Monday, February 8, 2016

Flabberform Focus No.1: Samba


A new atomic era of podcasts dedicated to particular styles and genre of music is being kicked off with a spontaneous homage to the endless wellspring of musical energy known as samba.  I hope you enjoy it, and with any luck I'll make more of these. Saravá!

I'll provide direct links for MP3 and FLAC downloads for your convenience in the next 12 hours.  In the meantime here it is streaming on Mixcloud.


Direct download links:

Mp3 320 kbs

FLAC  16-bit

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Os Originais do Samba – Lá Vem Salgueiro
Elza Soares – Bom dia, Portela
Xango da Mangueira – Jequitiba do Samba    
Darcy da Mangueira – Samba do Trabalhador
Clara Nunes – Candongueiro
Clementina de Jesus – Embalo Eu
Giovana – Pisa Nesse Chão Com Força
 Roberto Ribeiro – Coração Contrariado
Os Partideiros 10 – Barra Pesada and Compadre
Roberto Silva – Era Atómico
Francisco Alves - Ai, Ai Que Pena!
Luiz Ayrão – Porta Aberta
Caetano Veloso – Chuva, Suor, e Cerveja
Os Demônios da Garoa – Um Samba no Bixiga
Cesar Costa Filho – Um Bilhete Pra Longe
Leci Brandão – Decepção de uma Porta Bandeira
João Nogueira – As forças da natureza
Dorival Caymmi e A Banda da Lua – Acontece Que Sou Baiano
Carmen Miranda – E Um Que Que A Gente Tem 
Raul de Barro – Folhas Secas
Maria Creuza – Amor da Mãe
João Bosco – O Mestre Sala dos Mares
Jorge Velga – Na Cadência do Samba

Friday, February 5, 2016

Carmen Miranda - Os Carnavais de Carmen (2006)




Ruy Castro apresenta
Os Carnavais de Carmen
CARMEN MIRANDA


01 - Querido Adão
Benedicto Lacerda, Oswaldo Santiago
02 - Nova descoberta
Arlindo Marques Junior, Roberto Roberti
03 - Fala, meu pandeiro
Assis Valente
04 - O que é que você fazia ?
Hervé Cordovil, Noel Rosa
05 - Alô, alô, Carnaval
Hervé Cordovil, Janeiro Ramos
06 - Duvi-d-ó-dó
Benedicto Lacerda, João Barcellos
07 - Cantores de rádio
 A. Ribeiro, João de Barro, Lamartine Babo
08 - Beijo bamba
André Filho
09 - Dou-lhe uma
André Filho, Alberto Rilbeiro
10 - Balancê
João de Barro, Alberto Ribeiro
11 - Minha terra tem palmeiras
João de Barro, Alberto Ribeiro
12 - Nem no sétimo dia
Benedicto Lacerda, Herivelto Martins
13 - Camisa listada
Assis Valente
14 - Onde vai você, Maria ?
 Benedicto Lacerda, Darcy Oliveira
15 - A pensão da dona Stella
Paulo Barbosa, Oswaldo Santiago
16 - Cuidado com a gaita do Ary
Oswaldo Santiago, Paulo Barbosa




Well, dear readers, Carnaval is here again.  I am skipping it this year, since I recently rejoined the Jehovah's Witnesses after my lapse, and promised Prince that I would spend a few days handing out fliers with him and the guy from The Revolution who always dressed like a surgeon on stage, Dr. Fink.  Maybe he will wear the hospital scrubs and mask while we go out, and it will feel like our own kind of private Carnaval, and I'll feel less sad.

So this post goes out to all the other people who are missing Carnaval.  Because if you are within spitting distance of Carnaval right now, you should get off the damn internet and go outside.  

Carmen Miranda deserves a more verbose entry on this blog than I can give her today.  The story of her life and career is so rich, complex, and fascinating that it often serves today as a didactic lesson on Brazilian history and culture.  But I'm not feeling teacherly this evening.  For now, suffice it to say that she was a tremendously talented woman, and the reigning queen of samba for many years in the 1930s.  She also featured in many musical comedy films of the day - one of which features prominently in the CD presented here - before she left for the US to star in Broadway shows and, of course, Hollywood films.

This collection was released as a companion to the biography penned by Ruy Castro.  I haven't read Castro's book but I've no doubt that it's excellent.  (His book on bossa nova is great fun, even if I suspect some of it is rather apocryphal, and I was just given a lovely Christmas present of his newest book on the golden age of samba-canção, which I am looking forward to reading.)  Castro gets to take all the credit at the excellent song selection here and on the other three discs that came out at the same time.  I'm not sure why they weren't put out as a boxset, and in fact I find it rather irritating: one of the four discs has eluded me for several years now.


For the samba aficionados among us, a glance at the track list with the composer credits gives a clear idea of what we've signed up for.  Assis Valente, Lamartine Babo, Noel Rosa, João de Barro, Hervé Cordovil, Benedito Lacerda... Not much to complain about there.  These are all Odeon releases from the period after she left the Victor label.  Here's one of my favorites from this set, Assis Valente's "Camisa Listrada"



And she has guests to duet with like Silvio Caldas, Barbosa Junior, and - most famously - her sister Aurora.  She sings with her sisters Cecilia and Aurora on "Alô, Alô Carnaval", a song from the film of the same name which is sadly the only one of her Brazilian-made films to survive the ravages of time.  There is a very famous, iconic scene in it where Carrmen and Aurora sing "Cantores do radio" in matching sparkly suits.  It is up on YouTube but the audio is barely listenable: somewhat disgracefully, it seems as if nobody has done a proper restoration of this film yet.  They did record it as a 78 single, which appears in this collection, so here's an awesome still image and you can just play the CD and look at it:




Isn't it great? 

Some other musical highlights are Beijo Bamba, Balancê, A pensão da dona Stella, and her aforementioned duet with Silvio Caldas, Onde Você Vai, Maria? - for which I really wanted to post a YouTube clip but - shock and horror - it doesn't exist on YouTube yet!  I guess you will just have to track down this CD or an approximation of it floating around the interwebs in the form of a random link somewhere...



Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Flabbergasted Freeform Radio Hour No.15


Just in time to close out the year, here is Episode 15 of the ongoing saga of freeform flabbergasting podcasts.  It also happens to be the third anniversary of when I first started sharing these things.  Hope you enjoy it!

Here are some direct download links (note: you only need one)





Link #1

Link #2

Link #3 




and below is the Mixcloud version



Flabbergasted Freeform No.15 by Flabbergasted Vibes on Mixcloud





Justi Barreto - Echu
The Soulful Strings - Sleigh Ride
Lou Donaldson - Green Eyes
Arthur Lee & Love - Be Thankfulf For What You Got
Mario Cavagnaro and Sonoro Sensación - El Pompo
Reginaldo Rossi - Pra Sentir Felicidade
Pinduca - Não Posso Mais
Martinho da Vila - Camefeu
Mongo and Justo - Cumbia Tipica
Ed Watson - Judgement Day 
Evidence - That World's Life
Voyage - Orient Express
Faze-O - Space People
Lynn Collins & The JBs - Mama Feelgood
Beaver and Krauss - Saga of the Blue Beaver
Earth Wind and Fire - Fair But So Uncool
Gal Costa - Relance
Los Van Van - La Habana Joven
Dicró - Espírito Mau
Linda Lyndell - What A Man
Billy Paul - War of the Gods
Andey Bey - Hibiscus
Ira SUllivan - Norwegian Wood
Incredible String Band - Painting Box

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Pinduca - No Embalo do Carimbó e Sirimbó - Vol. 9 (1980)






Pinduca
No Embalo Do Carimbó E Sirimbó - Vol. 9
1980 Copacabana COELP 41320



A1     O Rico e o Pobre (public domain, adapted by Pinduca)    2:53
A2     O Ricardão (Pinduca)    2:46
A3     Fuma Porque Pode (Pinduca - Maria Gonçalves)    2:24
A4     Festa de Umbanda (Pinda - Deuza)    2:35
A5     Marcha do Top Less (Pinduca - O. Roosevelth)    2:55
A6     Curichão da Saudade  (Pinduca)    2:44
B1     Sentando a Puã (Pinduca - Maria Izabel Pureza)    2:24
B2     Terra Boa É o Pará (Pinduca)    2:20
B3     Vou Dar Risada (Pinduca - Deuza)    2:55
B4     Joaninha, Meu Bem (Pinduca - João Antonio de Oliveira)    2:58
B5     Chorando À Beira Mar (Pinduca)     2:32
B6     Doce Menina (Pinduca)    2:31 

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 Vinyl -> Pro-Ject RM-5SE turntable (with Sumiko Blue Point 2 cartridge, Speedbox power supply); Creek Audio OBH-15; M-Audio Audiophile 192 Soundcard ; Adobe Audition at 32-bit float 96khz; Click Repair light settings; individual clicks and pops taken out with Adobe Audition 3.0 - resampled (and dithered for 16-bit) using iZotope RX Advanced. Tags done with Foobar 2000 and Tag&Rename.

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Episode 9, in which we discover that Pinduca was a police sergeant and also harbored a secret desire to be a male stripper.   Songs about how you can never trust a women. Songs about women who smoke, about umbanda parties, topless bars, and Tarzan - all this and more in the ninth installment of No Embalo do.....

Aw Christ who am I kidding, I don't have anything to say about this record.  This is the very definition of "phoning it in."  I've had a really crap week, or as I would be able to appropriately say if things had turned out better for me, "this week has been total shite." Although if things had turned out better then I wouldn't need to say my week was shit, rendering these last few sentences irrelevant.  Not redundant, because nothing has been repeated, but possibly I have become redundant in the British sense, in that I might be imminently replaceable.  If fact I encourage readers to write their own description of this album in the style of Flabbergasted Vibes.  Please post your writing sample in the comments section, along with a CV, three professional references, and a statement of your goals and theoretical contribution to the discipline.  Eligible candidates for the position will demonstrate a clear commitment to uncompensated writing and chronic anxiety about your future.

Enjoy the music, you bastards.


Friday, December 4, 2015

Horace Silver - In Pursuit of the 27th Man (1972)



Horace Silver
In Pursuit Of The 27th Man

Original Blue Note release:
     1972 (Germany) BST 84 433 K
     1973 (USA) BN-LA054-F
This pressing, 2012 (Japan) TOCJ-50505


1     Liberated Brother     5:22
2     Kathy     4:16
3     Gregory Is Here     6:20
4     Summer In Central Park     4:39
5     Nothin' Can Stop Me Now     5:14
6     In Pursuit Of The 27th Man     9:43
7     Strange Vibes     5:01

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Pinduca - No Embalo do Pinduca Vol. 10 (1981)





Pinduca
No Embalo Do Pinduca - Vol. 10
Beverly BLP 83070-A (1991 Reissue)
Original release 1981 Copacabana COELP-41561

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Flabbergasted Freeform Radio Hour #14





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.

Music is healing.


320 kbs mp3

https://www.mediafire.com/?mzax4oh8o8ja7bp


FLAC

https://mega.nz/#!LlJ1SRBL!V6UX9NiwJfE9m-mFECBrz2qL2vv8FzO3WAH4kp9OyzY


 Tracklist

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

Grant Green - A Day In The Life

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

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. 

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Goblin - Suspiria (1977) and Zombi aka Dawn Of The Dead (1978)


Goblin - Suspiria
Released 1977 Cinevox MDF 33.108
Reissued in the box set  The Awakening (2012) - Bella Casa

1 - Suspiria 6:00
2 - Witch 3:11
3 - Opening The Sighs 0:32
4 - Sighs 5:16
5 - Markos 4:05
6 - Black Forest / Blind Concert (Original Edit) 12:33
7 - Death Valzer1:51
8 - Suspiria (Celesta And Bells) 1:34
9 -  Suspiria (Narration)1:48
10 -  Suspiria (Intro)0:32
11  - Markos (Alternate Version) 4:09
12 -  Markos (Alternate Take) 3:50


Goblin
Zombi (Colonna Sonora Originale Del Film)

aka Dawn of the Dead
1978 Cinevox MDF 33.121

Reissued in the box set  The Awakening (2012) - Bella Casa


1     L'alba Dei Morti Viventi     6:02
2     Zombi     4:21
3     Safari     2:08
4     Torte In Faccia     1:54
5     Ai Margini Della Follia     1:20
6     Zaratozom     3:34
7     La Caccia     3:36
8     Tirassegno     2:48
9     Oblio     5:10
10     Risveglio     1:03
11     L'alba Dei Morti Viventi (Alternate Take)     5:14
12     Ai Margini Della Follia (Alternate Take)     1:40
13     Zombi (Sexy)     2:22
14     Ai Margini Della Follia (Alternate Take)     3:40
15     Zombi (Supermarket)     3:17
16     L'alba Dei Morti Viventi (Intro-Alternate Take)     0


================================================================

It's a Halloween DOUBLE FEATURE at Flabbergasted Vibes!

It seems as if, at some point, Goblin became the Game of Thrones of progressive rock: it's cool to like them even if you're generally dismissive of the genre.  A revival of interest in this Italian group includes a burst of recent activity, including a few books about their music, a box set collecting six of their albums, and a concurrent (or was it subsequent?) reunion and tour.  They are undoubtedly most famous for providing soundtracks for director Dario Argento, who worked extremely closely with them.  As my friends can tell you, I'm much more of a music head than a cinephile, with yawning gaps in my cultural literacy when it comes to film.  As such, I was familiar with these Goblin records without being familiar with the films.  This includes even the hugely famous Dawn Of The Dead from George Romero, which I only saw last year for the first time.  And just for this post, I got hold of a gorgeous Blu-Ray of Suspiria and watched it last night.  The overall foreboding has not yet worn off.



The music that Goblin produced for these films is central to their entire aesthetic, the score is almost present as it were a separate character, having an impact on the plot more than providing a setting or acting as a reflection.  This feeling of urgency isn't all in my head, apparently, because according to the liner notes the music for Suspiria was actually recorded before they began shooting, and was at times blasted through PA speakers on the set to provide the proper ambiance.  

Both Suspiria and Zombi are pretty nightmarish records.  The sense of brooding unease never lets up.  As on all their record, the group blends organic sounds (percussion and stringed instruments like lutes or zithers or dulcimers) with analog electronics (synthesizers, oscillators), whispers and shrieks and other creepiness.  They'll swing from the soundscapes called up from terrifying bad-trip psychedelia, then switch suddenly to a galloping jazz-funk jam that offers a way out of the dream, or a jaunty prog workout in an off-kilter time signature, anthems of chase or pursuit depending on your luck or misfortune, or perhaps some gentle acoustic guitar or mellow saxophone to lull you into a temporary state of relaxation.  Some sort of throat-singing type chant provides the bedrock for another track's dissonant organ chords and yammering, hallucinatory voices.  Considering how cliché-laden the twin genres of horror and prog rock can be, it is kind of amazing how these soundtracks retain a sense of fresh unpredictability throughout them.  There is a questionably "tribal" passage on Zombi seemingly meant to invoke white peoples' fear of Afro-Caribbean percussion, or more precisely the ritual uses to which it often lends itself, but even that somehow manages not to cross over into tackiness territory.  Overwhelmingly instrumental (there are obligatory wordless choral bits here and there, in accordance with the 1974 International Agreement on Horror Film Soundtracks), these two soundtracks work well as self-contained records, but when I finally saw the films they belonged to, they seem more fully realized and deliberate.    Suspiria was actually the band's second soundtrack for Argento, the first being "Rosso Profundo", which is included in the box set on the Bella Casa label, as is the later collaboration for the film Tenebre.  Two albums not related to films are also in the box - Roller (1976) and Il Fantastico Viaggio Del Bargarozzo Mark (1978).  




I'd like to thank my friend Cheshire Tom for sharing the box set with me and being okay with this post.  I guess whether or not these two albums end up on your Halloween party playlist tonight largely depends on who you've invited over.  See the comments section for more info.   Regardless of how you chose to enjoy them, I advise you to keep some soothing tunes handy to follow them.  I recommend The Best of Bread.