Azymuth – Telecommunication (1982) (2023 Jazz Dispensary Top Shelf)

Azymuth – Telecommunications
Vinyl rip in 24-bit/192 kHz | Brazilian Jazz
Distributed as FLAC (24/192, 24/96) and mp3 (320kbs)
1982 Milestone || 2022 Jazz Dispensary (Craft) || Ltd. ed

Hey, remember when this blog featured Brazilian music?  Me neither!  Well, the relative inutility of music blogs in 2023 notwithstanding, I’m going to make a New Year’s resolution to start visiting Brazil more often, sonically at least, in 2024.  Why not start early with this classic recording from Brazilian jazz outfit Azymuth, recorded in Brazil but not released there, this was originally issued by Milestone. It is presented as part of the Jazz Dispensary Top Shelf series by Craft Records in a limited run. Continue reading

Airto – Seeds On The Ground / The Natural Sounds of Airto (1971) (2020 Real Gone Music) Day 4 of FV’s 12 Days of Xmas

Airto – Seeds On The Ground / The Natural Sounds of Airto
Vinyl rip in 24-bit/192 kHz | FLAC |  300 dpi scans | Jazz, Brazilian, Fusion
Original release, 1971 Buddah Recordhs / Reissue 2020 Real Gone Music / Sony Records

Day 4 of Flabbergasted Vibes’ 12 Days of Christmas finally brings us to Brazil.  Sort of.   I predict there will be much more Brazilian content on this blog in 2022.

The first couple albums from Airto Moreira could easily be co-credited to Hermeto Pascoal, since he played such a major role in them.  He wrote all but two of the tracks on this one. I once had a transcendental shamanic experience with this album while laying in a hammock in the middle of mountain forest.  But you don’t need such accoutrements  to be transported by the music here, it’s truly  the stuff of magic.  At turns moody, deep, and profoundly uplifting, sometimes all at once.  A young Flora Purim shines here too, and she channels Gal Costa’s tropicalista phase with aplomb on tunes like O Sonho / Moon Dreams, a tune credited to Livingston & Evans of “Que Sera Sera” fame and which is also on Flora’s “Butterfly Dreams” LP on Milestone from a few years after this.   It is also worth noting that Sivuca puts in an appearance on the accordion, and Dom Um Romão on the drums, as well as (honorary Brazilian?) Ron Carter on bass throughout.

A1 – Andei (I Walked)
A2 – O Sonho (Moon Dreams)
A3 – Uri (Wind)
A4 – Papo Furado (Jive Talking)
B1 – Juntos (We Love)
B2 – O Galho Da Roseira (The Branches Of The Rose Tree)
B3 – O Galho Da Roseira (The Branches Of The Rose Tree) Part II

A1    Andei (I Walked)
Bass – Ron Carter
Vocals, Percussion, Berimbau – Airto
Written By, Harpsichord, Flute – Hermeto Pascoal


A2    O Sonho (Moon Dreams)
Bass – Ron Carter
Drums, Percussion – Airto
Keyboards – Hermeto Pascoal
Vocals – Flora Purim
Written By – J. Livingston & R. Evans


A3    Uri (Wind)
Accordion – Sivuca
Acoustic Guitar, Voice, Written-By, Flute [Bass Flute] – Hermeto Pascoal
Bass, Cello – Ron Carter
Viola – Severino De Oliveira
Vocals, Drums, Percussion, Voice – Airto
Voice, Vocals – Flora Purim
Voice, Written By – Googie


A4    Papo Furado (Jive Talking)
Acoustic Guitar, Voice – Severino De Oliveira
Bass, Voice – Ron Carter
Percussion, Voice – Dom Um Romão
Vocals, Percussion, Voice – Airto*
Written By, Acoustic Guitar, Voice – Hermeto Pascoal


B1    Juntos (We Love)
Bass – Ron Carter
Drums, Percussion – Airto
Organ – Severino De Oliveira
Percussion – Dom Um Romão
Written By, Flute [Bass Flute], Piano – Hermeto Pascoal
Written By, Vocals – Flora Purim


B2    O Galho Da Roseira (The Branches Of The Rose Tree)
Acoustic Guitar, Accordion – Severino De Oliveira
Bass – Ron Carter
Keyboards, Written By – Hermeto Pascoal
Percussion – Dom Um Romão
Vocals – Flora Purim


B3    O Galho Da Roseira (The Branches Of The Rose Tree) Part II
Acoustic Guitar, Accordion – Severino De Oliveira
Bass – Ron Carter
Percussion – Dom Um Romão
Vocals – Flora Purim
Written By, Keyboards – Hermeto Pascoal
Credits

Art Direction, Photography By – Sid Maurer
Co-producer, Engineer – Tony May
Coordinator – Flora Purim
Creative Director [Director Of Creative Packaging & Merchandising] – Milton Sincoff
Design – Michael Mandel
Photography By [Back & Inside Covers] – Hal Wilson
Producer – Airto Moreira

Notes
Limited to 1000 copies

LINEAGE: 2020 Real Gone Music / Sony vinyl; Pro-Ject RM-5SE with Audio Tecnica Signet TK7E cartridge; Speedbox power supply; Creek Audio OBH-15; Audioquest Black Mamba and Pangea Premier interconnect cables; M-Audio Audiophile 192 Soundcard ; Adobe Audition at 32-bit float 192khz;  clicks and pops removed manually with Adobe Audition 3.0; resampled and dithered using iZotope RX Advanced. Converted to FLAC in either Trader’s Little Helper or dBPoweramp. Tags done with Foobar 2000 and Tag and Rename.

All resolutions of FLAC: 16/44.1, 24/96, 24/192

password: vibes

David Sancious and Tone – Transformation (The Speed of Love) (1976 Epic)

David Sancious and Tone – Transformation (The Speed Of Love)
1976 Epic Records PE 33939| Genre:  Fusion, Jazz-rock, Progressive rock

If, like me, you thought that Incident on 57th Street and New York City Serenade were the high points of Bruce Springsteen’s early career, then you should probably give your attention to musical polymath and chameleon David Sancious.  Sancious was keyboardist for the E. Street Band on their first two albums, and contributed to the title track of Born To Run.  I think it would be a safe claim to say that his sensibility probably helped sculpt the “epic” sound they were crafting, particularly on the longer songs, but if you have The Boss too firmly in mind when putting on this record, you might be jarred by just how dissimilar it seems.  I’ve always been a champion of things eclectic, but Sanscious might be too eclectic for his own good at times.  With his virtuosity on multiple instruments taking front and center stage, it is hard not to marvel at least a little at the breadth of vision, but sometimes they straddle the grey area between stylistic transcendence and plain confusion.  His debut record for Epic (Forest of Feelings, 1975) was produced by none other than legendary jazz-fusion drummer Billy Cobham, and at times the music comes close to holding its own with Return To Forever or Weather Report or Mahavishnu Orchestra, and at other times sounding a bit like a slightly funky Rush without the benefit of no horrible lyrics (everything here is instrumental).

Continue reading

Larry Coryell – Coryell (1969) – Special Blog 10th Anniversary Post!

Larry Coryell – Coryell
1969 Vanguard Apostolic VSD 6547 | Vinyl rip in 24 bit 196 khz | Art at 600 and 300 dpi
Jazz-Rock / Jazz-Funk / Soul / Fusion / Psychedelic

I’ve been holding back on posting about this album until I could commemorate the 10th ANNIVERSARY of this blog.  It’s a very special record to me from the great guitarist Larry Coryell, who passed away in 2017.  It’s unique in that it captures him in a kind of transition between his time playing in the psychedelic rock group The Free Spirits and his future as an icon of jazz fusion, in the pre-Bitches Brew era when that genre was still fresh and nascent.  And it’s soul-shaking, mind-melting grooviness from start to finish.  I like to imagine that Hendrix heard this album and  decided to shelve the Experience on the spot and start up his Band of Gypsies.  Bernard “Pretty” Purdie on the drums and Chuck Rainey on bass are holding down a solid soul groove  here, which just elevates the vibe to transcendent levels. Continue reading

Charles Earland – Odyssey (1976)

CHARLES EARLAND
ODYSSEY
Released 1976
Mercury SRM-1-1049

After the phenomenal double-LP ‘Leaving This Planet’, which featured Freddie Hubbard and Joe Henderson as rocket fuel, Earland continued in a similarly cosmic-jazz direction.  He made one more LP for Prestige, a live album of new material called Kharma, and then began a new phase at Mercury Records with this jazz-funk-latin-disco-rock fusion called Odyssey, which also became the name of his spaceship, I mean vehicle, for releasing this kind of thing for the next few years.  This album has never ever been issued on CD.  Meet you after the jump to continue the voyage.. Continue reading

Charlie Mariano – Mirror (1972)

Charlie Mariano
Mirror
Release 1972 – Atlantic SD 1608
A1     Himalaya     5:56
A2     Shout     2:23
A3     F Minor Happy     5:13
A4     Theme From Summer Of ’42    5:04
B1     Mirror     8:36
B2     Vasi Bindu (Raindrops)     5:36
B3     Madras    3:07
    Acoustic bass – George Mraz
    Drums – Ray Lucas
    Electric Bass – Tony Levin
    Electric Piano, Organ – Pat Rebillot
    Guitar – David Spinozza
    Percussion – Airto Moreira, Ralph McDonald
    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.

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