Tim Maia – Tim Maia (1972)

This is an old post disguised as a new post (as you surmise from the verb tense used related to the box set). It was written in May. I have not written anything new for it. Except that last sentence where I wrote that I wasn’t going to write anything new — and this one too. Otherwise this is the same post, with a difference in that it actually has a purpose now at the bottom of the page. By request.

I heard a rumor that there is a Tim Maia boxset in the works. That will be a welcome thing since most of his classic discography is stupidly out of print. However I will make you a bet (‘o que você quer apostar?’) about one thing: They will fuck up the sound. I know a lot of you don’t give a flying rats ass about mastering techniques and audio engineering but I will give you a little experiment to try at home with the kids. Put this album on, this original Polydor/Polygram pressing from the early 90s, and crank it up REALLY LOUD. Tim would have liked that. Notice anything? Notice how everything is still crisp and clear and doesn’t distort? Notice how the music has something called *dynamic range*, valleys and peaks? Take a good look and note the number or notch on your volume knob or fader and keep track of it. Now put in any CD mastered in the last ten years — new album, reissue of an old album, doesn’t matter so long as it was issued in the last 10 years or so. Put the volume to the same place as this Tim Maia album. Notice anything? Sounds like shit, doesn’t it? End of lesson.

This pressing sounds unfuckingbelievably good. It even sounds good on an iPod.

This isn’t just audio psychobabble either, because the PRODUCTION on this album is really amazing. If you had any doubt that the studios in São Paulo and Rio during the late 60s and early 70s were producing albums that sounded just as good or better than anything coming out of England or the United States, just listen to this early Tim Maia stuff. The whole LP is consistent production-wise but the track ‘Pelo amor de Deus’ has to be singled out here. They double-tracked the drums to make them sound even heavier on a album that has a pretty heavy drum sound to begin with. And in the last verse, Tim’s vocals is pulled down in the mix and drenched with plate reverb, making it seem like he is being carried away from us down a long dark hallway while the drums get LOUDER. (I don’t think they actually *do* get louder, rather it’s an aural illusionist’s trick by making Tim magically disappear… No mean feat, being a big guy and all that.)

As much cult-status as the Racional records have on account of being, a) mind-blowing and fantastic, b) extremely rare until finally reissued only a few years ago, circulating mostly as a bootleg, and c) freakishly weird and messed up (in a good way, like UFO cults and Scientology before it went all Hollywood) — those records really require an appreciation of his earlier work to get their full effect, in my unhumble opinion.

The opening cut “Idade” blisters with 60s soul tones and just enough Jovem Guarda swagger to make this still unappealing to many a navel-gazing Tropicalista fan of 1972. You can see him ripping through it in the video above. (Too bad there’s no shots of the band on this, as they actually are playing live and not faking it). The second track is even more wonderfully alienated, singing in ENGLISH and a lot more Motown than MPB. And damn perfect English too, demonstrating Tim’s long devotion to playing his anglophone soul and rock record collection until the grooves were so thin you could see through the vinyl. Wonderful flute solo by Isidoro Longano followed by a short sax solo from Antonio Arruda here. For the last minute or so the band just rocks the arrangement. Did I mention Tim produced this album himself? The arrangements are very well thought-out on every track, and since they are uncredited I will also assume Tim had a hand in those until I get around to reading Nelson Motta’s biography. The next track, “O que você quer apostar?” is as a gritty a funk soul number as anything Wilson Pickett could kick out up in the northern hemisphere, with nice lyrics for a mulher mentirosa. “Canário do reino” is another baião-flavored forró and I’m pretty sure Tim is trying to capitalize on the success of the hit he had by covering João do Vale’s “Coroné Antonio Bento” a year or so earlier. This track doesn’t work nearly as well as that one, and while it’s still good it’s also the weakest cut we’ve heard thus far. “Já era tempo de você” is the happiest swinging-big-band-with-a-small-band song of disenchantment I can think of, a friendly way to tell someone they already had their chance and you’ve moved on with your life.

Back to English again with “Where Is My Other Half” with Tim singing plaintively over gently strummed acoustic guitar (steel string and not nylon, I might add) and then the band kicks in with heavy drums for the end as Tim wonders over and over again why she left him. I think Tim is following a formula here he learned from his U.S. soul records – the first half is the uptempo dance party, the second half is for dimming the lights and making out with your lady (or man). “O que me importa” is Tim and company being as soulful as they can be, this time with vibraphone, again blowing me away with their ability to arrange all the instrumentation and capture it all so well in the mix. It also sets a template for basically every song Hyldon would write.. “Lamento” is quite honestly kind of tedious and sounds an awful lot like “Where Is My Other Half”. Unfortunately this cut is followed by an attempt at a blues number, “Sofre,” that reminds me why the blues is a quintessentially North American black art form. In fact I am suffering listening to it right now as I write this. It just kind of falls flat, but I’ll give Tim credit for asserting his blackness. Most other Brazilian acts attempting blues at this time were prog-rockers with wanky guitar solos that went on far too long. It is also interesting to note that Tim would later reuse the formula of the opening rap a decade later with the huge hit song “Me dê motivo”, including opening it up with “é engraçado” (it’s funny..), and oddly enough the vocal line from “Lamento” also reappears in that tune. A good way for Tim to recycle some of his good ideas that didn’t quite work the first time around, and “Me dê motivo” is a much better song than either of these. “Razão de sambar” is a minute and half of jazz-samba. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD the next song is amazing — “Pelo amor de deus”, well, I already ranted on about it but let me reiterate again how great it is. “These are the songs,” is a piece of Latin lounge, in English again, that is a nice way to end the album and assert his unique musical identity. Elis Regina would later record a lame version of this song with Tim guesting on vocals.

Even with the weak points on this record, it is still thoroughly essential listening. Valeu, Tim!

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LINKS REMOVED BY CORPORATE SCUMBAGS who are going to sell you a shitty
compilation made for gringos in October.  Hey, where do you think most
of your buyers will have heard this music for the first time??  Blogs,
maybe?  Fuck you AmeriKKKa.

Tim Maia – Tim Maia (1973) (24-96 vinyl)

This post inaugurates a Tim Maia project that will hopefully inaugurate a separate Tim Maia page that will be a repository for all things Tim. In the meantime I want to register that this is in some ways a PROTEST for the disgraceful boxset that has just been issued by Universal records (shamelessly called ‘Tim Maia Universal’) that gives his hardcore fans absolutely NOTHING. No rarities or unreleased tracks, no material that was not released on Universal (which excludes at the very least three very important records), and I will bet you $20 that they also butchered the audio in the mastering by making everything as loud as everything else. It is a travesty that an artist as important — and as popular — as Tim Maia could have the majority of his catalog fall out of print for so long, only to be reissued in such a careless format in what is simply a money-making venture in time for the holidays. I had been hearing about this boxset being in the works for over a year now, and I had hoped that my doubts and reservations would be proven wrong. They weren’t. As with the Jorge Ben box, it is better than NOT having the music in print, but they could have done a lot better. (For Jorge Ben, we at least got 2 discs of hard to find and unreleased material). I am going to end up buying the damn thing anyway, because I am what it is called “a completist” about these things and am therefore cursed. But I ain’t going to like it.

With no further ado, here is…

TIM MAIA

Tim Maia”

Released 1973 on Polydor (2451 041)

1 Réu confesso (Tim Maia)

2 Compadre (Tim Maia)

3 Over again (Tim Maia)

4 Até que enfim encontrei você (Tim Maia)

5 O balanço (Tim Maia)

6 New love (Roger Bruno, Tim Maia)

7 Do your thing, behave yourself (Tim Maia)

8 Gostava tanto de você (Édson Trindade)

9 Música no ar (Tim Maia)

10 A paz do meu mundo é você (Mita)

11 Preciso ser amado (Tim Maia)

12 Amores (Tim Maia)


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, some isolated clicks removed using Audition -> dithered and resampled using iZotope RX Advanced. Tags done with Foobar 2000

Musician credits:

Drums – Myro

Bass – Barbosa

Piano – Cidinho

Organ – Pedrinho

Lead electric guitar – Paulinho

Acoustic guitar – Tim

Twelve-string guitar – Neco

Conga and tumba – Ronaldo

Gonzá and tamborine – Roberto

Cow bell – MitaTrumpets – Waldir Barros, José C. Amorim

Tenor sax – Aurélio Marcos

Baritone sax – Maurilho Faria

Trombone – Edmundo Maciel

French horns – Znedek Suab, Carlos GomesVocals- Paulo Smith, Sheila Smith, Gracinha, Edinho, Genival (Cassiano), Amaro, Tim

Arrangements – Tim Maia (arranjos de base), horns and strings – Waldir A. Barros

Produced by Tim Maia

Recording engineer – Ari Carvalhaes

Assistant engineers: João, Paulinho, Luiz Cláudio, Jayro Gaulberto

Mixed by Ari Carvalhaes and Tim Maia

Rehearsed at SEROMA Studios and recorded at Phonogram Studios, Rio

This is Tim Maia’s fourth album, and it really seems as if the guy had the Midas touch, simply could not make a bad record. His third album (also self-titled) was a bit of a drop-off in consistency, although by no means a weak effort. This record, though, is a masterpiece from start to finish. It opens with “Réu confesso” which unsurprisingly was the huge hit of the summer when it was released. Written for a girlfriend with whom Tim had just separated. This song was his attempt to get her back. It didn’t work, but it ended up being one of the biggest hits of his career. The other huge hit off this album was “Gostava tanto de você”, written by Édson Trindade. Both are heavy-hitting soul classics. “Compadre”, with its loping but heavy beat, warm vocals, lyrics of friendship, and strummy acoustic guitar (left channel) balanced against a quietly-mixed Hammond organ (right channel) is yet another perfect track. “Over Again”, sung in English, would fit well alongside any of the soul hits on the US airwaves in 1973. “Até quem enfim encontrei você” is another uptempo, breezy love song, not all that different from ‘Réu confesso’ to be honest but I am not complaining. The melody is distinct and it may have been another hit for him.

The album has some lovely soul ballads: “New Love”, once again in English; “A paz de meu mundo é você” which has a church hymnal quality to the melody and chord progression; and the austere solo guitar-and-voice “Preciso ser amado” are all excellent, although I would like to hear an alternate take of the latter as it seems to lack a little bit of the emotion Tim usually puts into his voice. There are a few all-out funk soul workouts on this record — “O balanço” with its punchy horns and wah-wah guitar are contrasted by Tim’s mellow (nearly slurred) vocals and the drummer laying on the ride cymbal. The clean-tone of the rhythm guitar is delicious too, making this tune sort of my special ‘secret’ favorite among the more obvious things to love here; “Do Your Thing, Behave Yourself” begins as another mid-tempo melodic swinging piece with uplifting vocals about taking it easy and remembering that unhappiness doesn’t last forever, if you just do your thing and so on, and then what is a great song becomes even greater as it goes out on a rocking crescendo that should remind us that Tim had once been a leather-jacket wearing Jovem Guarda rock rebel. The albums closes on a solid funk instrumental, “Amores”, with some nice fuzzy guitar lines. I remember the first time I heard it, I kept waiting for the vocals to kick in, as it sounds like one long build-up to a vocal number. Perhaps the band used this jam to warm up the crowd before Tim got out on stage (when he decided to finally come out on stage..). In the context of an LP, it has the effect of making me want to flip the record over and listen to the whole thing again, which is just fine by me. “Gostava tanto de você”, as has already been said, was the other huge hit off this album, and for good reason. Kicking off with a very-sample-worthy snare drum and tom-tom intro and then ripping into a gorgeous arrangement with horns, strings, and timbales giving a triumphal lift to what are bittersweet lyrics. There are rumors and urban legends about what the lyric is about, most of them having been invented on the internet, and Nelson Motta does nothing to clarify the matter as he simply doesn’t mention the content at all.

In fact Nelson Motta spends almost no time at all talking about this album in his sloppy biography of Tim, “Vale Tudo,” merely mentioning that the two singles off it were a huge success and then going on to give us more details about what Tim had for lunch. It is unfortunate, because I for one would like more insight into the creative process in the studio, what the vibe was like, and so on. Tim was notoriously picky about sound — something which Motta does in fact devote a bit of time writing about – and this album is mixed unbelievably perfectly, it is as if he finally managed the auditory orgasm he had been building towards in his first three records. This is also something like the pinnacle of the first phase of Tim’s career — after this album, things would become a lot more complicated. In fact, exactly as the album was being released, Tim got out of his contract with Polydor and was only in communication with them to collect his royalties. He had been courted by RCA-Victor, and he had his sights set on putting out a double album.

It has been said (somewhere, not by me), that there is a mysterious curse surrounding the creation of double albums. They are usually the mark of hubris and overindulgence, and it seems something usually bad happens — The Beatles began their process of splitting up during The White Album being one famous example, but there are plenty of others. Often the results are artistically very gratifying but frequently the whole process is very taxing on the mental health of those involved and often the results end up financially a disaster. Such was the case with Tim Maia, who ended up turning his double album project into a work of religious proselytization for the Cultura Racional sect. But that story is for another post. Let this album, then, mark the `end of the innocence` for Tim Maia, and what a joyous sound it is.

24bit

Som Três – Tobogã (1970)

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TOBOGÃ
SOM Três
1970 EMI Music 541831 2
Reissue 2002, ‘100 Anos de Odeon’
supervised by Charles Gavin

1 Lola (Lamartine Babo)
2 Irmãos coragem (Nonato Buzar, Paulinho Tapajós)
3 Bajar no México (César Camargo Mariano)
4 Eu já tenho você (Sabá, César Camargo Mariano)
5 Eu só posso assim (Pingarrilho, Marcos Vasconcelos)
6 O telefone tocou novamente (Jorge Ben)
7 Oh happy day (Edwin R. Hawkins)
8 Tobogã (César Camargo Mariano)
9 Mulher brasileira (Jorge Ben)
10 A volta da maçã (Toninho, Sabá, César Camargo Mariano)

In the years between Som 3’s first album and this, their last (as Som Três), the trio had been racking up quite a bit of famous credentials. They had been accompanying the likes of Chico Buarque, MPB-4, and Beth Carvalho at the important music festivals (they recorded with Beth on her first single, ‘Andança’). They had also become Wilson Simonal’s regular backing band, and even toured with him in 1970 in Mexico when the World Cup took place there. Simonal’s influence is in full force by the time of this LP, ‘Tobogã.’ Much like the amusement-park ride named after the winter-regions sled from which the takes its title, it eschews seriousness in favor of fun, variation, and surprises. But it also as spotty as a geriatric’s hands, as spotty as a teenager’s face, as spotty as a woman at that time of the month, as… I must stop myself now before my reputation is utterly ruined. But my tackiness is matched by that of this album itself. Blogosphere mimesis.

Without a charismatic singer like Simonal to lead the group in this direction, this album has so many weak points that I find it difficult to make it through from start to finish unless I relegate it to the background, a practice I am not fond of. The campy first cut, “Lola”, is a tune from famed composer of valsas, marchinhas, and football hymns Lamartine Bobo, whose own sense of humor is perhaps honored by the ‘whacky’ arrangement featuring gargling and silly voices, but personally I find it unlistenable even though the song turns tail and runs out in 30 seconds of very-believable salsa/descarga. If the song is a joke I suppose you just had to be there, but to me it is an awfully odd choice to open an album. Thankfully in the second track, ‘Irmãos coragem’, the trio redeem themselves with what is easily the most space-age and psychedelic track here. Opening and closing with judicious use of tape-delay on piano, organ, and electronics, the instrumental tune is driven by César’s organ and the playing of an uncredited percussionist on conga. The tune was also the theme for a successful telenovela at the time. The next track, ‘Bajar no México’, is perfect for painting your skin with day-glow and go-go dancing in a cage. “Eu já tenho você” is another unfortunate vocal number, and one of two cuts on the album to feature Toni Tornado who merely yelps and screams like a parody of James Brown, but also sings the bridge. (Some have said it is Gerson King Combo guesting on this album, which is a logical assumption given that he sang with Simonal’s band, but I have my doubts and will stick with my statement that I believe it to be Tornado). Maybe I need to lighten up and takes things less seriously, but I find this song pretty awful — although it ends up sticking in my head against my will. “O telefone tocou novamente” capitalizes on Jorge Ben’s success but ends up delivering a luke-warm and uninspired cover version. Again, it’s the unremarkable vocals that ruin this one for me — had the tune been a strickly instrumental cover version, I would probably like it a lot more, because Som Três were fantastic musicians. “Oh Happy Day” is the big surprise of the album. Originally recorded by the Edwin Hawkins Singers, this gospel tune went on to be an international hit recorded by artists as diverse from Aretha Franklin to Glen Campbell and Joan Baez at the time, and Som Três delivers a soulful, funky version that abandons any attempt at vocals except for the chorus of ‘Oh Happy Day’ dominated by female voices. It is triumphant, sweet, and worth the price of admission on this otherwise uneven album. The spell of enchantment is quickly interrupted, though, with another day-glow 60s soul number, Tobogã, which again features Tornado (or Gerson?) grunting, yelping and screaming like James Brown in a way that is hard to appreciate as anything but kitsch in retrospect. I suppose you could argue that it was important for breaking out of the straight-jacket of cultural nationalism in Brazilian music, but mostly its just silly. Another Jorge Ben tune, “Mulher Brasileira” is a hundred times more successful than “O telefone tocou..”, because it benefits from the soul-jazz cool vibe that Som Três was expert at creating. The low-key vocals even fit nicely on this one. The album closes with yet another throw-away piece of musical comedy, “A volta de maça.”

So while this album has its moments, only about half of its ten songs are particularly noteworthy, relegating the album to a footnote in the careers of everyone involved and perhaps a curiosity for the Simonal completists. It was probably a good place for Som Três to call it quits, in any case. Not exactly “quit while you are ahead” so much as “quit before you slide any lower down into mediocrity.” Perhaps that is the hidden symbolism of the album cover, the band slipping and sliding their way into musical obscurity…

Other listeners may react completely diffently to this album. Feel free to leave your opinions in the comments section. I like comments. Makes me feel like people actually READ the blog, you know?

in 320kbs em pee tree

in FLAC LOSSLESS AWDIO

Dom Salvador e Abolição – Som, Sangue e Raça (1971)

DOM SALVADOR E ABOLIÇÃO
SOM, SANGUE E RAÇA
1971 CBS (137735)

First CD pressing – Sony Music (Brasil) / Columbia (2-495859) 2001

Reissue on Selo Cultura / Sony Music 2010

1 Uma vida (Dom Salvador, Abolição)
2 Guanabara (Arnoldo Medeiros, Dom Salvador)
3 Hei! Você (Getúlio Côrtes, Nelsinho)
4 Som, sangue e raça (Marco Versiani, Dom Salvador)
5 Tema pro Gaguinho (Dom Salvador)
6 O Rio (Arnoldo Medeiros, Dom Salvador)
7 Evo (Pedro Santos, Dom Salvador)
8 Numbre one (Dom Salvador)
9 Folia de reis (Paulo Silva, Jorge Canseira)
10 Moeda, reza e cor (Marcos Versiani, Dom Salvador)
11 Samba do malandrinho (Dom Salvador)
12 Tio Macrô (Arnoldo Medeiros, Dom Salvador)

Dom Salvador – piano and accordion
Luiz Carlos – drums and vocals
Rubão Sabino – bass
Oberdam P. Magalhães – Alto sax and flute
Serginho – trombone
Darcy – trumpet and flugelhorn
José Carlos – guitar
Nelsinho – percussion and vocal
Mariá – vocal

Artistîc direction – Ian Guest
Photography – Franklin Correâ

Reeissue project supervision by Charles Gavin
Remastered from the original tapes by Luigi Hoffer at DMS Studies, Rio

dom salvador

This is a huge album — and the ONLY album — from Dom Salvador e Abolição, who were part of the Brazilian soul music explosion in the wake of Tim Maia’s first record, performing at festivals alongside Tim, Toni Tornado, Antonio Adolfo e Brazuca, and others. Long forgotten about, perhaps because it was ahead of its time in its eclecticism and sophistication, it was reissued on CD for the first time some years ago — I am not sure when, unfortunately. This pressing is part of a brand-new series of reissues put out by my favorite book & recordstore, Livraria Cultura. (Think a Brazilian Borders or Barnes and Noble, but with occasional art openings, lectures, and live performances..) I bought it the same week it arrived, and found this review from Tarik de Souza (possibly my favorite Brazilian music critic at the moment) had been online for some time, indicating that it had already seen a CD reissue previously.

I have translated the first paragraph of that review into English. As you can see, this band contained the nucleus of Banda Black Rio, who would become icons of the funk and soul movement in Brazil. The rest of the review talks about pianist Dom Salvador’s background as part of jazz trios such as Rio 65 and Copa Trio, the latter of which provided backing support to both Elis Regina and Jorge Ben. He goes on to describe a few chosen tracks and their use of electric and acoustic piano, brass, cuíca and accordion in their mixture of funk, samba, baião, and jazz. Dom Salvador moved to the USA later in the 70s and has never left. He also has a website, which also includes a page with this sadly small discography on it but little else.

I can’t really add much to Tarik’s review as he is very good at what he does! Enjoy this one.
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Partial Flabber translation

This isn’t just a seminal album recovered by the meticulous work of researcher Charles Gavin (Titãs). It is an estuary. All the black rivers that would form Brazilian funk/hip-hop flow through it. Led by Paulista pianist Salvador Silva Filho – Dom Savlador – “Som, Sangue, e Raça” from 1971, one year after the explosion of Tim Maia on the scene, catalyzed the bossa nova and jazz background of its leader with the rhythm and blues of its members like saxophonist Oberdã Magalhães, newphew of samba-enredo master Silas de Olvieira and future leader of Banda Black Rio, who since the group Impacto 8 (which had, among others, Robertinho Silva on drums and Raul de Souza on trombone) had already been trying to reconcile MPB with Stevie Wonder and James Brown. Add to all this a mixture of samba, Nordestino accent, and even the black side of the Jovem Guarda represented by the authorial presence of of Getúlio Cortes (older brother of Gerson King Combo, our James Brown “cover”) in ‘Hei! Você’, one of the most-played tracks here. Alongside these elements and the preseence of Rubão Sabino (bass), who still called himself ‘Rubens’, drummer Luis Carlos (another member of Black Rio), the disc enlists the trumpet and flugelhorn of symphonic musician Darcy in place of the original Barrosinho (yet one more founder of Black Rio), who was traveling during the recording but would end up being a leading force of the band.

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Este não é apenas um disco seminal, recuperado pelo trabalho meticuloso do titã pesquisador Charles Gavin. É um estuário. Todos os rios negros que formaram o funk/hip hop nativo confluem para ele. Comandado pelo pianista paulista Salvador Silva Filho, o Dom Salvador, Som, Sangue e Raça, de 1971, um ano depois da explosão de Tim Maia, cataliza a formação bossa nova & jazz do lider com rhythm & blues de integrantes como o saxofonista Oberdã Magalhães, sobrinho do mestre do samba enredo Silas de Oliveira e futuro líder da Banda Black Rio, que desde o grupo Impacto 8 (entre outros Robertinho Silva, bateria, Raul de Souza, trombone) já vinha tentando agregar MPB com Stevie Wonder & James Brown. Entram ainda na mistura samba, sotaque nordestino e até o lado negro gato da Jovem Guarda representado pela presença autoral de Getúlio Cortes (irmão do posterior Gerson King Combo, o nosso James Brown cover) em Hei Você!, uma das faixas mais destacadas. Além destes elementos e da presença de Rubão Sabino (baixo), que ainda se assinava Rubens, do baterista Luis Carlos (outro que integraria a Black Rio), o disco arregimenta o trompete e flugelhorn do músico de sinfônica Darcy no lugar do original Barrosinho (mais um fundador da BR), que estava excursionando durante a gravação, mas seria o titular da banda.

Egresso do Beco das Garrafas e a caminho dos EUA, para onde se mudaria em definitivo ainda nos 70, Dom Salvador liderou o Copa Trio ao lado do baixista Gusmão e do batera Dom Um Romão. O grupo serviria de suporte para as decolagens de Elis Regina e Jorge Ben (antes do Jor), entre outros. Formou também o Rio 65 Trio com o baterista Edison Machado. O noneto Abolição (aí incluído o vocal de sua esposa, Mariá) foi uma saída para o desgastado formato trio da bossa nova. E não só. Cada faixa de Som, Sangue e Raça é diferente da anterior por conta de um cuidadoso trabalho de fusão de elementos sonoros até contraditórios como o pique folk de retreta de Folia de Reis moldado em acordeon, sopros (até tu, tuba?) e uma intrusa cuíca. Moeda, Reza e Cor tem um encadeamento de sopros que lembra os arranjos de Gil Evans para Miles Davis, mas logo desagua num solo de piano funkiado pelo baixo elétrico. Samba do Malandrinho levado pianinho (no elétrico digitar de Don Salvador) remete para a bossa nova com direito a improvisos jazzísticos.

Já Tio Macrô, repleto de reviradas de sopro e contraritmo sustentado por baixo engata num samba funk. Intercalando grandiloquencia e balanço, Uma Vida abre com declamação e uma longa introdução pianística depois picotada pelos sopros. E tome funk na veia como nas instrumentais Guanabara e Number One. O piano elétrico alicerça O Rio, um funk andante que desata em samba de escola com direito a apitos. Também a construção de sopros funkiados da faixa título acaba num samba, movido a cuíca. Com acordeon e costura acústica, Tema pro Gaguinho lembra o choro dos regionais, só que devidamente turbinado. Hey! Você (belíssima a condução de sopros) combina R&B com um ritmo de baião que antecipa a fusão de Burt Bacharach. A tamborilada Evo emoldura um funkafro com cuíca e coro. A riqueza das combinações torna o resultado muito acima da média do pop ralo das FMs, o que talvez explique o fato de o disco não ter estourado a despeito de tantos ganchos no recheio. Agora em CD remasterizado haveria até uma nova chance, se a situação não tivesse mudado. Para pior.(Tárik de Souza)

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The inside sleeve blurb by Charles Gavin:
The album ‘Som, sangue e raça’ paves the way for future generations of musicians and producers of the carioca scene at the beginning of the 1970s. The lyrics that dealt with the question of race and the explosive fusion of samba, soul, jazz and funk, elaborated by Dom Salvador and his troupe, Abolição, established the bases for the development of new sounds and tendencies in Brazilian music.

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Elza Soares – Elza Soares (1974) (Tapecar/Discobertas)

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Elza Soares
1974 Tapecar (X.23)
Reissue 2010 on Discobertas 2010 (DB-051)

1 Bom dia Portela
(Bebeto de São João, David Correia)
2 Pranto livre
(Everaldo da Viola, Dida)
3 Não é hora de tristeza
(Walter da Imperatriz, Lino Roberto, Wilson Medeiros)
4 Meia noite já é dia
(Norival Reis, David Correia)
5 Desabafo
(Nezinho, Campo, Tatu)
6 Partido do lê lê lê
(Otilo Gomes)
7 Deusa do rio Niger
(Motorzinho, Walter Norambê)
8 Quem há de dizer
(Alcides Gonçalves, Lupicínio Rodrigues)
9 Louvei Maria
(Elza Soares)
10 Xamêgo de crioula
(Zé Di)
11 Falso papel
(Dario Marciano)
12 Giringonça
(Josealdo Fraga)

BONUS TRACKS

13. Salve a Mocidade
(Luiz Reis)
14. Festa do Círio de Nazaré
(Aderbal Moreira, Dario Marciano, Nilo Mendes)
15. O Mundo Fantástico do Uirapuru (Tatu, Campo, Nezinho)

Produced by José Xavier
Arrangements by Ed Lincoln
Album artwork by Randall

This is Elza Soares’s first album for the Tapecar label after she asked to be let go from her contract at Odeón. It is also noteworthy for the fact that organist Ed Lincoln was the arranger on the album, and his keyboard work can be heard peppered throughout the record. And whereas her Odeon albums were built around her singular and unique interpretations of time-tested samba clasics or more recent compositions from time-tested composers, this album contained new songs by mostly unknown writers, with the one big exception being the Lupicínio Rodrigues tune ‘Quem há de dizer.’ And check out the heavily-Jorge-Ben influenced `Deusa do Rio Niger` and the samba-soul `Giringonca`!!

The reissue — which possibly marks the first time this has ever been on CD — also includes three bonus tracks. The first was a hit from a telenovela that was dominating the TV airwaves at the time, the “Salve a Mocidade” from the novela ‘O Rebu.’ This was quite probably the biggest hit that Elza had during the entire decade of the 1970s. The other two tracks appeared on one of the many Tapecar carnaval compilations, this one called ‘Samba Enredo 75’.. I see some of these Tapecar releases on the street every now and then and should really pay closer attention — I had mostly assumed they contained album tracks available elsewhere and basically ignored them. Alas, I was quite wrong!

I find the sound a bit lifeless and ‘stiff’ sounding, but the only vinyl copy of this that I have found has a skip on it that makes a vinyl rip impossible. And the bonus tracks are a nice touch. You can’t go wrong with any Elza Soares from the 60s or 70s, and this album is a fine example of why!

There are some lame and poorly-written internet bios of Elza at allmusic and Wikipedia, and this one from All Brazilian Music is not much better, but anyway here it is. Oh, and Elza has recently written her own autobiography (or had someone ghost-write it for her) in 2009, but I have not picked up a copy yet.

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Cassiano – Imagem e Som (1971)

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IMAGEM E SOM
Cassiano
1971 RCA Victor
BSL 1551
Reissue 2001 on BMG/RCA ‘100 Anos de Música’ Series

 

1 Lenda
(Lula Freire, Marcos Valle)
2 Ela mandou esperar
(Cassiano, Tim Maia)
3 Tenho dito
(Cassiano, Tim Maia)
4 Já
(Cassiano)
5 É isso aí
(Cassiano)
6 O caso das bossas
(Zil Rosendo, Dabliu Namor)
7 Eu, meu filho e você
(Cassiano)
8 Primavera (Vai chuva)
(Silvio Rochael, Cassiano)
9 Minister
(Cassiano)
10 Uma lágrima
(Cassiano)
11 Canção dos hippies (Paz e amor)
(Professor Pardal)
12 Não fique triste
(Cassiano)

Genival Cassiano was one of the architects of Brazilian Soul music, although his work is eclipsed (and rightly so, in my opinion) by his friend Tim Maia. Tim was actually an admirer of Cassiano’s vocal group Os Diagonais and drew inspiration from them for his own sound, and the two soon came to be friends and collaborators. Os Dianonais provided backing vocals for Tim’s records and live shows in the early days. Not only does Tim have a few writing credits here, but he is also singing backup, uncredited, as part of Os Diagonais. (NOTE: I do not have any proof of this, yet, other than my own ears. I have been searching through Nelson Motta’s biography of Tim, “Vale Tudo”, for some evidence, but as yet have found none. While its an entertaining read, it is kind of sloppy in terms of presenting his recorded work, so I don’t consider this a *denial* of his participation). Likewise, Cassiano played guitar on several of Tim’s albums.

But how to consider this album on its own terms? Well, it was his first album under his own name, and is a bit uneven, but it has its transcendent soul moments. Oddly, for the man who is credited as being so adept at creating the vocal harmonies of Os Diagonais, his voice takes a while to grow on me — he lacks the swagger and charisma of his friend, Tim Maia. The first track, the Marcos Valle song Lenda, is to me an odd choice to open the album, as there are a lot of other tracks that grab the attention more. The album picks it up a notch with two collaboration with Maia and by the time it hits “Já”, credited solely to Cassiano, the album has found its pace. The orchestrations on this album stand out — meticulous, full brass and string arrangements in the same style as those on Tim’s records of the same period, all of this goes to distinguish what was truly a ‘movement’ in Brazilian music, and a rogue one at that, going against the grain of what the critics of the time thought was worthy of praise. Other exemplary stand-out tracks here are “Eu, meu filho, e você”, “Canção dos hippies,” and “Não fique triste.” I should also point out the prominent use of vibraphone on this record — another thing in common with Tim’s records, alas – that is a particular delight to me.

A historic and somewhat-rare album of the Brazilian Soul scene, I hope you enjoy this!

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