May 24, 2016

RhoDeo 1621 Roots

Hello, we'll be staying in Brazil until the Olympics there's plenty of time to explore the it's music scene. The music of Brazil encompasses various regional music styles influenced by African, European and Amerindian forms. After 500 years of history, Brazilian music developed some unique and original styles such as samba, bossa nova, MPB, sertanejo, pagode, tropicalia, choro, maracatu, embolada (coco de repente), mangue bit, funk carioca (in Brazil simply known as Funk), frevo, forró, axé, brega, lambada, and Brazilian versions of foreign musical genres, such as Brazilian rock and rap.

Today, a Brazilian jazz-funk trio formed in 1973. The original band members were the late Jose Roberto Bertrami (keyboards), plus Alex Malheiros (bass, guitars), and Ivan Conti (drums, percussion)....N'Joy

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Brazilian electrified trio Azymuth called their music samba doido, which means "crazy samba." The actual sounds, though, were not so crazy: the intelligent, high-voltage blend of Brazilian rhythms, jazz, and funk with occasional acoustic episodes gained a sizable following in the 1980s. The members of the group included José Roberto Bertrami (born February 21, 1946, in Tatui; died July 8, 2012, in Rio de Janeiro) on acoustic piano and keyboards, Alex Malheiros (born August 19, 1946, in Niteroi) on bass, and Ivan Conti (born August 16, 1946, in Rio de Janeiro) on drums.

Classically trained and originally influenced by pianists Bill Evans and Luíz Eça (of the Tamba 4), Bertrami worked with Flora Purim and Robertinho Silva before meeting Conti at a Rio nightclub. Upon a visit to a bowling alley/club in 1972, they heard Malheiros and decided to join forces to form Azymuth. Their first album, the soundtrack for the film O Fabuloso Fittipaldi, was released in Brazil in 1973. After spending a number of years as session men in Rio recording studios and touring South America, a successful appearance at the 1977 Montreux Jazz Festival led to a 1978 U.S. tour with Airto and Purim. A contract with Milestone in 1979 resulted in a long string of eclectic and influential albums that established the group in the American and European markets. All three members also recorded solo albums for Milestone.

CarnivalBertrami left the group around 1988, after which Malheiros and Conti carried on for a while with keyboardist Jota Moraes. In the '90s, Bertrami rejoined Azymuth permanently. They signed to Far Out Recordings and issued a long string of albums including Carnival, 1997; Woodland Warrior, 1998; Pieces of Ipanema, 1999; Before We Forget, 2000; and Partido Novo, 2002. In 2007, their self-titled debut album was reissued by the label in a deluxe package. It was completely remastered, and contained an additional disc of remixes by some of the world's best-known dance music producers. In 2008, Azymuth continued their tireless display of creativity with the universally acclaimed Butterfly, which they followed with Aurora in 2011. Sadly, José Roberto Bertrami died in Rio during July of the following year; he was 66 years old.

Azymuth have also been involved in producing albums and their artists have been involved in several other projects through the years, including an album by Brazilian singer-songwriter Ana Mazzotti, and the 2005 debut album, Equilibria, by Alex Malheiros's daughter Sabrina Malheiros. They call their music "Samba Doido", which means "Crazy Samba". Since the advent of the remix, many of Azymuth's songs have been redone by a wide range of artists and musicians. Several electronic acts like Jazzanova among many others, can be heard remixing their works.

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There were Brazilian jazz-funk records before Azymuth's 1975 self-titled offering, but none of them engaged with post-tropicalian psychedelia, MPB, samba, and disco the way this date does -- so much so that the bandmembers called their music "samba doido," which translates as "crazy samba." Azymuth were formed in 1973 by José Roberto Bertrami (keyboards), Alex Malheiros (bass, guitars), and Ivan Conti (drums, percussion). All three had been active session players in the decade before. After playing some club dates and backing other musicians on-stage and in the studio, they began recording Azimüth in 1974, completing it nine months later. Things get off to a mellow start on the dreamy "Linha do Horizonte," as electric piano, ARP strings, a Moog Satellite, acoustic guitar, drum kit, and fretless bass lay down a breezy backdrop for Bertrami to deliver Paulo Sergio's lithe melody. The tune is so blissed-out, playing it nonstop for six or seven hours seems entirely logical. As gorgeous as it is, this is only a small part of what Azymuth do well. "Melô Dos Dois Bicudos" -- which has been used by scores of DJs to animate the dancefloor -- is simultaneously jittering and martial; it's funky Brazilian samba at its best. While there's a reprise of the ethereal on the tender "Brazil," it's got its own little groove, informed by not only by '60s Brazilian jazz but also by the American soul-jazz of Joe Sample and the Crusaders. "Seems Like This" is trancey jazz-funk with serpentine lines by Bertrami, a punchy hypnotic bassline by Malheiros, and organic percussion and shuffling kit work from Conti. The entire frame shifts when Bertrami's voice enters; time gets stretched and the groove may bump, but it's juxtaposed against a melody that is equal part disco-soul and psychedelic samba. "Estrada Dos Deuses" is a bumping floor-groover with a wind-out synth line that hints at the sounds to come on 1977's Águia Não Come Mosca. The set's final two tracks have become DJ classics in the intervening decades. "Morning" was remixed by Peanut Butter Wolf, and with good reason. The cuica and bassline vamp is hypnotic, while Bertrami's synths and strings color his layered vocal repetitions of the title before his Rhodes piano adds enough jazzy improv to make it infectious. Closer "Periscópio" is a seven-and-half-minute jam with a monster funk groove. Malheiros' dirty-ass bassline is as nasty as Bootsy's and appended by raging organ (think Charles Earland) and trancey drum and percussion work. The breaks are killer, the pace picks up and slows, but the whole thing just coils around the listener like a snake that doesn't let go until an organ briefly cuts the tension (church-like) before a clavinet riff, layers of choogling percussion, and funky drums bring back the organ and bassline in overdrive and the tempo charges to the finish. Azimüth signaled even greater things to come. But no matter what the band achieved, this stands as a stone classic, eternal in funky music history.

Azimüth - Azimüth  (flac  251mb)

01 Linha Do Horizonte 4:29
02 Melô Dos Dois Bicudos 3:08
03 Brazil 3:58
04 Seems Like This 4:31
05 Caça A Raposa 5:12
06 Estrada Dos Deuses 3:14
07 Wait For My Turn 3:01
08 Montreal City 3:19
09 Morning 3:48
10 Periscópio 7:36

Azimüth - Azimüth    (ogg  103mb)


Azimüth - Azimüth Remix Re-Edit    (flac  361mb)

01 Melô Dos Dois Bicudos (Harmonic 313 Remix) 4:10
02 Wait For My Turn (Spiritual South Remix) 7:26
03 Linha Do Horizonte (Mr Beatnick Remix) 5:46
04 Montreal City (Volcov Re Edit) 4:29
05 Estrada Dos Deuses (Recloose Re Edit) 5:45
06 Seems Like This (As One Re Edit) 6:53
07 Periscópio (Marc Mac Re Edit) 6:06
08 Morning (Peanut Butter Wolf Re Edit) 3:42
09 Azymuth 'Caça A Roposa' (Venom's Raw Groove Re Edit) 4:42
10 Linha Do Horizonte (Kashmeer Brothers Remix) 3:38
11 Wait For My Turn (Yam Who? Re Edit) 5:20

 Azimüth - Azimüth Remix Re-Edit    (ogg  139 mb)

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Light as a Feather is the 1979 album that put Brazil's superstar jazz fusion trio Azymuth, on the charts. It opens with the ten-plus minute disco "Jazz Carnival," a track which has become a club classic all over thw world and has beensampled by everyone form Madlib to Gnarls Barkley. With it primitive drum machine loops and a finger-popping, spinshe-shaking funky bassline by Alex Malheiros, it is a solid club stepper --guaranteed to send the party into overdrive. But this isn't the only track here worth noting. The set is quitre consistent and offers a portal into the band's 1980 smash LP Outubro that would follow it. There is the breezy, folky-jazz execution of the title track that is nearly as beautiful as Return to Forever's version. The set also features a fine jazz-samba number that evokes both Walter Wanderley and Tom Jobim in José Roberto Bertrami's "Fly Over the Horizon," and a stellar reading of Toninho Horta's "Dona Olimpia." In addition, Bertami's "This Exists," "Amazona," "Young Embrace" are here, all of them stellar blends of jazz, laid back funk and MPB, making this set a peerless triumph.Azymuth fans need this as much as they do the band's glorious self-titled debut, and Outubro. (On the CD version, a spaced-out, live electric jazz take of "Montreux" is included as a bonus track).

Azymuth - Light As A Feather (flac 266mb)

01 Jazz Carnival 9:27
02 Partido Alto 4:06
03 Avenida Das Mangueiras 4:24
04 Light As A Feather 6:45
05 Fly Over The Horizon (Vôo Sobre O Horizonte) 5:51
06 Amazonia 0:42
07 Young Embrace (Um Ambraço Da Mocidade) 3:18
08 Dona Olimpia 2:41
09 This Exists (Existe Isto) 4:31

Azymuth - Light As A Feather    (ogg  105mb)

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Outubro is Azymuth's tribute recording, in a sense, to their Brazilian brothers and sisters. It leans heavily on José Roberto Bertami's Fender Rhodes as a direct means of communication, with gorgeous guitar and bass work by Alex Malheiros, and top-notch drumming by Ivan Conti, who engages the tonal and programming reaches of the ARP 2600. The album was recorded in 1979 and its first nine cuts were remixed in 1980 when it was finally issued. The most successful moments here are the covers, where the trio digs into spaced out, modern-day electric jazz classics such as "Light as a Feather," and "500 Miles High," both of which are closely associated with Return to Forever, its vocalist at the time Flora Purim, and her husband, percussionist Airto Moreira. In addition to beautifully rendered versions of these tunes, there are readings of Toninho Horta's "Dona Olimpia," Ivan Conti's steaming "Swamp, (Pantanal)," and Milton Nascimento's "October" ("Outubro" in Portuguese). Of the originals here, Bertami's tribal percussion workout "Carta Pro Airto" ("Letter to Airto"), the slippery late-night funk of "Partido Alto" and Malheiros' breezy postmodern pop tune "Friend" work best. The extended faux-disco monolith -- compete with cheesy electronic drum effects -- of "Jazz Carnival" mars the proceedings a bit, making this an imperfect but nonetheless utterly listenable and enjoyable set from this prolific trio.

Azymuth - Outubro (flac 438mb)

01 Papasong 4:36
02 500 Miles High 5:37
03 Swamp (Pantanal) 2:23
04 Dear Limmertz 4:32
05 Letter To Airto (Carta Pro Airto) 1:19
06 October (Outubro) 5:19
07 Maracana 5:36
08 A Friend (Un Amigo) 5:21
09 Dear Limmertz Prelude 1:12
Bonus Tracks
10 Light As A Feather 7:00
11 Partido Alto 4:13
12 This Exists (Existe Isto) 4:36
13 Jazz Carnival 10:31
14 Dona Olimpia 2:52
15 Fly Over The Horizon (Voo Sobre O Horizonte) 7:15

Azymuth - Outubro  (ogg   188mb)

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Anonymous said...

Many thanks!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful, thanks so much for posting these. I still have the original 12" of Jazz Carnival, as well as Flora Purim's "live at Montreux', but hadn't realised the connections between the two. Your love of music is well appreciated, thanks for re-kindling my love too. (And not just by this lost, but many others too.) May you live love and prosper, as the pointy-eared one never said :-))x