That Latin Feeling (1964)
Bert Kaempfert And His Orchestra

  1. The Bandit (O’Cangaceiro) (Trad./Arr: Bert Kaempfert)
  2. Sweet And Gentle (Me Lo Dijo Adela) (Otilio Nazario Portal Monterrey/George Thorn)
  3. Maria Elena (Lorenzo Barcelata Castro)
  4. Mambo Mania (Bert Kaempfert/Helmut Brüsewitz)
  5. Say Si Si (Para Vigo Me Voy) (Ernesto Lecuona)
  6. Poinciana (Song of the Tree) (Nat Simon/Buddy Bernier)
  7. The Breeze and I (Ernesto Leucuona/Al Stillman)
  8. Cha Cha Brasilia (Lutz Templin)
  9. Besame Mucho (Consuelo Velázquez)
  10. Trumpet Fiesta (Bert Kaempfert)
  11. Bert’s Bossa Nova (Bert Kaempfert)
  12. Chicken Talk (Bert Kaempfert)
    Bonus Tracks
  13. Latin Strings (Bert Kaempfert/Helmut Brüsewitz)
  14. Sucu Sucu (Rigoberto Rojas Suarez)

1-12 issued as Decca DL 4490 (mono) and Decca DL 74490 (stereo)
1-12 issued in Europe as Polydor LPHM 46 433 (mono) and Polydor SLPHM 237 633 (stereo)
13 and 14 archival tracks unreleased at time of recording

What is That Latin Feeling? It’s a magic country of the heart . . . an exhilarating state of mind. And your passport to that happy state is the pulsating music of Bert Kaempfert and his orchestra. Well, there’s no need to pack a bag, or get a visa stamped. Bert Kaempfert will take you all the way – to That Latin Feeling. Olé!

This is an especially imaginative and elegant entertainment. That Latin Feeling is an artistic high point in Bert Kaempfert’s discography. This time in a Latin bag, Kaempfert – in his own unique way – reflects on themes that are familiar favorites for both jazz lovers and easy listeners: “Say Si Si,” “Poinciana,” “The Breeze and I” and “Bésame Mucho.”

The less familiar melodies, however, are considerably more compelling and beautifully arranged. First and foremost, there is the entrancing “The Bandit,” the theme to a 1953 film. The song is also known as “Muhler Rendeira” (its original title), “O, cangaciero,” “Olé! o, cangaciero,” and, in Brazilian singer Astrud Gilberto’s hands, “Brazilian Tapestry” (1971/CTI).

Kaempfert also waxes eloquently on the lovely “Sweet and Gentle,” the haunting “Maria Elena” and the funky “Cha Cha Brasilia.”

Kaempfert adds four of his own originals to the program. These include the spirited “Mambo Mania” – co-written with Helmut Brüsewitz, who shared arranging duties on the album with Kaempfert – the hit-worthy “Trumpet Fiesta,” the sophisticated novelty of “Chicken Talk” (harking back to the “Ducky” days) and the delightful “Bert’s Bossa Nova,” which features Emil Wurster on tenor sax, Karl-Herrmann Lűhr on flute and Manfred Moch on trumpet.

Knackbass guitarist Ladi Geisler steps up front to play solo guitar on “Maria Elena,” “The Breeze and I” and “Bésame Mucho.” Geisler would later cover this record’s “The Bandit” and “Maria Elena” on his own 1967 album Guitar à la Carte.

Remarkably, no singles were issued from That Latin Feeling, despite a number of good choices that would have made for solid radio-play fare. Perhaps Decca felt the album was too arty or esoteric. In all fairness, though, the “Latin” wave washing over the airwaves at the time was more Bossa Nova than South of the Border. And there is only one “bossa” here that didn’t sound particularly samba-ish.

Instead, Decca issued the non-LP single “The Big Build Up” b/w “Dancing in a Dream” (a.k.a. “Children’s Christmas Dream”) at the time (featured elsewhere). Neither of these two pieces caught on at the time.

Later, though, “Bert’s Bossa Nova” attracted attention when it was sampled by Italian composer, producer and DJ Nicola Conte for the club classic “Bossa Per Due” (1999) – a song that married Bert Kaempfert to the great Lalo Schifrin.

“Bert Kaempfert,” wrote Cash Box at the time, “whose musical trademark has always been the unusual arrangement and inventive orchestration, applies the same technique to a bag of Latin rhythms on this new Decca album outing…A first-rate dance package.” It is but too few recognize it as such.

That Latin Feeling deserves to be much better known and appreciated. It is one of Bert Kaempfert’s most satisfying and enjoyable artistic achievements.

Bonus Tracks

The enchanting original “Latin Strings” and “Sucu Sucu” – which was better known in the States as “Step Right Up (And Say You Love Me),” as recorded in 1961 by both Teresa Brewer and Nat King Cole – were also recorded during the That Latin Feeling sessions – and included here.

Both tracks first appeared as “bonus tracks” on the German CD release That Latin Feeling: Good Life Music Vol. 6 and the American CD issue of The Magic Music of Far Away Places on Taragon – both issued in 1997.