Charles Wright – Rhythm and Poetry (1972)

Charles Wright – Rhythm and Poetry
1972 Warner Brothers – BS 2620
Vinyl rip in  24-bit 96 khz |FLAC |Artwork at 300 dpi

A1 Soul Train 5:03
A2 Run Jody Run 13:10
B1 Good Things 5:55
B2 Here Comes The Sun 5:05
B3 Girl, Don’t Let Me Down 4:20
B4 Just Free Your Mind 4:00

Produced by Charles Wright
Engineers: Ami Hadani (Soul Train, Good Things); Ami Hadani and Robert Appere (Here Comes The Sun, Girl Don’t Let Me Down); Lewis Peters (Just Free Your Mind); Lewis Peters and Ami Hadani (Run Jody Run).

Album edited by Nye Morton

Album cover design by Paul Bruhwiler, Inc.
Art direction by Ed Thrasher
The cover painting, “Winged Victory,” was created by scientist-artist Delbert Venerable II

 

Charles Wright – Vocals, drums on A1, A3, guitar, piano, organ
Robert “Sugarbear” Welch – guitar
Thomas Terry – Bass
Johnny “Guitar” Watson – piano on A1,
Garbriel Flemings – Trambourine on A1, piano on B3
Bobby Lexing – Tambourine on A1, maracas on B3
Bobby Sheen – Maracas on A1
Billy Richards – Maracas on A1
Harold “Peenie” Potier – drums on A2
Joe Banks – trumpet, cabasa
Gabriel Flemings – trumpet, drums on B2
James D. Meredith – trombone, horn arrangment on B3
Bobby Forte – saxophone
Yusuf Rahman – tambourines, horn arrangment on B2 and B3, clavinet on B3
Yusuf Moore – clavinet on B2
John “Streamline” Ewing and Richard Leith – trombones on B2, B3
Jackie Kelso – saxophone on B2
Freddie Hill, Melvin Moore, and Sal Marques – trombones on B3
Vanetta Fields – piano on B4
Maurice Miller – drums on B4
Clydie King, Venetta Fields, and Julia Tillman – backing vocals on B4

All rhythm arrangements by Charles Wright

Recorded at T.T.G. Recording Studio, Clover Recording Studio, and Paramount Recording Studio, Hollywood, CA


What do you do when your ensemble (The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band) loses one of the best drummers in the business, James Gadson? Well, you try and play the damn things yourself I guess. The result, on Charles Wright’s Rhythm And Poetry, is a bit like the first Funkadelic album with a concussion. It’s a fun ride but it’s loose.  Very loose.  If brain-damaged, synaptically-fried funk is your thing, you’ll love this record.  The first track, “Soul Train,” is actually jarring in the sloppiness of the drums, and before looking at the credits on the album jacket I just assumed the drummer was too inebriated to keep time.  Then when I saw it was Charles himself playing, I got a chuckle out of his emotive grunts while he did a drum fill worthy of your 12-year old cousin who just got his first trap kit for Christmas.  Thankfully drums on the second track are handled by the  more competent Harold Potier, but things remain strange when after a minute or two of sharp grooving, Charles bursts into a chorus of “Happy Birthday” for no apparent reason.  The next thirteen minutes are a wickedly dirty jam with only a smattering of lyrics about the folkloric “Jody”, the guy always running around with other men’s ladies, and some great low-key fuzzed-out guitar solos from “Sugarbear” Welch.  He uses one of my favorite guitar tones here – the sound of a stomp box pedal with a dying 9-volt battery in it!  You know Hendrix used to save those things up just to have a supply of almost-dead batteries for his favorite pedals, or so I’ve been told.  Charles is back on drums on “Good Thing,” but he redeems himself on this mid-tempo funk number.  Of course there is also a curtain of incidental percussion to mask any mistakes.  The “set a mood and see what happens” aesthetic of this “Rhythm” A-side of the album is typified in one instant on this song, at the very beginning: somebody barks at Bobby Lexing to ‘lay out’ on the maracas, and Charles, in a slow stoned drawl, retorts with “Let him shaken ’em the way he want to shake ’em…”  Brilliant.

Things do get a little more coherent on the second “Poetry” side of the LP, with more structured pieces, actual songs.  “Here Comes The Sun” is wonderful but then again George is my favorite Beatle.  Purists might chafe at Charles’ raspy vocal, but the exquisite horn arrangement is downright regal.  The closer,  “Just Free Your Mind,”  dedicated to the backup singers, is light and uplifting.  In fact the entire “Poetry” side is light and uplifting, which seems almost necessary after the relentlessly raw grooves on the “Rhythm” side.  As one of my online pals  put it when I introduced them to this record – this one is a slow-burner that just keeps on burning all the way to the end.  And I appreciate the rough edges a lot here, because in 1972 that roughness was about to slowly become an endangered quality, as funk bands tended to get tighter and tighter, outdoing each other with their instrumental chops and show-stopping arrangements.  This record is really music for the sake of it, and we’re just lucky enough to be a fly on the wall.


320 kbs

16-bit and 24-bit FLAC

password: vibes

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Magnets? How do they work?

 

 

Trio Nordestino – E O Homem De Saia (1979)

Trio Nordestino E O Homem De Saia
1979 Copacabana COELP41150

01. Fartura de beijo (Durval Vieira – Jorge Paulo)
02. Não sou culpado (Jacinto José – Lindolfo Barbosa)
03. Homem de saia (Enéas de Castro – Gatinho)
04. Chamego proibido (Jorge de Altinho – Lindolfo Barbosa)
05. O fazendeiro (Geraldo Barbosa – Xavier)
06. Linda sinfonia (João Silva – J. B. Aquino)
07. Torrado de moça nova (João Silva – J. B. Aquino)
08. Amor demais (Jorge de Altinho – Francisco Costa)
09. Bem obrigado (Jair do Pandeiro – Severino Ramos)
10. Tá com raiva de mim? (Onildo Almeida)
11. Amor misterioso (Midiam Alves – Lindolfo Barbosa)
12. O xouxinho (João Silva)

Transfer info:  Copacabana 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 with Click Repair on light settings, manually auditioning the output; further clicks removed 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.


Well I had this post nearly ready to share for Saturday but other things got in the way.  Although the festas juninas were officially over, there were still pockets of activity and parties going on in the Northeast through the weekend.  Oh well, pé de serra has no expiration date, it’s good all year round.

The album title “Trio Nordestino and The Man In The Dress”  might initially have caused me some trepidation.  Northeast Brazil, for all its charms, is also a deeply troubled place and has been since the days of colonization and slavery.  It bears the dubious distinction of leading the country in homicides and in violence against women.   Add to those statistics a horrifying rate of violence against transgender individuals, and one could almost forgive the ham-fisted public health “discourse analysis” article I unfortunately stumbled across recently, which sought to link the lyrical representations of masculinity (and related themes of violence, homophobia, etc) to this hard data.  There are, of course, all kinds of valid arguments one could make by looking at cultural production this way, but these authors chose to cherry pick the worst examples they could find (using a broad quantitative sampling technique whose criteria are known only to them), as well as some very obscure songs that had no broad social impact and were probably not heard beyond a few hundred people, and decontextualized them rather thoroughly to hammer home a very unsophisticated, knee-jerk argument that did a disservice to the very real problem of gender-based violence.

So,  you can imagine my relief when the lyrics of “Homem de saia” turn out to be not just relatively harmless, but practically progressive, to use the current parlance.  It’s simply about a man trying to crash an all-female social event, a party where everyone from the person working the door to the members of the band were all women, by disguising himself in a dress. He is found out, and bounced from the party. Hilarity ensues?  Anyway, one could argue that Trio Nordestino e o Homem de Saia is about the role of exclusively female spaces and their necessity in a culture tainted by patriarchy, which encompasses contentious debates between women with a uterus and transwomen.  Who knew Trio Nordestino would be so prescient?

And for my next trick, I’m going to make this glass of whisky disappear.

Musically speaking, this album once again shows the group in fine form and with lots of memorable tunes, even if it lacks contributions from Dominguinhos and Anastacia like the last one I posted.   Não sou culpado is a catchy invocation blending proud regionalism with an assertion of the Nordestino’s brasilidade or national belonging.  Linda sinfonia brings us a frevo in a forró style.   Bem obrigado sounds like it was written for Jackson do Pandeiro and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him covering it in the 1980’s, it has his syncopation and cadence imitated perfectly.  But what may be most striking is that the Trio has “modernized” with electric bass and a full drum kit here.  Even I tend to hear the new, electric forró bands – most of which are not my cup of tea – as having little to do with traditional pé de serra.  But as always, these things are more of a continuum than a sharp break.  If you listen to the slightly-funky bass riffs on this album and the way the drummer plays loud, booming fills on the tom-tom drums at the end of the choruses of the album’s title track,  the stuff ain’t that different than Mastruz Com Leite, arrangement-wise.

I realize that I’ve fallen into the trap of only posting about this type of music around São João season, which is a pity.  I promise to do better in the future and keep them coming throughout the year.

 

password: vibes

Quinteto Violado – Folguedo (1975)

Quinteto Violado
Folguedo
1975 Philips 6349 143 Série De Luxo

A1 Roda De Ciranda No. 2 (Luciano Pimentel, Marcelo Melo, Toinho) 2:31
A2 Rumo Norte (Toinho) 3:00
A3 Chegada De Inverno (Fernando Filizola, Zé Dantas) 2:52
A4 A Volta Da Asa Branca (Luiz Gonzaga, Zé Dantas) 2:52
A5 Olé Menina (Marcelo Melo, Toinho) 3:05
A6 Coisas Novas (Marcelo Melo, Toinho) 2:42
A7 Mundão (Fernando Filizola, Luciano Pimentel) 1:48
B1 Sete Meninas (Dominguinhos, Toinho) 2:24
B2 Brincando De Boi (Fernando Filizola, Luciano Pimentel) 3:07
B3 Prece Ao Vento (Fernando Luiz Camara, Alcyr Pires Vermelho, Gilvan Chaves) 3:13
B4 Crendice (Roberto Santana, Toinho Alves) 2:50
B5 Buruçu Em Garanhuns (Sando, Toinho) 2:54
B6 Canindé (Fernando Filizola, Luciano Pimentel) 2:30
B7 Folguedo (Fernando Filizola, Luciano Pimentel) 1:52

Arranged By – Quinteto Violado
Artwork – Jorge Vianna
Design – Lobianco, Aldo luiz
Mastered By – Joaquim Figueira
Photography By – Rodolpho Machado
Producer – Paulinho Tapajós
Studio technicians – Paulo Sergio, Zé Guilherme

Produced & Distributed by CBD Phonogram
Matrix / Runout: 200 6349143 A1
Matrix / Runout: 200 6349143 B1

Vinyl transfer info:  Original Philips 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 96khz; clicks and pops removed with Click Repair on light settings, manually auditioning the output; further clicks removed 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.

Today (June 24) is the feast day of St. John the Baptist, otherwise known as São João holiday in Brazil, which of course is a really huge deal in Brazil.   Earlier this week we had an offering from Trio Nordestino.  Now let’s have something for the universitário set with this mid-70’s record from Quinteto Violado.  This record seemed a bit more fun to prepare for the blog than the other record of theirs  that I posted a whole FOUR YEARS ago, over here.  There you can read all about my misgivings about this kind of conservatory-trained appropriation of roots music.  I’m not sure if I’ve loosened up, or if they have on this record – the group sounds a little less “studied” and more flowing here.  Even if Berra-boi might be the “better” record, it sounds like they are having fun here.  The blazing instrumental acrobatics of Rumo Norte and its wonderful, almost Beatle-esque vocal harmonies make me hopeful they won’t be hamstrung by any traditionalist puritanism. Or maybe the sense of fun  is  really just the “well-oiled machine” effect of groups that have been playing together for a while as a unit.  It’s hard not to be impressed by their virtuosity here, but it still lacks something in the way of passionate conviction.  Their deconstruction of the Luiz Gonzaga / Zé Dantas classic, A Volta da Asa Brança, is certainly fun to hear.  It’s artful (or maybe just ‘artsy’), clever and playful and non-confrontational (unlike Caetano Veloso’s rendition that pushes into edgy performance art territory, as seen in the Phono 73 film).  It’s cool, and their drummer is on fire in the bridge, but it’s coolness is also kind of emotionally flat, isn’t it?  Quinteto Violado often sounds like they just need a vocalist with some soul to make their case more convincing.  But then again, awkward or uninspiring vocalists seem to be a thing in music linked to Pernambuco, so maybe its just something I’m still not ‘getting’ after all this time.  Like much about ‘roots music’ itself, sometimes you just have to be from there, so just ignore everything I’m saying.  Just listen to the drummer, he’s incredible.  What the hell is he doing on Mundão, besides blowing my mind?

They hit all the Northeastern folkloric touchstones here, with motifs from at least a dozen different genres of music or ‘dramatic dances’ that you will find only in the Nordeste, with particular emphasis on their native Pernambuco.  Obviously there is the presence of forró and even a guest appearance by the late, great Dominguinhos, who co-authored “Sete Meninas,” which opens up the second side.  He even sings a little on it.   You’ll also hear  a simulated glimpse of a sacred jurema ceremony and a devotional homage to the caboclo spirits that animate them on Canindé.   Ciranda, chegança, boi bumba, caboclinhos,  cavalo marinho, and pifanos, pifanos, pifanos!  If those words alone excite you then you will at least enjoy spinning this a few times.  If you don’t know them, well don’t expect me to be all didactic about it, after all I’m not writing a book here.  If I were writing a book, my life would probably be in a lot better shape than it is right now.  At the very least I wouldn’t be spending the night of São João, Midsummer’s Eve in my hemisphere, alone in front of a computer screen.

So sit beside the breakfast table,
think about your troubles,
pour yourself some pinga,
and think about the bubbles.
And celebrate the bonfires
And things made out of corn
because he not busy dying
is busy being born.

password: vibes