Os Cobras – O LP (1964)

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OS COBRAS
O LP

Released 1964 on RCA (BBL-1290) in Brazil
Reissue 2005 Sony-BMG France
In GLORIOUS MONOPHONIC

01 – Quintessência (J. T. Meirelles)
02 – Nanã (Moacir Santos / Mário Telles)
03 – Depois de Amro (Orlann Divo / Roberto Jorge)
04 – Adriana (Roberto Menescal / Luis Fernando Freire)
05 – Praia (Orlann Divo / Roberto Jorge)
06 – Uganda (Orlann Divo / Roberto Jorge)
07 – The Blues Walk (C. Brown)
08 – 40 Graus (Orlando Costa ”Maestro Cipó”)
09 – Chão (Amaury Tristão / Roberto Jorge)
10 – Menina Demais (Orlann Divo / Roberto Jorge)
11 – Mar Amar (Roberto Menescal / Ronaldo Bôscoli)
12 – Moça da Praia (Roberto Menescal / Luis Fernando Freire)

Tenorio Jr. (piano)
José Carlos “Zezinho” (bass)
Milton Banana (drums)
Raul de Souza (trombone)
Hamilton (trumpet)
Meirelles (sax alto, flute)
Paulo Moura (sax alto)

Special Guests

Jorginho (flute)
Aurino (sax baritono)
Cipó (sax tenor)
Roberto Menescal (guitar on 10 & 12)
Ugo (vibraphone on 10 & 12)

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Lately, in my real job,  I’ve been pushing my way through a chunk of writer’s block rough enough to leave your hands bleeding from the splinters.  That results in a few adverse effects that involve you, blog reader:  I have less time to put into writing for this place, and then when I do have free time it’s usually spent feeling like an idiot about the other stuff I’ve been working on.

But instrumental music is often the only music that I can write to when working on that “other stuff” and this record has gotten a few spins over the last month.  It’s kind of a super group, Brazilian jazz all-stars affair, the result of the label RCA-Victor approaching composer and arranger Roberto Jorge to make a record with the regular heavyweights in Rio’s jazz scene congregating around the jam sessions at places like Little Club and Bottle’s.   The result was a bold declaration of the samba-jazz sound at its best.  On the rhythm section there’s the ubiqutuous Milton Banana – Brazil’s own Art Blakey – on the drum kit, and Tenório Jr. on piano, who was also ubiquitous until he was “disappeared”  and murdered in Argentina while on tour with Vinicius & Toquinho in the mid 70s.   Zezinho is on bass, about whom I can’t tell you much of anything besides that he frequently played with Erlon Chaves.    In the way of horns, there is the brilliant Paulo Moura, whose passing a couple years ago was a huge loss for the world of music.   The guy has probably a million album credits of everything from choro to prog rock, but here we get to hear him in the same group with Meirelles, a sax man every bit his equal.  A lot of the arrangements are by Cipó, who worked with João Gilberto’s first band Garotos da Lua and also contributes one composition and a bit of tenor sax to this record.  There are also a few arrangements by Carlos Monteiro de Souza.

This album really highlights the symbiotic relationship between jazz in the United States and  samba-jazz, jazz-bossa or just jazz in Brazil.  Flows of mutual inspiration were resulting in an amazing amount of innovation and great music on both sides of the equator.  But like in many other contexts, the relationship was also lopsided and unequal.  The infatuation of American jazz for bossa nova, Brazil’s biggest musical export, unfortunately overlooked the immense variety of possibilities presented by other styles of music, such as samba.  If US jazz absorbed anything of samba, it was by way of bossa nova’s own mutations of it.   With apologies for making a simplified, unilineal argument, I’ll do it anyway and say that samba was to bossa nova what the blues was to jazz: the latter would not have existed without the former.  But the blindness to each other’s roots was reciprocal – the blues was not really in the repertoire of musical idioms available to Brazilians either, at least not in the early 60s.  Both jazz and bossa were transnational, globalized music long before anyone used that kind of language to describe them, but when you push back into their roots you find yourself at the limits of the culturally specific.  In spite of a multitude of sociological and economic similarities, a Mississippi sharecropper and a morro resident in Rio were speaking mutually unintelligible languages.

This is another record where singling out individual tracks seems almost superfluous, but their arrangements of a few classic tunes deserve pointing out.  “Naña”, one of Moacir Santos’ most gorgeous and most recorded compositions, is immediately compelling with Tenório’s sparse deconstruction of the chord sequence opening the tune before the lush harmonies of sax, trumpet and flute come in on the main melody.  Remind me some time to post Santos’ “Coisas” album here, as it’s essential listening that makes a lot of the “top 100” lists that people are always making.  Incidentally, Moacir Santos played in a completely unrelated combo calling themselves Os Cobras, who made a one-off album in 1960 and then disappeared.

Another ear-catching track is a version of Clifford Brown’s signature tune, “The Blues Walk”, proving that these guys hold their own on straight bop.  The album is infused with bop throughout, especially noticeable in Meirelles’s own composition “Quintessence” and “Praia” from Orlann Divo & Roberto Jorge, which still sound fresh.  They may start out a bit reverent playing Brown’s tune, but the sense of playfulness and fun soon overtakes everything else. This is followed by the Cipó composition “40 graus” which except for its choruses bears more than a passing resemblance to the rocking samba-jazz-bossa that J.T. Meirelles was making with Jorge Ben at the time.  It’s also the longest track here, clocking in at a whopping four and a half minutes.  The record closes with a short pretty composition by Luiz Fernando Freire and Roberto Menescal (“Moça da praia”, apparently a favorite theme of the bossa crowd), who also features on acoustic guitar.

Using the original liner notes, translated into French for this pressing, it is possible to reconstruct who plays what solo on which tunes.  Anyone who feels so inclined to do so is welcome to compile it and send it to me, and I’ll happily post it here.  As for me, it’s time to get back to chipping away at that writer’s block.

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Jose Roberto e Seu Conjunto – Organ Sound, Um Novo Estilo (1970)

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  José Roberto e Seu Conjunto
Organ Sound, Um Nôvo Estilo
Released 1970 Polydor
Japanese reissue 2008

01 – Aventura
02 – Smile a Little Smile for Me.
03 – Airport Love Theme
04 – Toboga
05 – Jingle, Jangle
06 – Viagem
07 – Samanta
08 – No Time
09 – Diamante cor de Rosa
10 – The Rapper
11 – Mon Ami
12 – Always Something There to Remind Me

This is pre-Azymuth José Roberto Bertrami.  He was working as a studio musician at the time and was probably on a hundred records you have in your collection, many without being credited.  Before this he was in the band A Turma da Pilantragem.

This is nice organ combo pop-jazz with an occasional bossa flair and spasms of funkiness.  Aside from the tracks “Aventura” and “Mon Ami”, which are his own, everything else here is comprised of other composer’s work.   Kind of easy-listening and loung-y but with just enough instrumental prowess and creative arrangements to keep it interesting.  His playing may not be nearly as inventive as what he would produce with Azymuth only a few years later, but Bertrami still coaxes enough otherworldly sounds out of his keyboards to prove why he was an in-demand session player.  In particular he has a penchant for using a horn patch on his analog synth that doubles the part played by actual brass instruments, which adds a loopy and campy touch.

The majority of the repertoire is taken straight from the Hit Parade of 1969-70 and represent a pretty interesting cross section of psychedelic rock, pop, and even an ‘easy listening’ soundtrack hit.  I’ve taken the trouble to notate the cover songs’ origins:

Smile a Little Smile for Me – The Flying Machine
Airport Love Theme – Vincent Bell, from the soundtrack to the film “Airport”, 1970
Jingle, Jangle – The Archies
No Time -The Guess Who
Diamante cor de Rosa – Roberto Carlos
The Rapper – The Jaggerz
Always Something There to Remind Me  (Bacharach/David tune recorded by Dionne Warwick, Sandie Shaw, and R.B.Greaves at Muscle Shoals.  Hard to say which version Bertrami had in mind but Greaves’ version was the most recent.)

Amusingly enough, the most exciting of these cover tunes is “Jingle Jangle” from the virtual cartoon band The Archies, which is replete with fuzz guitar.

The tune “Mon Ami” was featured as a theme to the Globo telenovela “Assim na terra como no céu” in 1970 in a version produced by Paulinho Tapajós.  As I’ve stated before on this blog, the study of telenovela soundtrack music — and it is a subject that deserves series study – is not one I’ve undertaken.  Not yet, anyway.  But I have a hunch that a lot of these Top 40 international hits were associated with contemporary telenovelas that would have made them instantly recognizable to a Brazilian audience even if their originals unknown.  Did ‘The Archies’ air on Brazilian TV?  I have no idea.  For that matter the Roberto Carlos hit was also part of a feature film vehicle for him with the same title.  The two songs credited to ‘Celinho’ are a mystery to me.  There was a Celinho from the state of Ceará who played the accordion and recorded a bunch of tunes in the era of 78s, but I’m fairly certain these aren’t his songs.  Anyone who knows, drop me a line.

This Japanese reissue has typically lovely, round sound.  It’s too bad I can’t read the notes in Japanese though.  It would be nice to know if the musicians are credited.  I suspect Victor Manga is on the drums but I have no confirmation, but he did play in the Turma de Pilantragem.

{edit} As per a comment left below by a reader, I’m updating the post with the following info on the lineup: Jonas Damasceno (Joninhas), Ivan Conti (Mamão), Luiz Carlos Siqueira –
all from “The Youngsters” band – plus the late Gegê on drums and Sergio
Barroso on bass.

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Zimbo Trio – Zimbo Trio Vol.2 (1966) 24bit 96khz Vinyl

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ZIMBO TRIO – VOL. 2
Zimbo Trio
1966 on RGE (XRLP 5277)
Mono pressing

1 Arrastão
(Edu Lobo, Vinicius de Moraes)
2 Balanço Zona Sul
(Tito Madi)
3 Zomba
(Maria Helena Toledo, Luiz Bonfá)
4 Insolação
(Adylson Godoy)
5 Zimba
(Tito)
6 Reza
(Ruy Guerra, Edu Lobo)
7 Samba 40 graus
(Adylson Godoy)
8 Garota de charme
(Maria Helena Toledo, Luiz Bonfá)
9 Vai de vez
(Luiz Fernando Freire, Roberto Menescal)
10 Balada de um sonho meu
(Hamilton Godoy)
11 O rei triste
(Luiz Chaves)
12 Aleluia
(Ruy Guerra, Edu Lobo)

Vinyl original mono pressing ; Pro-Ject RM-5SE turntable (with Sumiko Blue Point 2 cartridge, Speedbox power supply); Creek Audio OBH-15; M-Audio Audiophile 2496 Soundcard ; WaveLab LE 7 at 32-bit float 96khz; Click Repair light settings; individual clicks and pops taken out with Adobe Audition 3.0 – dithered and resampled using iZotope RX Advanced (for 16-bit). Tags done with Foobar 2000 and Tag&Rename.

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This is a pretty incredible jazz-bossa album, with all the heat of a hard bop session but with that bossa sensibility of keeping all the tunes under 5 minutes long. Their version of “Arrastão” (from Edu Lobo and Vinícius) which opens this album is probably their ‘signature tune’, and it is instantly endearing by the time it crescendos into the chorus where the tempo is cut in half and swung very very heavy. Godoy’s classical training seeps through his playing everywhere, with strains of Chopin mingling with his jazz key tickling. Luiz Chaves is one hell of a bassist, and it is a shame and travesty, in my opinion, that Zimbo Trio has continued to perform without him (and — worse than that — included an ELECTRIC bass..). Rubinho Barsotti is also great on trap kit, his work with mallets and cymbals being some of the best I’ve heard in this genre. Although some of these tunes – like the two from Edu Lobo, ‘Arrastão’ and ‘Reza’ — were part of Elis Regina’s repetoire and thus receiving nightly treatments by the Zimbo Trio when they were backing her up, it is the original tunes here that really chama atenção. If the manic opening bass riff of ‘Insolação’ doesn’t call your attention, then just turn the record off and find something else to listen to because you can’t be satisfied. “Samba 40 graus” is another original that makes me wonder if these guys were into amphetamines, trying to save money on studio time, or just in a hurry, but the result is ear-engaging. These guys did know how to chill out as well, however, and “Balada de um sonho meu” is about as pretty a jazz ballad one could hope for, followed the by the gentling swinging ‘O rei triste’ penned by Chavez. For “the sad king” it actually sounds pretty uplifting to me, and has some of Godoy’s most inspired playing on the record.

I shouldn’t forget to mention the two tunes from Luiz Bonfá and Maria Helena Toledo, which are both marvelous. “Zomba” has what may be the most ethereal opening of a mid-60s jazz bossa album I can think of, beginning with only Godoy on piano playing a cluster of chords around one note that fades out like a slow raindrop as Luiz comes in on bowed bass strings, a splash of cymbals from Barsotti so subtle you might miss it – and then at nearly two minutes this orchestral evocation transforms, the urbane becomes urban and streetwise, and Godoy’s erudition tackles blue intervals and the band swings it and swings it hard. Check out how hard he rocks just two notes starting at 2 minutes and 50 seconds, for about five seconds, before breaking down the melody into a dozen fragments of different voicing and tempo. Throughout the whole second half he manages to squeeze in these vertiginous arpeggios into the rest of what he’s concocting. He plays a variation of the single-note trick on us again in the OTHER Bonfa/Toledo tune, “Garota de charme”, where he gently taps out some augmented and diminished chords with his right hand while his left plays a melody in unison with Luiz Chavez’s bass. Charming, indeed. It only last a few seconds but it makes the track for me; it’s these small moments of skin tightness that makes a tune that is only 2 minutes and 16 seconds long seem like it plays for five minutes.

I worked for quite a while on this vinyl rip of this relic, half-century old piece of petroleum, and I think it sounds pretty peachy. Hopefully you will too.

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Baden Powell – É de lei (1972) (aka Images On Guitar)

baden powell
baden powell

Baden Powell
“É de lei”
Released 1972 on Philips (6349.036)
01 – Até Eu (Baden Powell / Paulo César Pinheiro)
02 – Petite Waltz (Baden Powell)
03 – Violão Vagabundo (Baden Powell / Paulo César Pinheiro)
04 – Conversa Comigo Mesmo (Baden Powell)
05 – Blues à Volonté (Baden Powell / Janine de Waleyne)
06 – Sentimentos Se Você Pergunta Nunca Vai Saber (Baden Powell)
07 – É de Lei (Baden Powell / Paulo César Pinheiro)
08 – Canto (Baden Powell)

Baden Powell – guitar,vocal
Janine de Valeyne – vocal
Ernesto Ribeiro Goncalvez – bass
Joaquim Paes Henrique – drums
Alfredo Bessa – percussion

Vinyl -> Pro-Ject RM-5SE turntable (with Sumiko Blue Point 2 cartridge, Speedbox power supply) > Creek Audio OBH-15 -> M-Audio Audiophile 2496 Soundcard -> Adobe Audition 3.0 at 24-bits 96khz -> Click Repair light settings -> dithered and resampled using iZotope RX Advanced. Tags done with Foobar 2000

This is a truly breathtaking album, one of the most progressive records I’ve heard by the great Baden Powell. A lot of the album is instrumental, but the vocals from Janine de Valeyne truly take those tracks to another sphere of existence, giving a baroque twist to the compositions (although I do have one friend who finds her vocals too operatic, I politely disagree with him). Baden’s own voice is technically-less-than-perfect but in other ways it is a perfect foil for his guitar playing, which is almost TOO perfect — his voice reminds us that he is human and not a machine! When the two of them sing together, the mixture is like sand and silk, and I fully approve. This is a unique record in Baden’s discography but it is a good example of why his music can be so hard to categorize, pushing boundaries between bossa nova, samba, jazz, classical. It is Baden Powell, and that’s all that needs to be said. For me, the monster cut on this album is “Blues à Volonté” where everyone just cuts loose in a 9-minute groove, complete with scat singing from both Baden and Janine. This tune convinces me that Baden Powell is the only Brazilian guitarist to actually understand the blues of black North America. And then there are other tracks full of ethereal beauty, like Sentimentos Se Você Pergunta Nunca Vai Saber, and Canto, the latter of which receives a good musical analysis in the review references below.

This album has been repackaged and reissued in a variety of ways: as “Images on Guitar” in Germany, in a double-CD set that includes all the MPS label recordings he made, and as part of an expensive 13-CD box set that is no longer in print.

There exists a wonderful German website devoted to Baden Powell that is a unparalleled resource for those interested in his massive body of work, which can be confusing to get a grip on since his recordings were issued in different countries with different titles and different album artwork and on different labels (often on different labels in the SAME country, it should be noted), then repackaged over the years in even more permutations. The site – Brazil On Guitar which you can find here – helps make sense of all this but also has attentive, serious reviews of the music. I have taken the liberty of reproducing the review for this album in its entirety. Not only did I learn a few things from it, but I concur completely with its aesthetic assessments:

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After his japanese studio recording in April 1971, this record was the third and last recording for MPS in cooperation with the Japanese Canyon label in October 1971. BP found a new quartet with Ernesto Ribeiro-Goncalves, Alfredo Bessa and the drummer Joaquim Paes Henriques, the last one would accompany him in studio and on stage until 1974. However, after this recording the quartet split up. The following recordings three weeks later were recorded without them. In 1990 Baden, Ernesto and Alfredo would work again together on the re-recording of the “Afro Sambas”.

BP’s Images on Guitar is conceptionally one of the best records of the seventies. Hardly any other record sounds as thematically closed as Images on Guitar or Canto on Guitar. While the last Quartet recordings had their focus on Afro-Brazilian music he was now playing his own compositions. Elaborate themes used elements from Jazz, Baroque, Blues and Funk. These combinations would remain unrepeated. Many of these themes were only recorded once.

Ate Eu can be seen as an continuation of the three last Quartet recordings of December, 1970. However Petite Valse seems to be the true introduction to this record. This title would be the first in many of his concerts.
While Baden Powell (1971) was an hommage to Garoto and Pixinguinha this record can be seen as an hommage to Janine de Waleyne. The complete title can only be found on the MPS cover: Images on Guitar / Baden + Janine.

In four duets BP gives his favourite singer the necessary space for her impressive voice. The dynamics of these compositions increase and culminate in Blues a volonte. It is a powerful and cheerful improvisation and the best example of the inspirational work of everyone involved in the recording. Conversa Comigo Mesmo (dialogue with myself) seems like a well-done extension of his 1966 recording Invencao Em 7 ½.
E de Lei, in an instrumental and accurate arrangement, is followed by the inspiring and evocative Canto.

Canto: the guitar takes up the theme of the vocals. In an short rhythmic part this seems reversed. The guitar gives the impulse. The last note of the vocal remains unaccompanied and is followed by an altered D-minor chord (Dm9/#11). This chord shows great tension. The powerful quint on the bass strings is eased by guide tones as chord extensions (Bb and E) on the higher strings Finally the motiv of descending perfect fifths is repeated, played only by the guitar. The piece ends with a straight quint sound (D,A,d). This seems like a confirmation or easing. Maybe Canto tries to show the importance of the voice as the original instrument, the instrumental player trying to imitate the voice.

The cover art of the German release is one of the most beautiful of BP’s covers.
The Japanese CD release lacks a reprint of the gatefold cover. The record was released as E De Lei in Brazil in 1972, with a release on CD in 2003.
The Japanese CD release is from 1998 (POCJ 2556), in 1997 the record (except for one track) was released on the CD: Jazz Meets Brasil
(MPS 533 133-2). A re-edition with the original cover art remains to be released.

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Vinyl rip is from a first pressing in VG+ condition with light surface noise in places but very dynamic and robust. As usual, I prefer to leave a potential click or pop alone when in doubt, rather than remove ‘wanted’ audio (in particular, the very last track, “Canto”). Single clicks were removed after Click Repair, but very sparingly and I am sure I didn’t get them all. There are other vinyl rips of this floating around the interwebs but I happen to think mine is “special”. There is also a 24-bit/96khz fileset available if anyone is interested.

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Eumir Deodato – Os Catedráticos 73 (1973)

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Eumir Deodato
“Os Catedráticos 73”
originally released 1973
This reissue 2008 on Atração Fonográfica (ATR41066)

Remastered by Cláudio Abuchaim
This album is no stranger to the blogosphere, being posted about on quite a few blogs featuring Brazilian music and rare groove delights. This post highlights a recent reissue on the label Atração Fonográfica that has given us a new remastering and fancy fold-out digipack graphic design, the same they have used for their other Deodato issues. I suspect that this album is so popular among rare groove enthusiasts because it has the same musical sensibility of post-bossa Brazilian jazz fusion infused with North American soul and funk that characterized his more famous recordings for CTI, but here they shine completely free of the sterile and sterilizing production prison of Creed Taylor. One other difference, however, is that Deodato almost exclusively plays the Hammond organ on this disc, with some occasional electric and acoustic pianos hanging back in the mix on a few cuts. An ignorant reviewer at AMG (which I realize is a redundant phrase..) talks about this record as some revolutionary marriage of the organ with Brazilian music that hadn’t been done before, which is of course utter bullshit — Walter Wanderley and Ed Lincoln were exploring this territory long before Sr.Eumir. But Deodato definitely takes the funky factor up a notch, and also incorporates the rhythms and cadence of other Latin American musical traditions — something he most definitely picked up in multicultural North America, and *not* in Brazil. And like all of Deodato’s work, there is a dose of “lounge” in the sound that is either an asset or a detriment depending on your orientation, but this album manages to swing pretty hard even when it gets ‘light,’ and anyone in their right mind has to give props for the arranging skills shown here. It should be mentioned that Os Catedráticos was also the name of a jazz-bossa combo that Deodato put together in the 60s, but as far as I can tell this record is a total reinvention with completely different musicians involved.The lineup on this album is rather crowded and confusing, so I have taken the liberty of using Doug Payne’s breakdown of it which is the most thorough I have seen, albeit a little tricky to read. It’s worth noting the presence of drummer Mamão from Azymuth and percussionist Orlandivo. Payne has also given a release history of the various labels this has appeared on (minus this more recent reissue on Atração). The album has also been issued as ‘Skyscrapers’ in some countries, with different song titles in English, and there has been at least one bootleg version on vinyl with the original cover according to Discogs.com. Note also the writing credits on two tracks to the Brothers Valle.

from the website of dougpayne.com

Eumir Deodato (p,org,arr,cond); Durval Ferreira (g, el-g); Zé Menezes (12 string g); Sergio Barroso (el-b); Ivan Conti (Mamão) (d); Bebeto (cga); Helcio Milito, Orlandivo (perc).

overdubbed in New York City: September and October 1972
Marvin Stamm, John Frosk (tp,flhrn); Phil Bodner (ts, c-flute); Romeo Penque (bs, g-flute); Eumir Deodato (el-p,arr,cond).

a. Arranha Céu (Skyscrapers) (Eumir Deodato) – 4:49
b. Flap (Marcos Valle/Paulo Sergio Valle) – 3:17
c. Rodando Por Aí (Rudy’s) (Eumir Deodato) – 3:09
d. O Jogo (Soccer Game) (Pacífico Mascarenhas) – 2:28
e. Atire A 1a Pedra (aka The First Stone) (Ataulfo Alves-Mário Lago) – 3:18
f. Puma Branco (The White Puma) (aka Elizeth)
(Marcos Valle/Paulo Sergio Valle) – 3:30
g. Passarinho Diferente (The Bird) (aka The Byrd) (Eumir Deodato) – 1:52
h. Extremo Norte (The Gap) (Eumir Deodato) – 3:52
i. Tô Fazendo Nada (Down The Hill) (Eumir Deodato) – 2:55
j. Menina (Boy Meets Girl) (Eumir Deodato) – 3:10
k. Carlota & Carolina (Carly & Carole) (Eumir Deodato) – 3:12

Issues: a-k on Equipe (Br) EQS 100.001, Ubatuqui (Sp) UBCD-105 [CD], Bomba (Jap) BOM-22068 [CD]. a-k also on Irma (It) 509563-1, Irma (It) 509563-2 [CD] titled SKYSCRAPERS.

Samplers: b & f also on Irma (It) 507901-2 [CD] titled SUMMER SAMBA.

Producer: Eumir Deodato. Executive Producer: Oswaldo Cadaxo (Equipe (Br) EQS 100.001). Eumir Deodato, Arnaldo DeSouteiro. Executive Producer: Carl Rosenthal (Ubatuqui (Sp) UBCD-105 [CD], Bomba (Jap) BOM-22068 [CD], Irma (It) 509563-1, Irma (It) 509563-2 [CD]).

Engineer: Ary Perdigão & Walter, George Klabin

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Baden Powell – Swings with Jimmy Pratt (1963)

“Baden Powell Swings with Jimmy Pratt”
Elenco ME-4, 1963

Musicians: Baden Powell (git)
Jorge “Jorginho” Ferreira da Silva, Copinha (fl)
Moacir Santos (sax, vcl)
Sandoval (cl)
Sergio Barroso (b)
Jimmy Pratt (dr)
Rubem Bassini (perc)
unknown piano playerProduction: Aloysio de Oliveira
Direction: Jimmy Pratt
Production Manager: Peter Keller
Studio: Philips of Brasil
Sound Engineer: Norman Sternberg
Recording Technician: Celio Martins
Cover Layout: Cesar G. Villela
Photos: Francisco Pereira

Guitar Model: Author 3 by luthier Reinaldo DiGiorgio

Also issued as: Developments (LP, 1970)
O Mestre do Violao Brasileiro (CD-Box, 2003)

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Flabbergasted Vinyl Transfer Specs:

Original Elenco (ME-4) pressing -> Pro-Ject RM-5SE turntable / Sumiko Blue Point 2 cartridge / Pro-Ject Speedbox power supply -> Creek OBH-18 MM Phono Preamp -> M-Audio Audiophile 2496 soundcard. Recorded at 24-bit / 96 khz resolution to Audacity. Click Repair on very light settings to remove some clicks and popsm, some manual click removal using Audition. Track splitting in Adobe Audition 3.0. Dithered to 16-bit using iZotope M-Bit noise-shaping. Converted to FLAC and mp3 using DbPoweramp. ID tags done with Foobar2000.

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I don’t know anything about Jimmy Pratt other than he plays the skins on a whole bunch of jazz records from the 40s and 50s, having done sessions with Charlie Parker, Stan Getz, Zoot Sims, Oscar Pettiford, Bud Shank, and Anita O’Day. Busy guy. But this record may be one of the most famous he played on. Partly because he essentially receives co-billing on the marquee with Baden. But also he was, in a way, in the right place at the right time to really connect with the Bossa Nova explosion.

From the back cover:

“When the drummer Jimmy Pratt was in Brazil accompanying Caterina Valente, he heard Baden play guitar like everyone that was exposed to Baden’s art, he was profoundly enthusiastic. The enthusiasm provoked the idea for this recording. And from the recording was also born a friendship and mutual admiration between the two artists. ‘Baden Powell Swings with Jimmy Pratt’ is a tribute from Baden to his friend and American colleague.” – Aloysio de Oliveira

The observent among might notice Mr. Pratt apparently did not make the photo session for the album or else closely guards his image against potential feitiço and witchcraft.. He is absent from the shots taken in the recording studio, unless we are looking at the back of his head in the shot where Vinicius de Moraes appears for no particular reason — it’s an instrumental record bereft of his lovely lyrics, he didn’t play anything, and he only has a writing credit on the very first tune, ‘Deve Ser Amor.’ Anyway, I find it amusing.

In the photo to the right of this we see Baden playing into a Neumann U-87 microphone, and looking like he wants to walk into the control room and slap somebody. I’m not sure why because it’s a great-sounding recording.

Fantastic playing from everyone involved, including Moacir Santos who contributes his own compositions, Coisas No.1 and Coisas No.2. It`s the clarinet, however, that really slays me on this record: while doing the vinyl transfer and processing, I swear I listened to Coisas No.1 about ten times in a row at one point. When you hear it you will know why. There is nothing groovier on earth.

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