Kee-Ka-Roo and some other albums).
More on the Hammond B3 Organ:
". . . Some of you may remember a time when the Hammond B3 organ was a fixture on the rock scene. This behemoth weighed hundreds of back breaking pounds and required several scrawny "roadies" to load in and out of clubs and concerts. This organ became so popular in rock and jazz circles because of its incredibly warm, fat and unique sound. In addition, it was almost always used in conjunction with a speaker system known as a Leslie cabinet. This system employed a large cabinet with two speakers and power amp. The unique aspect of this system was the fact that the high frequency speaker was attached to 2 spinning horns that rotated at slow and/or high speeds to introduce the "Doppler effect" into the sound. The low frequency speaker was aimed at a rotating drum too. The sound of this speaker system greatly enhanced the sound of the B3 organ and is still quite popular.
Typically, the keyboard player would have the B3 organ playing through the Leslie cabinet and flip a switch with his left hand as he/she played a smokin' solo that would send the Leslie into high speed. This would create excitement in the sound that the player would change constantly throughout the song. By the way, simply put, the Doppler effect introduces a slight pitch shift. As the source sound gets closer to you, the pitch seems to go up. As it moves away, it seems to go down. Imagine a train whistle…as it gets closer, it seems to go up in pitch. As it moves away it goes down. With the 2 speakers in a Leslie cabinet constantly sending the signal in all directions, the sound has a subtle but very pleasant sounding pitch shift. . . .this "B3" organ sound is everywhere and is an essential part of the fabric of music in the last 40 years!
. . .The original B3 organs were each unique and sounded different from one another because of the electro-mechanical nature of the beast. . . .The sound of a B3 organ as it gets older and "out of spec" is yet another aspect of this instrument that makes it sound unique. . . ."
[Roger Adler is a 4 time EMMY nominated composer/producer/performer and writes the music column for Other World Computing]
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