January 26th, 2013
Vince Guaraldi is considered one of the great jazz pianists. From the early 1950s until his untimely death in 1976 at the age of 47, he turned out numerous albums showcasing his unique talent across many different jazz styles. Guaraldi is best known for his scores accompanying Charles Schulz’s animated Peanuts specials, but he first gained widespread acclaim with his 1962 album entitled Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus. The album was released by the Fantasy label under the Vince Guaraldi Trio, as Guaraldi was joined by Monte Budwig on bass and Colin Bailey on drums. The album derives its title from its first half, which are Guaraldi’s versions of songs from the 1959 Brazillian film Black Orpheus (original soundtrack by Antônio Carlos Jobim and Luis Bonfá). Although the album drew inspiration from a well-known film of the era, it is an original Guaraldi composition on its second half that put the spotlight on him. Track 5 is Guaraldi’s “Cast Your Fate To The Wind”, a hopeful, moving piece that became an unexpected hit. In fact, Fantasy quickly reissued the LP with a banner on the cover to advertise the hit. As a result of this banner, the album has often been mistakenly referred to as “Cast Your Fate To The Wind” over the years.
Fantasy first released Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus on CD as a U.S. release in the mid-1980s under catalog number FCD-607-8089. This release exists as two Japanese pressings — a CBS/Sony pressing and a CTA pressing. Both are very rare. Featured here is the CTA disc, though the two pressings are very similar in appearance and share the same inserts.
To be clear, the CD featured here is not the U.S. issue released by Fantasy under the Original Jazz Classics banner (OJC; catalog number OJCCD-437-2). The U.S. OJC CD was released in 1991 with a new mastering and only exists as U.S. pressings. This OJC release is very common.
George Horn is credited with mastering the first CD issue of Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus. The two Japanese pressings and the accompanying inserts bear “DIDX-116” as a project number, and the CBS/Sony pressing contains DIDX-116 in the matrix code. The CTA pressing shows DIDX-116 on the label side of the disc, but the matrix information is “FCD 607-8089 X-39 1A1 CTA CO.LTD.JAPAN”.
Given its popularity, Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus has been reissued several times on CD, including an audiophile gold CD issued in the 1990s and a hybrid Super Audio CD (containing CD and SACD layers) in 2002. For the collector, the original Japanese pressings of the first U.S. issue are the rarest versions. Shown below is the cover, back insert, and spine label for this first release, as well as the Japanese CTA pressing.
The cover for the Japan-for-U.S. CD of Vince Guaraldi Trio Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus (Fantasy, catalog number FCD-607-8089). This is a reproduction of the LP cover modified by Fantasy in 1962 to feature the hit “Cast Your Fate To The Wind”.
The back insert for the Japan-for-U.S. CD of Vince Guaraldi Trio Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus (Fantasy, catalog number FCD-607-8089). George Horn is credited as the mastering engineer on the left side. Note “DIDX-116” in small print beneath the Fantasy, Inc. address.
A spine label for the Japan-for-U.S. CD of Vince Guaraldi Trio Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus (Fantasy, catalog number FCD-607-8089). Note that the album title is shown as “Cast Your Fate To The Wind”.
The Japanese CTA pressing of Vince Guaraldi Trio Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus (Fantasy, catalog number FCD-607-8089). The disc has “DIDX-116” printed beneath the catalog number at 3 o’clock. Although the disc does not state that it was made in Japan within the label text, it is revealed in the mirror band. The matrix information is “FCD 607-8089 X-39 1A1 CTA CO.LTD.JAPAN”.