Song of the Day: Vince Guaraldi Trio, “Samba de Orpheus”

Black Orpheus (in Brazilian, Orfeu Negro) was a 1959 movie set in a Rio de Janiero slum during Carnaval. It was particularly noted for its soundtrack, which was written by two bossa nova composers, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Luiz Bonfa. "Samba de Orfeu," by Bonfa, has become a bossa nova classic.

In 1962, The Vince Guaraldi Trio (Guaraldi on piano, Monty Budwig on bass, and Colin Bailey on drums) recorded the album Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus, which included several songs from the movie, including "Manha de Carnaval" (also known as "A Day In The Life Of A Fool") and "Samba de Orpheus," both by Bonfa. The album also included several other songs, including Henry Mancini’s "Moon River" and the Guaraldi original "Cast Your Fate To The Wind", which won the Grammy for Best Original Song in 1963. It was so popular that many people refer to the album by that name.

Monty Budwig’s bass playing in "Samba de Orpheus" is magnificent: he starts the song with Bailey with a solo of the melody line, and when Guaraldi comes in he reverts to playing a solid bass line behind the pianist. Everybody is right where they need to be when they need to be there: it’s a thing of beauty.

5 thoughts on “Song of the Day: Vince Guaraldi Trio, “Samba de Orpheus”

  1. I truly enjoyed this music. It made me relax to be honest and that’s good since I need to sleep and have not been able to because of severe pain

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    1. I’m sorry to hear that! Nothing is worse than not being able to sleep. I’d suggest naproxen sodium, but then I remembered that I used to bring it to a friend who lived in Toronto because evidently you can’t buy it over the counter in Canada.

      Anyway, Guaraldi’s music is quite relaxing. This song is about as rowdy as he gets. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

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