May 31, 2016

RhoDeo 1622 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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A mixed bag that has more strengths than weaknesses, Telecommunication demonstrates Azymuth's ability to occasionally get into trouble when resorting to hi-tech gimmickry for its own sake, but also illustrates how rewarding the Brazilian trio can be. With its vocoder-ish hijinks, the funk-influenced "May I Have This Dance" is a dated and corny bit of silliness unworthy of Azymuth. But there's also much to admire on this album, including the haunting "The House I Lived In," the sensuous "Country Road," and the sentimental "Last Summer in Rio." Though keyboardist/pianist José Roberto Bertrami and bassist/guitarist Alex Malheiros do not always stretch out enough, the results are quite appealing when they do.

Azymuth - Telecommunication  (flac  196mb)

01 Estreito De Taruma 4:18
02 What Price Samba (Quanto Vale Um Samba) 6:15
03 Country Road (Chao De Terra) 3:30
04 May I Have This Dance ? (Concede-Me Esta Danca ?) 5:18
05 Nothing Will Be As It Was (Nada Sera Como Antes) 3:08
06 Last Summer In Rio 10:47
07 The House I Lived In (A Casa Em Que Vivi) Prelude 5:51

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With Crazy Rhythm, Azymuth may well have recorded its best album ever by rejecting gimmickry and focusing on what it does best -- sensuous, understated yet rhythmically exciting Brazilian jazz/pop/R&B. Brazilian artists have often been quite adept at creating music that has light and delicate qualities, but never degenerates into "elevator muzak." Like the bossa nova of the '60s, Crazy Rhythm is "easy listening" music with a difference -- some of it was soft enough for airplay on "quiet storm" and "smooth jazz" radio, but nothing on this album comes across as contrived or calculated. Jose Roberto Bertrami delivers one of the finest solos of his career on the beautiful and enchanting "Diza," and special guest Joe Pass (guitar) is in fine form on "Tropical Horizon" and "Hobalala."

Azymuth - Crazy Rhythm    (flac  235mb)

01 Bossa Nova USA 2:37
02 Toc De Bola 5:35
03 Too Much Time (Tempo A Bessa) 4:10
04 Tropical Horizon 7:15
05 Hobalala 5:16
06 O Pescador 4:07
07 Theme For Tiago 4:58
08 Diza 6:38

 Azymuth - Crazy Rhythm    (ogg  92 mb)

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Carioca would be a swan song of sorts for Azymuth -- the last album for keyboardist/leader Jose Roberto Bertrami, who left the group around this time, and their last album for Milestone, which spelled the beginning of the end for them as players in the U.S. music scene. Indeed, Bertrami doesn't even include his longtime cohorts Alex Malheiros and Ivan Conti on the lovely waltz tune "Valsa Se Uma Cidade," or the smooth showcase for Hammond organ, "Guaratiba," preferring the solid, mobile work of guests Paulo Russo (bass) and Jurim Moreira (drums). The selections with Malheiros and Conti are often more reflective than much of Azymuth's past work, with a few references to American funk ("Toque De Cuica") and fewer overtly Brazilian rhythmic influences (Malheiros' nicely soft-focused "Bom Tempo" being a nice exception). In sum, a handsome if diffuse farewell performance right down to Bertrami's brief solo piano postlude and the cryptic inscription at the bottom of the list of credits -- "P.S. The End."

Azymuth - Carioca (flac 207mb)

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 - Carioca    (ogg  81mb)

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Though not a bad album, Curumim was far from Azymuth's finest hour. Long-time keyboardist Jose Roberto Bertrami is gone, replaced by the less imaginative Jota Moraes -- and his contributions as a composer, soloist and producer are sorely missed. While the album contains some attractive melodies, heartfelt improvisation is in short supply this time. For the most part, this material never really soars. Curumim does have its moments -- including the somewhat Return to Forever-ish "Homem" and the tender title song. But for those checking out Azymuth for the first time, Crazy Rhythm would be a much wiser investment.

Azymuth - Curumim (flac 211mb)

01 Só Papo 4:18
02 Porto Seguro Sunset 4:48
03 Homem 4:02
04 P'ru Mauro 3:43
05 Summer In Tokyo 5:13
06 Curumim 3:23
07 Lá Vem O Rei Do Baião 1:39
08 Rio Cubango 4:11
09 New Horizon 4:40

Azymuth - Curumim  (ogg   85mb)

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