Airto – Fingers (1973) (CTI Records 6028)

Airto – Fingers
Vinyl rip in 24-bit/192 kHz | FLAC |  Art scans at 300 dpi
1.4GB (24/192) | 865 MB (24/96)
CTI Records 6028| Genre: Fusion, Latin Jazz, Jazz Rock

This post was intended to go up over the weekend as a commemoration to wrap up the Festas Juninas.  “Fingers” is really is a masterpiece from Airto Moreira, one of the progenitors of jazz fusion, with lots of help from future members of the Uruguayan group Opa and, of course, his wife Flora Purim. It is less “out” than his solo records up to this point but still retains enough traces of his wild urges toward surprise and experimentation to keep things interesting. The compositions, about half of which are contributed by Opa members, are accessible enough to instantly grab your attention but are always offering new nuances on repeated listens. How many edgy Latin-Jazz-Fusion albums actually contain EARWORMS in their grooves? This album has tunes you will be whistling to yourself for weeks afterward, in particular the track “Parana.” (more below)

01- Fingers (El Rada) (Ruben Rada – Eduardo Useta) (4:33)
02- Romance Of Death (Hugo Fattoruso) (5:36)
03- Merry-Go-Round (Airto Moreira – Flora Purim) (2:47)
04- Wind Chant (Hugo Fattoruso) (5:50)
05- Parana (Hugo Fattoruso) (6:03)
06- San Francisco River (Flora Purim) (4:11)
07- Tombo in 7/4 (Airto Moreira ) (6:22)

Personnel:

Airto Moreira: percussion, drums, vocals
Hugo Fattoruso: keyboards, harmonica, vocals
David Amaro: acoustic guitar, electric guitar, 12 string guitar
Ringo Thielmann: bass, vocals
Jorge Osvaldo Fattoruso: drums, vocals
Flora Purim: percussion, vocals

Credits:

Recorded at Van Gelder Studios in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on April 9, 17 and 18, 1973
Engineer: Rudy Van Gelder

Albums photographs by Pete Turner & Alen MacWeeney
Album design by Bob Ciano


Vinyl transfer lineage: 1973 CTI 6028 vinyl; Pro-Ject RM-5SE with Audio Tecnica AT440-MLa cartridge; Speedbox power supply; Creek Audio OBH-15; Audioquest King Cobra cables; M-Audio Audiophile 192 Soundcard ; Adobe Audition at 32-bit float 192khz; clicks and pops removed manually with Adobe Audition 3.0; dithered and resampled using iZotope RX Advanced. Converted to FLAC in either Trader’s Little Helper or dBPoweramp. Tags done with Foobar 2000 and Tag and Rename.


Although Airto was originally from southern Brazil, this record has a lot of Northeastern rhythms in it, which why I thought of posting it over the feast of St. Peter & St. Paul holiday, which is a bigger deal in that region than elsewhere in the country.  The instrumental Merry-Go-Round (written by Airto and Flora) is in the form of a baião, with Hugo Fattoruso’s organ taking the place of the accordion.  And the aforementioned Parana (written by Fattoruso) evokes the genres of repente and embolada in its melody and rhythms.  There is bit of rock and funk thrown into all this too. Although the practice of listening to entire Long Player records from start to finish may be dying out in some quarters, it’s albums like this one that will remind people of the potential of the format.  I know it sounds a bit extravagant but I have had near-religious experiences with this record – it is one of a handful (okay, maybe a few handfuls for me) that, if I am tuned to the right frequency when I decide to get it out and put it on the stereo,  gets my full undivided attention.  With luck, I’ll be blessed with the kind of ecstatic rapture that comes with complete absorption through concentration.  There is a heady but life-affirming brew being concocted in the grooves of this record.  All the musicians are virtuosos on their respective instruments, but they play in such lock-step synchrony that this feels very much like a group effort more than the property of any one musical id.  Airto would continue to work with this band as a percussionist and producer on the Opa records released by the Milestone label later in the 70s, but this one is really special (and is considered by many fans of that group as their unofficial ‘debut’ album).

CTI recently remastered this for high-resolution web releases and, if you like this record and are into that kind of thing, it is worth checking out.  It seems to have a wider stereo field, and a more robust low/mid-frequency profile, and I may even prefer it to the original vinyl.  But since this blog is largely concerned with aural history, I think it is worth preserving how it sounded back in ’73 too.

16-bit 44.1 khz

password: vibes


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9 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this lovely music! The 24-96 free download from FileFactory took over five hours but it finished successfully, and I got to start out my day with the Parana earworm. 🙂 Work is so much easier when I have music in my head to walk and dance to.

    • Sorry about the wait, Norio. I might be able to speed those FF links up in the next month or so. Stay tuned

      • Oh no, I didn’t mean to complain. It didn’t bother me any because I just started the download before going to bed and let it run.

        Also, it succeeded! In this era full of paranoia, I sometimes suspect that many of these companies that offer free downloads sabotage them so they fail just before they finish. FileFactory didn’t put up extra hurdles, and made it very straightforward, so I salute them for that.

        I’m loving this album. The band is outrageously good. I picture them playing and dancing while going down the streets. Thank you again.

        By the way, the 24_96 archive had two copies of track 07. They seem to be identical.

        • It really is a fantastic record. I’m really happy that you’ve discovered it via my humble blog! And yes, I messed up and included a copy of track 7. There was a typo that I corrected and then I didn’t delete the old one..

  2. mp3 version please ….

  3. This really is an excellent album. I’ve always felt a kinship with Airto since I saw him sit in on the drumz segment of 4 or 5 Grateful Dead shows back in the day. Flora was with him for several of those as well.

  4. ….oh and Thank You very much Doc!

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