Tim Maia – Tim Maia (1977) (repost)

tim maia

tim maia

Because a neo-colonial gringo record label released a compilation of Tim’s material a while ago, heavily promoted by hipster-indie icons to sell CDs and overpriced vinyl to the trendy gentrifiars of American urban spaces, all of my Tim Maia blog posts got shut down on the same day.  I am reposting them for historical, archival purposes complete with my inane writings of the time they were originally posted.  Make sure to read all the appreciate comments and you will thank me later.

1 Pense menos

(Paulo Ricardo – Tim Maia)

2 Sem você

(Paulo Ricardo – Tim Maia)

3 Verão carioca

(Paulo Roquete – Reginaldo Francisco – Paulo Ricardo – Tim Maia)

4 Feito para dançar

(Paulo Ricardo)

5 É necessário

(Tim Maia)

6 Leva o meu blue

(Tim Maia)

7 Venha dormir em casa

(Tim Maia)

8 Música para Betinha

(Carlos Simões – Reginaldo Francisco – Paulo Ricardo – Tim Maia)

9 Não esquente a cabeça

(Carlos Simões – Tim Maia)

10 Ride twist and roll

(Tim Maia)

11 Flores belas (Instrumental)

(Tim Maia)

12 Let it all hang out

(Tim Maia)

Tim Maia – Vocal, drums, congas, acoustic guitar, percussion
Paulo Ricardo R. Alves – 6 and 12-string guitars, vocals,
Reginaldo Francisco – Acoustic and electric piano, organ, arp, vocal
Paulo Roberto R. Nazareth – guitar & vocal
Carlos Simões – bass
Geraldo – trumpet
Darci Seixas – trombone
Sebastião – alto saxophone
José Mauricio – guitar, vocal
César Fernando – congas, vocal
Paulo do Couto – cowbell
Guto Graça Mello – string arrangements

Production, horn and vocal arrangements – Tim Maia

Released on Som Livre 1977, reissue

According to Nelson Motta’s biography of Tim Maia, “Vale Tudo,” this record had a working title of “Verão Carioca” and marks the period where Tim began imbibing large quantities of coke. Whatever, Motta’s book is in fact poorly written, lacking any kind of sources, or even a comprehensive discography (or a partial one, for that matter). What is for certain is that this is the record where disco begins to be felt in his music in a positive way. Rug burners like “Feito Pra Dançar” nestle alongside heavy funk like “E Necessario.” Another highlight is “Não Esquente a Cabeça” which has memorable hooks and melodies, and tasty electric piano and guitar work over a smokey post-bossa pan-latin groove. It’s probably the catchiest song on here. This is prime material by polymath Tim Maia — producer, multi-instumentalist, and arranger on this record.

Motta does relate an anecdote about the rehearsals for the album, when there was construction going on right next door and all the songs ended up being arranged to the tempo of a jack-hammer. There is a reference to this on the ‘thank you’ section of the original album’s back cover.

 

Tim Maia – Nuvens (1982)

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NUVENS
Tim Maia
Released 1982 on Seroma LP-TM-009
Reissue 2011 on Editora Abril

  
1 Nuvens   
(Deny King, Cassiano)  
2 Outra mulher   
(Tim Maia)  
3 Ar puro   
(Tim Maia, Robson Jorge)  
4 O trem – 1ª parte   
(Tim Maia)  
5 A festa   
(Tim Maia)  
6 Apesar dos poucos anos   
(Beto Cajueiro, Tim Maia)  
7 Deixar as coisas tristes para depois   
(Pedro Carlos Fernandes)  
8 Ninguém gosta de se sentir só   
(Tim Maia)  
9 Hadock Lobo esquina com Matoso   
(Tim Maia)  
10 O trem – 2ª parte   
(Tim Maia)  
11 Casinha de sapé   
(Hyldon)  
12 Sol brilhante   
(Rubens Sabino, Tim Maia)

 Tim Maia would have been 70 years old today! So in spite of the efforts of US corporations imposing their mentality on the rest of the world, I am dedicating one more post to the grande mestre.

In his biography of Tim Maia, Vale Tudo, Nelson Motta called this album the best Tim Maia record that nobody ever heard.  Similarly the notes on this reissue go to great pains to point out its small cult following and contrast it against its lack of commercial impact.  Motta is prone to hyperbole in general, and the shoddy liner notes from Editora Abril on their series of Tim reissues can’t be taken too seriously.  But I remember the first time I ever heard this album, at the house of a guy who had an autographed vinyl copy.  I hadn’t even known of its existence, and the rather unflattering photo of Tim entering his Marshmallow Man phase had me skeptical.  So I was surprised at hearing all these new solid tunes, and after much beer and churrasco on that lazy Sunday afternoon I was probably ready to acclaim the album in similar hyperbolic terms.  It would be years before I was able to hear it again.  Does it deserve to be better known?  Most certainly.  Is it one of Tim’s best albums?  Depends on the listener, but its obviously well crafted and a mostly strong set of songs.  (However it is hard to reflect on the music when you can BARELY HEAR what is going on — see below!)  The thing about “Nuvens” is that you can’t call it a “commercial failure” because, as Motta said, nobody really got the chance to hear it.  So even Brazilians who were fans before Tim received the recent surge of hipster interest were by and large unaware of this album.

At this point in his career, Tim had pretty much alienated everyone in the music business through his often volatile temperament, penchant for not showing up for high profile gigs, and appetite for hedonism.  Label execs and promoters were wary of dealing with him.  During the 70s, however, Tim was one of the first Brazilian artists to control the publishing rights for his own material: perhaps taking inspiration from some of his North American soul music counterparts, he recognized music publishing as one of the most egregious forms of exploitation and set up his own company, SEROMA, to publish his songs.  Seroma was a publishing company first and only later an occasional record label, in which capacity Tim consistently lost money.  In many ways Tim was a shrewd businessmen but a horrible administrator, promulgating the motto that Seroma was the only label that “pays on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays after 9 o’clock.”  He kept the label’s treasury under lock and key in his own apartment, was known to occasionally pay musicians with drugs in lieu of money, and seems to have decided what to pay his band Vitória Régia based on his mood.  The decision to make Seroma a label in the first place was practically an accident, developing after RCA rejected the double-album project with which they had lured Tim away from Polygram.  This was what would become the two Racional albums, the sessions for which started out as straightforward soul and funk songs until Tim was introduced to his new-found (and short-lived) religion in Cultura Racional, after which he discarded all the lyrics and any vocal tracks, replacing them with bizarre musings on the world of Animal Energy and commands to “Read the Book, the Book of Life!”   The second Seroma release came a few years later with a wonderful little album, 1978’s “Tim Maia Em Inglês.”  Seroma would stay dormant as a label for a while afterwards, with Tim putting out records on major labels again (plus one on Som Livre in 1977).  Once more disenchanted with the music industry’s vampiric practices, in 1982 he resolved to release yet another album himself and prepared for it by putting out a single that yielded a huge hit, “Do Leme ao Pontal,” and then funneling all the profits from it into the new record.

Unfortunately for Tim, without a distribution deal, Tim was essentially doing all the legwork for the promotion and distribution himself, work for which he clearly was not suited.  The record went largely unnoticed, and was subsequently overshadowed by the phenomenal ‘O Descobridor das Setes Mares’ from the following year.

So, when I first heard that this record was at long last being reissued in 2011, I was very excited.  Until I began to actually hear the results from Editora Abril, that is.  Ed.Abril is actually a publishing company, responsible for the likes of trash-news magazine Veja, and their reissue series was originally intended to be sold at news stands.   In spite of having had a few cool series on LP (the informative História da MPB composers series), they are an empire of paper, and it shows.  The reissues had 50 page “booklets” that were light on information but full of garish graphic design and superfluous photos probably culled from their vast archives (Lulu Santos? Gretchen? why??).  And the sound was PAPER THIN.  Conspicuously avoiding any mention of master tapes or remastering, they managed to somehow downgrade the sound for the records that were previously widely available on CD at one time, such as his first four albums on Polydor.  This isn’t just the nit-picking of an obsessive audio junkie either.  Compare the Ed. Abril versions with any of those, or in fact the newer releases from the Universal boxset, and you will be forced to admit that Editora Abril did something very very bad to the audio.  All the more tragic in the case of ‘Tim Maia em Inglês” and “Nuvens” because those two titles have been long out of print. and fetching ridiculous prices from collectors.  It is painfully obvious that used subpar source material, and then applied a heavy-handed “noise filter” that makes these tracks sound like low-bitrate mp3s even when you are listening to 16-bit PCM WAVs.  Now that the the Abril editions are also out of print, I have been seeing vendors on Mercado Livre (a place notoriously out of touch with reality when it comes to pricing records) selling those pitiful reissues for questionable amounts of money justified by the catchphrase “out of print”.. Time to put a stop to that by any means.

Whether all this preamble above is necessary before talking about the actual music is debatable, but I will say this:  the experience of listening to this shoddy reissue is so much less enjoyable than hearing it on the original vinyl on that lazy Sunday afternoon, that it makes any kind of objective assessment nearly impossible for me.  That is in fact why I waited a year to even write this post – my disappointment was so profound that it killed completely killed my enthusiasm about the record.

Working again with his frequent collaborators Cassiano and Hyldon, Nuvens is from the start an organic set of soul tunes.  The production is slick but avoids the pitfalls of so much early 80s music (contemporary records by icons like Chico Buarque, Caetano or Gil sound positively silly by comparison).  Acoustic guitar, electric piano, percussion, meticulous horn arrangements.  The opening title cut has Cassiano’s melodic stamp of mellow soul all over it, and the next three tunes are pure Tim.  In their original analog form this is a record for breezy summer days.  “Ar Puro” picks up the tempo to get the dance floor moving, and the instrumental funk workout ‘O Trem’ is tremendous, although oddly divided up between the first and second sides.  The magic is broken by the turkey “A Festa” which is ruined by overdubs of giggling women, and even without them the song is the equivalent of Tim ‘phoning it in’.  “Apesar De Poucos Anos” was not written by Cassiano but sounds as if it were, his falsetto backing vocals adding to that feeling.   It could be an affect of the lousy CD reissue but Tim’s lead vocal is almost completely lost in parts of this song, making for a very odd mix.  The ballad that follows is really one of Tim’s best.   “Deixar As Coisas Tristes Prá Depois” opens with a baroque-tingued acoustic guitar figure by Pedro Carlos Fernandes, very brief but very unlike anything else in his discography, and which continues throughout the tune.  The production and arrangement is majestic — or rather it would be if it weren’t stifled by Editora Abril.  The few bars of acoustic guitar and saxophone at the minute and a half mark just slay me.  Next is an awkwardly direct, autobiographical “Ninguém Gostar De Sentir Só” that gives a glimpse to the loneliness hidden behind Tim’s ebullient personality.  It’s also a great tune.  The next is a turkey – “Hadock Lobo Esquina Com Matoso” pays tribute to a São Paulo streetcorner and Tim’s days ‘before the fame’ hanging out with Roberto and Erasmo Carlos.  It’s honestly pretty awful.  O Trem (part 2) continues the funk workout from the first side.  “Na Rua, Na Chuva, Na Fazenda (Casinha de Sapé)” is Hyldon’s signature song and the title of his first album.  Tim is a natural choice for recording this song (which has suffered some awful remakes in recent years) and his voice is much more powerful than Hyldon, but I prefer the original for being more emotionally satisfying and better arranged.  The closing number “Sol brilhante” has a riff that is uncannily similar to the Tom Tom Club’s “Genius of Love.”  It could be just my imagination or coincidence but it wouldn’t be the first time Tim lifted something directly from US music.  It’s a light and fluffy bit of summer breeze that blows shut the window pane on this little treasure of a record.  Hopefully it won’t be another 20 years before somebody gives this one the reissue it deserves.  I listen to this disc much less than I would if it sounded even halfway decent.

Labelle – Nightbirds (1974)

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LaBelle – Nightbirds
Released 1974
Epic (KE 33075)

1. “Lady Marmalade” (Bob Crewe, Kenny Nolan) – 3:56
2. “Somebody Somewhere” (Nona Hendryx) – 3:25
3. “Are You Lonely?” (Nona Hendryx) – 3:12
4. “It Took a Long Time” (Raymond Bloodworth, L. Brown, Bob Crewe) – 4:03
5. “Don’t Bring Me Down” (Allen Toussaint) – 2:48
6. “What Can I Do for You?” (Patti LaBelle, Hendryx, Sarah Dash, Edward Batts, James R. Budd Ellison) – 4:02
7. “Nightbird” (Hendryx) – 3:09
8. “Space Children” (Hendryx) – 3:02
9. “All Girl Band” (Allen Toussaint) – 3:50
10. “You Turn Me On” (Hendryx) – 4:37

Featuring – Meters, The
Guitar – Rev Batts, Leo Nocentelli
Organ – Arthur Neville*
Bass – George Porter, Jr.
Piano – Bud Ellison* (tracks: 4, 5, 9)
Producer [Executive] – Vicki WickhamProducer, Arranged By, Keyboards, Percussion, Guitar – Allen Toussaint
Alto & soprano saxophone,clarinet – Earl Turbinton
Alto axophone – Clarence Ford
Baritone, saxophone – Carl Blonin
Tenor saxophone, Flute – Alvin Thomas , Lon Price
Trombone – Lester Caliste
Trumpet – Clyde Kerr Jr. , Steve Howard

Recorded At Sea-Saint Studios, New Orleans

Engineer – Ken Laxton
Produced by Allen Toussaint

I think everyone on the planet knows the song “Lady Marmalade” unless they’ve been living under the proverbial rock. Actually I think even them, along with some basement dwellers, probably know this song and can even sing all the words for you. But much lesser known is the album that it came off. The first time I put this on my turntable, I didn’t bother to look at the credits, but by the second or third song I was thinking — damn the arrangements on this sure do sound like Allen Toussaint… And lo and behold, they are! In fact it is a strike against my musical credibility that I did not already know that he produced one of the biggest #1 funk / soul / proto-disco hits of the first half of the 1970s, and Labelle’s biggest album. His trademark keyboard and piano work is all over this album, as is his characteristically New Orleans brass sensibility. Hell, this album even has The Meters on it! By `74, Toussaint was producing them along with Dr.John, and this record has plenty of sweaty southern soul stank on it. The first six cuts on this are all fantastic, with a heavy vibe of Stax and Muscle Shoals but filtered through Mr. Toussaint’s bayou universe. A particular favorite of mine is the mellow Philadelphia soul of “It Took a Long Time,” just gorgeous, bittersweetly tender soul about finally meeting the “right” person. The tune makes great use of one of Labelle’s biggest strengths – the backing vocal harmonies of Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash singing a different set of complementary lyrics. Although it is the least funky of the bunch, it’s possible this song is my favorite track here – for me, it’s a perfect amalgamation of soul and pop music where everything about it works.

The album does have a few clunkers on it, but even those are enjoyable due to the great vocal and production work. Basically the first side of the original LP is just much stronger than the second half, where the songwriting just doesn’t quite make the cut. Opening up with the very strong “What Can I Do For You?”, which was their other hit tune off this record, the record kind of loses steam after that. Nona Hendryx is more than deserving of my respect and admiration but I’m just not too crazy about the title cut ‘Nightbirds’, penned by her, which incidentally seems to have stolen some of its melody from Neil Young’s “Old Man.” The tune “Space Children” is just plain silly, but I can’t help but like it in spite of myself mostly due to the way Patti sings “spaaaay-e-ahyy-e-ace childreh-heh-hehn” in a couple places. The lyrics are pretty disposable – they might be a critique of drug use, or of hippies, which would ordinarily score some points with me, but they just aren’t very good. But not as bad as Toussaint’s “All Girl Band”, which contains completely ridiculous lines like, “And there was Mary / Quit her job at they dairy / Took up the name Blackberry”…. Is this so bad it’s good? No, it’s just bad. Toussaint had some great work under his own name but he was a much better producer-arranger-musician than he was a songwriter (his ‘Don’t Bring Me Down’ fares better but still suffers from dumb lyrics and a cheesy hook). But not everybody can “do it all” — Donny Hathaway he is not…

The closing cut, “You Turn Me On,” is a slow soul burner that grows increasingly erotic as it goes on (“I cum like the pouring rain / Each time you call my name / It’s good what you’re doin’, what you’re doin’…”). This song is really, really good and essentially makes up for the mediocrity of the two (or three) songs in front of it. I don’t believe this blog features too many records than went Platinum. Even with its flaws, this one deserves the kudos.

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Labelle – Nightbirds (1974) in 320kbs em pee twee

Labelle – Nightbirds (1974)in FLAC LOSSLESS AUDIO

password – senha in comments

VA – Nigerian Disco Funk Special: The Sound of the Underground Lagos Dancefloor 1974-79 (2008)

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While not as compelling as the 2-disc “Nigeria Special” collection, this is a righteous set of songs in its own right. There are actually some weaker cuts on this one, especially for those whose tastes run like Clint Striker who said “I’m not really into all that wah-wah guitar stuff.” Maybe the problem is that the collection kicks off with its strongest cut, “Take Your Soul” (1976) from The Sahara All Stars of Jos.” The momentum of the rest of the album just never quite reaches those heights again. Tracks like the seriously-flanged “Lagos City” (1976) from Asiko Rock Group, and the closer, Afro-beatish “Love Affair” (1976) by SJOB Movement, keep the stew simmering. “Greetings” (1978) from Joni Hastruup — which manages to be both the most melodic cut here and also one of the funkiest, with some tight riffing on sax, flute, and Rhodes that match Joni’s stident voice. — keep it interesting in between some of the more monochromatic jams here. It’s probably my favorite track on this compilation. The sound quality varies between the tracks here, no doubt due to most if not all of these tracks being sourced from vinyl, but if you are seeking stuff like this out then you probably won’t care much about that. If this doesn’t quite reach the same level as Soundway’s other Nigerian compilations, its only because they set such a high benchmark with them.

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From CD Universe
Nigerian music is known for its polyglot character, a fact that is exemplified by its native juju and highlife–a perfect storm of indigenous music traditions bolstered by Western technology. Lesser-known are Nigerian attempts to adopt Western trends wholesale, as with the exquisitely rare disco and funk groups compiled for NIGERIA DISCO FUNK SPECIAL: THE SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND LAGOS DANCEFLOOR 1974-1979. Taking obvious cues from stateside horn-driven funk ensembles like B.T. Express, Ohio Players and the J.B.’s, the propulsive dancefloor beats are punctuated by horn blasts and the scratchy, repetitive insistence of rhythm guitars–a sound with distinctive echoes of the ringing melodicism of highlife guitar sections. Highlights on this funky slice of Afro-disco include: Asikos’s “Lagos City,” an energetic blast of African brass, and Dr. Adolf Ahanotu’s “Ijere,” a slick, overdriven funk number done in a distinctly Nigerian style.

Nigerian musicians adopt ’70s funk and disco in this collection of rarities.Uncut (p.103) – 4 stars out of 5 — “The Afrobeat thunder is still strong on NIGERIA DISCO FUNK SPECIAL….T-Fire could be the Lagos branch of Clinton’s P-Funk family.”

Track Listing

1. Take Your Soul – The Sahara All Stars
2. Will of the People – T-Fire
3. Lagos City – Asiko Rock Group
4. Greetings – Johnny Haastrup
5. You’ve Gotta Help Yourself – The Groovies/Bongos Ikwue
6. Some More – Jay U Experience
7. Mota Ginya – Voices of Darkness
8. Ijere – Dr. Adolf Aonotu
9. Love Affair – S-Job Movement

 in 320kbs

 in FLAC LOSSLESS AUDIO FORMAT

Eddie Kendricks – The Hit Man (1975) 320kbs & FLAC vinyl rip

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Eddie Kendricks has a magic wand, that moves at his command, and he wants to turn you on. Eddie Kendricks just wants to make you happy. He wants to take your frown and turn it upside down. Eddie Kendricks wants you not to be afraid to pleasure yourself. He wants you to get the cream off the top. He wants to hear your body talk. I think you see where Eddie Kendricks is coming from. He wants you to skip work today, and put on this record, and stay home with your lady or your man.

Until recently the last time I had listened to this album in its entirety was a little over six months ago, right before All Hallow´s Eve. And when that star-crossed day came around, I threw a huge party in an abandoned house, quite an event for the rather sleepy and dull city I was living in. The party was somewhat notorious, lasting until dawn. Talk of the town even. But nothing and nobody caught fire, except on the dance floor, and I think the person who fell down the stairs ended up okay.

I was stone cold sober all night but the evening is still a blur. Magick was afoot. We had a few DJs and a bunch of gear crammed into this empty space with paint all over the walls, off from the side room that had the full ceremonial workings for a black mass waiting to happen, and a skull-baby in a coffin-cradle resting in the bathroom. I didn’t get around to taking my turn at the tables until around 1 am.

I played the track “Happy.” It is one of the very distinct memories I have of the evening. The song just sends positive vibrations into the air of any space it is played, making all recipients lucky enough to be present… happy. Just damn happy. The dance floor moved to its mellow groove and I saw enough smiles to believe ever word Eddie whispered in my ear. The last time I fell in love (and this could be the last time, I don’t know) was because of that song, although I wouldn’t know that until later. The woman in question was there at that party, disguised as a burly man, and so officially meeting her didn’t quite count. But that was the beginning. And it was all Eddie Kendrick’s fault. His voice and vibe have the power to make total strangers fall in love from across a crowded room, and not even learn about it until a month or two later. He’s that good.

Damn you Eddie Kendricks.

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Bass – James Jamerson
Congas – Eddie “Bongo” Brown
Drums – Earl Palmer , Ed Green* , Harvey Mason , James Gadson
Guitar – Jay Graydon , John McGhee* , Melvin “Wah-Wah” Ragin* , Ray Parker*
Keyboards – Harold Johnson , Leonard Caston
Percussion – Bobbye Hall , Gary Coleman , Gene Estes
Producer – Brian Holland (tracks: A3) , Frank Wilson (tracks: All except A3) , Leonard Caston (tracks: All except A3)

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Tracklisting:
A1 If Anyone Can (3:22)
Written-By – Kathy Wakefield , Leonard Caston

A2 Happy (5:13)
Written-By – Kathy Wakefield , Leonard Caston

A3 Get The Cream Off The Top (3:04)
Written-By – Brian Holland , Eddie Holland*

A4 Body Talk (6:41)
Written-By – Frank Wilson , Kathy Wakefield

B1 Fortune Teller (3:32)
Written-By – Barrett Strong

B2 Skippin’ Work Today (4:35)
Written-By – J. Christopher Fox

B3 You Loved Me Then (2:30)
Written-By – Kathy Wakefield , Leonard Caston

B4 I’ve Got To Be (7:48)
Written-By – Kathy Wakefield , Leonard Caston

Not a bad song on this one. Except for Fortune Teller. That song is bad. But the rest of it is fantastic. The songwriters, especially Kathy Wakefield and Leonard Caston, really manage to provide a cohesive set of material that makes you forget that Eddie didn’t write anything on the record, it all suits his style so well. Filled with the tight hooks, arrangements, and musicianship you would only expect from Eddie in 1975, when he was really on a roll and could do no wrong.

mmmm links
Eddie Kendricks – The Hit Man (1975) 320kbs

Eddie Kendricks – The Hit Man (1975) FLAC

Caroline Crawford – Nice and Soulful (1979) 320 kbs


Caroline Crawford – Nice And Soulful (1979)

www.dustygroove.com
A stunning set of soul tunes from the lovely Caroline Crawford — produced by Bohannon, and some of his best work from the time! Caroline’s got a great style that moves past other club singers of the time — much more soulful and sophisticated than simple disco diva styles, drenched in a deeper soul sound that grounds the album nicely in a strong tradition of 70s soul. The production is tight, but unobtrusive — a bit like some of the best work that Barry White did with singers of a similar style — and the whole album sparkles with a freshness that will make you say “Hey, why I have I been missing this one all these years?” Titles include “The Strut”, “I’ll Be Here For You”, “Havin Fun”, “Facts Of Life”, and “Love Me Or Leave Me Alone”.

Tracks
1. I’ll Be Here For You
2. Can’t Hold Me Back
3. Love Me Or Leave Me Alone
4. The Strut
5. The Facts Of Life
6. Havin’fun