A3 Mambo Rabo De Saia (Pinduca – Mário Gonçalves) 2:56
A4 Rosa Em Botão (Pinduca) 3:14
A5 Esta Zinha Meu Amor (Pinduca) 2:06
A6 Poeta Do Mar (Pinduca – Vidinho) 2:48
B1 Siri Mole, Siri Duro (Pinduca – O. Roosevelth) 2:34
B2 Tabatinga (Pinduca – Deuza) 3:03
B3 Siriá Gostoso (Pinduca – Deuza) 2:32
B4 Vizinha Linguaruda (Pinduca – Maria Izabel Pureza) 2:49
B5 Santos De Casa (Pinduca – Tânia) 2:45
B6 Passa, Passa Do Viaduto Do Chá (Carimbó De São Paulo) (Adalberto Pires – Pinduca) 2:36
Artistic direction – Luiz Mocarzel
Executive producer – Pinduca, Talmo Scaranari
Arranged by Pinduca
Recording and mixing engineer – Zilmar Araújo
Mastering – Silvia R. Nascimento
Recorded at DO-RE-MI studios in São Paulo in 24 channels
Photo – Carlos A. Gordon
Layout and design – Jurandir G. Silveira
Vinyl; Pro-Ject RM-5SE with Audio Tecnica AT440-MLa cartridge; Speedbox power supply); Creek Audio OBH-15; M-Audio Audiophile 192 Soundcard ; Adobe Audition at 32-bit float 96khz; clicks and pops removed with Adobe Audition 3.0; dithered and resampled using iZotope RX Advanced (for 16-bit). Converted to FLAC in either Trader’s Little Helper or dBPoweramp. Tags done with Foobar 2000 and Tag and Rename.
In this tenth album from master of the carimbó and siriá styles, Pinduca deepens his exploration of the themes he has developed throughout his oeuvre – the nuances of drinking, nosy gossiping neighbors, shellfish, and dancing. Although it may be difficult to immerse yourself in the details if you’re jumping in at Volume 10, it’s not exactly Swann’s Way, so I think you will be alright.
In fact, one might legitimately ask why I am finally delving into my Pinduca collection at this particular disc. There is no particular reason other than I had taken this LP down off the shelf while I was collecting tracks for my most recent podcast. I ended up not using anything from it, but I have wanted to share some whole records by this guy for a while, so I finally quit putting it off and did the quickest vinyl transfer I’ve ever done. Plus it is a nice round number, 10. I even considered doing a countdown all the way to number 1, but I am missing a few crucial integers that would make such an undertaking eminently frustrating.
The sound is fuller than on some of his earlier albums, since by this point Pinduca was recording in 24-track studios. He also knows his audience well and plays to them: there are a couple of forró numbers here and even a track that is kind of brega, as if he is showing his gratitude to the working-class crowds that had made it possible for him to have a music career without any real push from the industry. Carimbó music was actually somewhat in vogue during the latter half of the 1970s. MPB singer Eliana Pittman recorded a full album or two in the genre. Fellow paraense* and emergency flotation device Fafá de Belém would eventually score a huge hit with Pinduca’s “Sinha Pureza”, which remains his most famous song to this day.So though he may not have been getting reviews in O Pasquim magazine, he was definitely appreciated by fellow musicians and reaped some benefits from that attention. In fact, remarking on the momentous occasion of a tenth LP, he has a sweet note on the back cover thanking everyone in the world for helping him along, from record store owners to the civil and military authorities. (*A paraense a person from the state of Pará)
Although the forró tunes are cute, what you came to hear are the selections of animated carimbó, lilting siriá, and frenetic lambada. Tight horn arrangements and fast tempos are offset ever so slightly by the Farfisa-like organ that leans on chords in a loungerific way. There is even a blast of synth in the bridge of the opening cut, “Lambada da birita.” Check out some highlights below:
I really should not add to my trail of broken promises on this blog, but I intend to share some more of this fun music. I have been wanting to enthuse about it here for years now and never seem to get around to sharing. I shall make a genuine effort at it now, because as a Buddhist sage once said, “How do you know you won’t die tomorrow?” Check the comment links.
I had this podcast pretty much finished and ready to go in time for a weekend release, when all hell broke loose on Friday. Although there were only a few things to tweak, I was a bit numb and too uninspired to wrap it up until today.
There are no topical song selections here. I do not break into any renditions of “Imagine” accompanied by my toy piano and harmonica, or engage in any other opportunistic public grieving for the fallen. Although I’ve never been there, I used to regularly frequent and sometimes work at music venues the size of the Bataclan or places slightly more intimate. I could easily add to the cacophony of thoughts and feelings being transmitted in 360 full spectrum stereo and technicolor by spilling more ink.
Or I could just share this podcast I made. Hope you enjoy it.
Manchild – Power and Love Rubens da Mangueira – Dos carroceiros do Imperador ao Palácio do samba Abdias (and his 8 button accordion) with Não posso lhe perdoar Dona Ivone Lara – Preá comeu Orlando Silva – Não foi por amor Cortijo y Su Combo – Cuembe Andrew Hill – Ghetto Lights Gabor Szabo – Ravi Frankie Beverly and Maze – Happy Feelins Shadow – Animal Kingdom Marion Brown – Sound Structure (with Oliver Sacks and Terri Gross) Horace Silver – Won’t You Open Up Your Senses Messengers Incorporated – Frequency Response Ananda Shankar – Kaziranga Beat Joe Venuti – Clarinet Marmalede Eddie Floyd – Changing Love Orlandivo – Guerri-guerri Ben Sidran – Snatch Leon Spencer Jr – Message from the Meters Rotary Connection – Amen Patrice Rushen – Take You Down to Love
Soprano Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Nagasuram, Flute – Charlie Mariano
Vocals (on “Mirror” only) – Asha Puthli
Written-By – Charlie Mariano (except A4)
Produced and mixed by Arif Mardin
Recording engineer – Gene Paul
Although his name appears on classic records by Mingus, Chico Hamilton, Shelley Manne, Elvin Jones (hey, lots of drummers seem to like him), I think I first started really paying attention to Charlie Mariano through his work with the wonderful Toshiko Akiyoshi, to whom he was married for a few years in the 60s. Incidentally this is also how I discovered Lew Tabackin, who became Toshiko’s second husband and formed a much longer musical partnership. Along with Phil Woods, these artists constitute a group of highly prolific jazz cats about whom I’d love to spread some enthusiasm. Might as well start here, even if this is an atypical example.
I had no idea Mariano had made any records this heady until I stumbled on it. The garish cover art, with a creepy eyeball thing glaring out at you, acts like a sort of magnet. It either attracts or repels you away, depending on your musical polarity. I’m not sure the album art does the music justice, and in fact I would nominate it for my art gallery of Garish and Gaudy 1970s Jazz-Funk Album Covers, a project I am initiating right now (other inductees include a Blue Mitchell record I picked up recently, and this amazingly fugly George Duke/Billy Cobham thing).
Musicians of Mariano’s caliber can pretty much do whatever they want and pull it off. I don’t know what kind of soundscape he had in mind when he went into the studio to make this album, but with the help of some very competent friends, he created a canvas on which he could moan, wail, and shriek (pleasingly) on soprano and alto sax in ways I did not expect. The band he put together to create this moody, genre-blurring music with vaguely spiritual inclinations is more than up to the task. One pleasant surprise is the presence of a young Tony Levin on bass, years before he would start progging it up with Peter Gabriel and King Crimson. Levin was not a complete stranger to soul jazz/funk sessions in the early 70s – other records I have with him from this period include Jack McDuff and Deodato – but this is probably the first time that he really stood out for me in this capacity. This may partly be due to the fact that he is featured right alongside upright bassist George Mraz. Levin lays down the lower register funk, freeing up Mraz to do more textured and melodic things in the upper register.
Airto is somewhat underutilized on this record. He doesn’t seem fully present or into it all the time, sometimes more like a percussionist “playing in the style of Airto” rather than the man himself. Perhaps Mariano kept his eccentricities on a short leash, or maybe this was just session #374 for Airto in 1972 and goddamnit what do you want from the guy, does he have to be on fire all the time or what? Keysman Pat Rebillot satisfies the urge to hear some Fender Rhodes and also favors us with some acid-drenched, reverby organ on the opening cut, but his solos don’t really push the music anywhere adventurous. Session vet David Spinozza gets in some nice solos on the guitar, in particular on the title track. Drummer Ray Lucas is one of those guys who probably never got his due recognition. His credits include King Curtis, Roberta Flack, Eugene McDonald, Shirley Scott, Donny Hathaway and a ton of other people: he was even briefly a bandmate of Hendrix, as part of Curtis Knight and The Squires. There is nothing flashy about his playing, it doesn’t call attention to itself, but it casts a solid foundation to build around, and provides agile fills and texture when needed. Never underestimate the importance of simply playing time. Indian singer Asha Puthli contributes vocals to the album’s titular track (she also appeared on Ornette Coleman’s “Science Fiction” sessions from the same year). At first I thought this was wordless vocalizing before I checked the back of the LP cover and saw that she was singing the free verse poem there. I’ll have to assume her voice is deliberately submerged in the mix, perhaps to trigger subliminal spiritual contemplation.
Deliberate, because producer Arif Mardin was no amateur. That guy knew how to mix. And this record sounds great. In fact, in spite of the fact that I started with a not-quite-perfect copy (although in better shape than the cover would indicate), the sound is pretty solid. This is not only the mixing but also the famous Monach Pressing Plant who should get a shout-out. Quality control!
All of the compositions are by Mariano except for Michel Legrand’s famous “Summer of ’42” theme, which is here given a languid deconstruction where Charlie plays the flute. Slow funk grooves are blended with modal and outside riffing. The second track, “Shout,” is like the opening of a baptist tent revival meeting, with Charlie coaxing harmonics from his sax by overblowing furiously. F-Minor Happy is very Deodato-esque (Deodatismo?), a more rough-hewn and stoney take on CTI-style jazz funk. “Vasi Bindu (Raindrops)” is a free and open piece coming halfway through the second album side, as if to help us come down from the plateaus of the massive title track. The album closes with the short “Madras,” which features Charlie on the nagasuram for the first time on this album. This South Indian instrument ends the record on a truly ceremonial note, sounding a bit like Mariano may have been trying to beat Don Cherry to doing the soundtrack for The Holy Mountain. It makes you sit up and pay attention.
This record goes pretty deep, but is also just a damn pleasurable listen that you can enjoy while going about your day. I feel the need to point that out because a lot of the adjectives used in this post (heady, spiritual, free, modal) would tend to indicate a record that might get in the way of activities like reading a novel, making love, writing a novel, or tidying up the house (unless you are the type of person who likes to fold laundry and clean bathrooms while listening to Anthony Braxton or AEoC in which case this warning doesn’t apply to you). I hereby declare this record completely safe for “taking care of business.” It might uplift you and inspire you to seek enlightenment, but it won’t automatically induce a trance state, epileptic fit, or other central nervous system anomaly.