Flabbergasted Freeform Podcast No.1, 30-12-12


Well it’s the end of the year and I figure that’s a great time to try something different.  I’ve had blog readers ask me to do podcasts several times, but it took a dear friend’s birthday and some holiday free time before I could finally get around to it.  With any luck it will be a semi-regular feature of the blog; let’s even say I am making a resolution about it.

As I explain during the podcast, I won’t be posting a track list here right away.  Podcasts are still not really a substitute for live radio broadcasts done from actual radio stations, but at least I can maintain some element of surprise by refusing to provide a ‘spoiler’ list of songs before you hear them.  I dutifully read back the tracks during the set breaks, so there is no reason to get upset. 

 Maybe in a week or so, after people have had time to give this a listen, I’ll post the tracks with some more detailed info on them.  For now just enjoy the podcast.  You can either stream it from here or download it using the links provided.


in VBR
/// MIRROR 2

in 320 kbs


Xango da
Mangueira –Cheguei no samba from O Rei do
Partido Alto (1972 Copacabana)
Duke Pearson – Canto de Ossana  from “I
Don’t Care Who Knows It”  (1969, Blue
Pinduca – Vamos Farrear 
from Carimbó e Sirimbó Vol 2  (1973, AMC / Beverly)
African Music Machine – The Dapp from Black Water Gold (2000, Soul Power Records)
Ike & Tina Turner – No More Doggin’  from A
Black Man’s Soul (1969 / 2003 Funky Delicacies )
Rufus Thomas – 60 Minute Man 
from the album “Do The Funky
Chicken” (1969, Stax)
Baianos – Linguagem do Alunte  (1974,
Gilla – Girl From Ipanema from  Help! Help!
  (1977 Hansa International / Ariola)
Masekela – Night in Tunisia 
from I Am Not Afraid (1974, Blue
Solano e Seu Conjunto – Lambada do Laércio from Volume 2 (1985)
 note: I read the wrong title out
during the break, looking at the wrong side of the LP!
Donna Summer – I Can’t Sleep At
Night from Bad Girls (1979, Casablanca)
The Awakening – Slinky  from Mirage
(1973, Black Jazz)
Candeia –
Eu Vivo Isolado do Mundo/ Amor nao e brinceado 
from Axê (1978, Atlantic)
Carvalho – Escasseia  from Na Fonte (1981 RCA )
Rosco Mitchell Art Ensemble – Carefree (Take One) from Congliptuous 
(1968, 2009 Nessa Records)
Terry Callier – Bowlin’ Green  from I
Just Can’t Help Myself (1973, Cadet Records)
Fontella Bass – Who You Gonna Blame from Free  (1972, Paula Records)
Fred Anderson – The Prayer from Dark Day (1979 Message
Records, reissue on Atavistic / Unheard Music Series , 2001)
Jorge Ben –
Bicho de Mata from É Tempo de Música Popular Moderno (1964 CBD/Philips)
Esther Phillips – Fools Rush In from For All We Know (1976
Kudu Records, 2007 King Records Japan – amazing sound on this)

Lia de Itamaracá – Ciranda de Ritmos (2008)

Lia de Itamaracá
‘Ciranda de Ritmos’
Released 2008 – Independent
with support of Petrobrás
and the Ministry of Culture

1. Dança do povo (3:15)
2. Quem me deu foi Lia / Moça namoradeira (5:32)
3. A vizihna (3:41)
4. Morena de Pernambuco (3:26)
5. Coco limoeiro / Baralho (4:32)
6. Mamae oxum (2:37)
7. Verde mar de navigar (4:25)
8. Ciranda feiticeira / Ciranda nova / Santa Teresa (6:13)
9. Balança moreno cirandeiro / Marinheiro samba (5:41)
10. Coco meu barco velou / O passarinho (6:26)
11. Cirandando pela praia (3:37)
12. Essa ciranda é minha (3:01)
13. Recife (3:31)
14. Moreno Dengoso (2:53)

Lia da Itamaracá is a legend.  So much so that some people think she is, literally, a figure of myth and folklore and not an actual person.  She has songs named in her honor from the likes of Paulinho da Viola and the ciranda singer Baracho in the 1970s, but she has recorded very little.  In fact her first album, recorded for the label Tapecar in the late 70s, brought her absolutely no money whatsoever – she was paid with 20 copies of the LP – and she wouldn’t record again more than twenty years.  Through performing at an influential hipster music festival in Recife, she began enchanting a wider public and was lured into recording again.   Her second album, Eu Sou Lia (2000, Ciranda Records) is excellent, probably better than that first effort. It is also already very out of print.  That album contains a version of her famous song, “Quem me deu foi Lia” that also appears here.  It was written by Baracho, who also recorded barely at all but did reasonably well for himself when ciranda underwent a surge of interest in the 1970s, and whose daughters currently sing backup vocals with Lia.  That song begins with the beautiful melody and lyrics of:

Eu estava na beira da praia
Ouvindo as pancadas das ondas do mar
Esse ciranda quem me deu foi Lia
Quem mora na Ilha de Itamaracá

I was on the shore
Listening to the crash of the ocean’s waves
It was Lia who gave me this ciranda,
Who lives on the island of Itamaracá

This record is more diverse stylistically than her first two efforts.  The humorous song “A vizinha” about a nosey busy-body neighbor, puts me very much in the mind of Clementina de Jesus’s album with Pixinguinha – it is a “maxixe” (a precursor of samba and relative of choro) rather than a ciranda, and a “public domain” tune about which I am ignorant.  There are other traditional tunes here that are wonderful, like Mamãe Oxum and Balança moreno cirandeiro/Marinheiro samba (whose melody you might recognize as one that Caetano Veloso lifted to put in a song he gave to, yes, Clementina de Jesus…).  There is also a tune written by famous frevo composer Capiba, “Verde mar de navigar”, here performed in the style of maracatu nação for which Recife is famous  (the lyrics make reference to Maracatu Elefante, the oldest maracatu in the city that still functions)..  There are two tracks on this album in the style samba de coco’, also strongly associated with Pernambuco — “Coco limoeiro / baralho” and “Coco meu barco velou / o passarinho.’ The majority of the original tunes on this album come from Lia’s saxophone player, Bezerra do Sax.  At the time of this album he had played with her for 40 years and was 91 years old.

The island of Itamaracá is also a real place, and its beauty is legendary.  That legend may have passed into history somewhat, as increased development and tourism have left the beaches not quite as pristine and picturesque as they once were.  But it still has its stretches of breathtaking beauty if you are patient enough to seek them out.  If you do ever have a chance to visit this town of roughly 18,000 people, ask around for the Centro Cultural Estrela de Lia, which has live music on Fridays and Saturdays.  Lia has also received the title of “Patrimônio Vivo” from the state of Pernambuco, which in recognition for her contribution to the cultural patrimony of the region provides her with a yearly financial stipend.  This program (one of many well-meaning programs launched by the Ministry of Culture under Gilberto Gil’s tenure) is a little odd but mostly a good thing.  At least it’s giving some recognition to someone who has practiced her art for decades and is only recently receiving the attention and renumeration that she deserves.

Lia also starred in a short film called ‘Recife Frio’ by talented director Kleber Mendonça Filho which won a bunch of awards but not nearly as many awards as his newest film, O Som ao Redor which is getting a ton of great press all over the world.  “Recife Frio” is a comic faux-documentary about the effects of drastic climate change on that tropical capitol brought about by a fallen meteorite that plunges the equatorial regions into frigid temperatures.  But there’s no reason to worry about that with this album, which will warm your evenings in any latitude.

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Rudy Ray Moore – This Ain't No White Christmas (1971/1996)


 Rudy Ray Moore
This Ain’t No White Christmas
Original release 1971 Norton Records / Reissue 1996  Right Stuff

1   Merry Christmas Baby  5:54
2   Lip On  9:54
3   Night Before Christmas (Pt. 1)  3:07
4   Health Dept.  4:26
5   Night Before Christmas (Pt. 2)  3:33
6   Eatin’ Pussy  6:28
7   Black Cat  4:16
8   St. Peter  3:43


Essential listening for the whole family while gathered around the Christmas tree!

I don’t usually like to post records that aren’t in my collection but I couldn’t resist this.  It’s a 1990s reissue of Rudy Ray Moore aka Dolomite’s triple-x Christmas record from 1971.  Unfortunately they saw fit to include “extra material” like new music on some tracks (Lip On, Black Cat), generic hotel-quality R&B that I could do without.  If anyone with the original LP can educate me, I’m curious to know whether they took the vocal track or stand-up routines from the original LP and put new music under it, or whatever the deal might be.

Luckily they kept the original 70s soundtrack for the best stuff here – Night Before Christmas, Eatin’ Pussy, and St. Peter.  In fact it sounds like they were all taken a reasonably worn copy of the vinyl.

Well it may not be a perfect reissue but can you really get took upset and serious over a Rudy Ray Moore record?  No FLAC or 320 this time either.

  Enjoy it and remember to play it for your kids and/or grandparents.



Tim Maia – O Descobridor dos Sete Mares (1983)

Descobridor dos Sete Mares
Released 1983

1. o descobridor dos sete mares
2. terapêutica do grito
3. pecado capital
4. mal de amor
5. 3 em 1
6. neves e parques
7. rio mon amour
8. me dê motivo
9. olá (emoçoes)
10. essa dor me apanha

Tim singing

In 1983, many of Tim Maia’s contemporaries (Jorge Ben, Gilberto Gil, that other guy Caetano) were releasing albums of…. utter crap. So how is that Tim Maia puts out one of the strongest albums of his career?? Because he was a musical demigod, a funky Buddha gracing us with his presence on this material plane for as long as we were lucky to have him.

This album… Man, where do you start? If this album had been released by a North American soul artist, and Tim was singing in English, it would have been a global smash. So goes the imperialisms of capital and language I guess. In fact it is somewhat odd that Tim, who could sing in English without any trace of a Portuguese accent (something that can’t be said for any of other guys listed above), and often had at least one tune in English on his albums, did not do so on this one. The sound and production on this record are also flawless. For some reason I have an image of Tim listening to “Off The Wall” every day in between mixing sessions, relaxing with a spliff in his favorite easy chair. Once again Tim manages to sound utterly contemporary with his times without forcing ANYTHING – everything flows naturally, no sense of somebody trying to “keep up with the times” (*cough* caetano, gil *cough*…). Everything here is a natural extension of the body and soul of his work in the 1970s, with everything — songwriting, musicianship, production — in top form. Maybe it’s more “slick” production wise, but not to its detriment. Some new synth patches, but plenty of organic acoustic and electric piano. And what could make Tim’s already-heavy-hitting sound even better? Kazoo? No. Glockenspiel? Nah. Vibes? Probably, yeah, but alas its not to be on this record. How about…. TIMBALES!!! Hell yeah! I have yet to read Nelson Motta’s book on Tim (but I plan to, soon!) but for some reason I feel like Tim just bought himself a new set of timbales before starting work on this album, because he just goes NUTS on them. It’s frigging fantastic. If I could put together a fantasy tour for 1983 it would be Tim Maia playing shows with Prince and Michael Jackson — with Tim headlining of course.

This album also follows the pacing formula that is common to many a soul record from the 70s and 80s (and maybe still.. I don’t listen to much new stuff 😉 ). That is to say — the entire first side is uptempo funky as hell get you on your feet and moving party down boogie. And then the lights dim, you get your chance for some slow dancing, and, eventually, well… you know the rest. Smoooov, Tim, Smooov…

The huge hit off this record was “Me dê motivo” , a woeful tune of love gone sour. Complete with a nice intro rap. This video clip, which I am thinking to be from the late 80s or early 90s, is pretty amazing. Its a pity it cuts off the beginning AND the end, though…
Watch this performance of Meu Dê Motivo

More Tim on YOUTUBE, an actual MTV-type video from 1983
the title track

This album has 237 hand claps on it.

Shirley Scott – Blue Seven (1961)

Shirley Scott
with Oliver Nelson and Joe Newman
1961 Prestige  PR 7376
OJC Reissue OJCCD 1050-2, 2001

1. Blue Seven
2. How Sweet
3. Don’t Worry ‘Bout It Baby, Here I Am
4. Nancy (With The Laughing Face)
5. Wagon Wheels
6. Give Me The Simple Life

Recorded at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on August 22, 1961.

Joe Newman (tp) Oliver Nelson (ts) Shirley Scott (org) George Tucker (b) Roy Brooks (d)

So I was listening to one of James Brown’s early instrumental records from the 60s a few days ago, and it left me wanting to listen to somebody who could actually play the organ.  I ended up reaching for this record, a mellow little number from Shirley Scott.  Usually she played with a leaner ensemble, and this has a nice, fleshed-out sound to it with warm trumpet and sax work from Joe Newman and Oliver Nelson.  Newman’s long muted trumpet solo on Wagon Wheels is an excellent companion on a rainy day like I am having today.  The title track, a Sonny Rollins tune, sets the relaxed blues tone for the rest of the set.  I like Roy Brooks but on this session his touch seems a little indelicate at times: even his hi-hat somehow sounds “heavy” and plodding, even on the ballad Nancy (With The Laughing Face).  On this tune Shirley’s organ sounds so wonderful I feel like I am sitting right next to it watching the tubes glow; it’s redundant to compliment Van Gelder on his recording prowess, but there it is.

A short and sweet blog post for a short and sweet album.

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Elis Regina – Na Batucada Da Vida (2006)


“A Batucada Da Vida”
DVD 1 in a series of 3
2006 // NTSC

– Garoto último tipo (Puppy love)
– Vida de bailarina
– O trem azul
– É com esse que eu vou
– Ladeira da preguiça
– Poema – Retrato do desconhecido
– Folhas secas
– Triste
– Gol anulado
– O mestre sala dos mares
– Bodas de prata
– Canto de Ossanha/ Deixa/ Lapinha/Vou deitar e rolar (Quá quá ra quá quá /Aviso aos navegantes
– O que tinha de ser/ Tatuagem
– Atrás da porta
– Águas de março
– Na batucada da vida

O difícil começo da carreira em Porto Alegre não foi diferente das
histórias dos demais membros dessa confraria a qual Elis pertencia – a
das pessoas determinadas a vencer. Ela tinha talento, sabia do seu valor
e só precisava enfrentar o mundo com coragem e determinação. Foi o que
fez. O resultado todos conhecem e está neste DVD. Um registro único de
interpretações memoráveis de Elis, incluindo a canção de Ary Barroso que
ela aprendeu com Tom Jobim e que dá nome ao DVD.

The difficult beginning of her career in Porto Alegre was not any
different from the stories of the many members of the club to which Elis
belonged: of people determined to win.  She had talent, she knew her
she was good, and she only needed to take on the work with courage and
determination.  And that’s just what she did.  The result which everyone
knows is on this DVD.  A record of the most memorable of the unique,
singular interpretations of Elis, including the song by Ary Barroso that
she learned from Tom Jobim and which gives its name to the DVD.


A blog reader recently asked if I was still alive.  Well I have a lot more interesting posts than this that I have been planning, but when people are worried about your health you have to give them a pulse.  However I’ve been busy with work lately, too busy to write worthwhile blog posts, and so I dug up this description I had written for this DVD over a year ago for someplace else, with some slight modifications:

This is a minor treasure-trove for fans of Elis Regina with some amazing live-in-the-studio performances that really illustrate her mastery of technique and her emotional sincerity.  That being said, I would much rather listen to Elis sing than watch her sing.  Her emotional connection with the material she sings is downright scary.   In the world of popular music there are so many people who give us fake theatrical emotion on stage (Marisa Monte anyone?) that it is unnerving to see someone in the throws of total surrender to a song — When the tune is happy, she is smiling and ebullient; when the song is sad, she cries; when it’s angry, her wrath adds a meter to her diminutive height and we back away…  It’s probably not a dramatic exaggeration to say that this highly emotional, ultra-sensitive nature combined with the roller coaster of fame and success ultimately killed her, as it has with other artists before and since.  When I first saw some of her live clips I questioned whether she was “for real” or just laying it on think.  My conclusion is that she was pretty real alright.

In the days before botox, a singer or actress could potentially achieve the same effect through plucking their eyebrows and imbibing a shit-ton of cocaine.  Elis seems to have flirted with this strategy during the 70s.  As I said, I would rather listen to her records than watch her.

The audio track on some of the material could be better, but presumably they did the best with what they had.  Some of it sounds greats, other parts not so much.
Another critique is that the earliest years of her career are relegated to an odd photo montage at the beginning and then we are launched right
into the 1970s.  Her recordings prior to 1965 are utterly forgettable, but the period from 1965-70 is the material that I find myself coming back to, much more than her slick 70s MPB.  Where is the footage of her regular program O Fino da Bossa (presumably, tied up for some legal reasons), her duets with Jair Rodriguez or Wilson Simonal?  You can find a bit of that stuff on You
Tube but it sure would be nice to have a clean, quality DVD of it.  For my tastes, her records from 1966-1970 were the peak of her creative power and the strongest in terms of repertoire, and we just don’t get any nuggets from that era.  Even so, this is essential for any fan of Elis Regina, as are the other two DVDs in the series.  And they are live performances, not video clips.

The clip with Tom Jobim is just downright weird.  They seem kind of, um, loaded on something or other.  The DVD notes claimed that Elis was learning the song from Tom, which I guess explains why she doesn’t join in the singing and we are left with his flat, low-key, take-it-or-leave-it vocal; this is followed by Elis singing the same tune, impeccably, years later.  But what I really don’t understand is the claim that Elis *learned* this song from Jobim — Ary Barroso is one of the most famous composers in Brazilian popular music, and ‘Na Batucada da Vida’ isn’t exactly an obscure song.  In other words, I just have trouble believing that someone of Elis’ musical background wouldn’t already KNOW this song by 1974 (when the footage in question was shot…).  But who am I to argue with liner notes written by someanonymous record label person?