Saturday, October 31, 2009

Fatback Band - People Music (1973) vinyl rip

The Fatback Band
"People Music"
Perception Records 1973 (PLP 043)

A1 Njia Walk (Street Walk) 4:00
A2 Gotta Have You (Day By Day) 2:30
A3 Fatbackin' 3:12
A4 Baby Doll 7:10
A5 Clap Your Hands 3:15
B1 Soul March 3:27
B2 Soul Man 4:14
B3 To Be With You 4:11
B4 Kiba 2:56

Flabbergasted Vinyl Transfer Specs:

Virgin vinyl repress on Perception Records -> Pro-Ject RM-5SE turntable / Sumiko Blue Point 2 cartridge / Pro-Ject Speedbox power supply -> Creek OBH-18 MM Phono Preamp -> M-Audio Audiophile 2496 soundcard. Recorded at 16-bit / 96 khz resolution to Audacity*. Manual click removal only using Audition, and I left a lot of stuff in rather than risk removing wanted audio. Track splitting in Adobe Audition 3.0. Resampled and dithered using iZotope M-Bit noise-shaping. Converted to FLAC and mp3 using DbPoweramp. ID tags done with Foobar2000.

*Some of you are probably saying, "16/96khz, wtf??" Well Audacity was actually set to 24bit. I did not know, however, that Audacity does not actually record in TRUE 24 BIT, at least not in Windows. Since somebody brought this to my attention, I've zoomed in on the individual samples and seen that its true -- Everything I recorded using Audacity is actually in 16-bit, albeit in 96khz sampling... Still sounds pretty damn good though, and this pressing is very full, punchy, and dynamic. Since this album is locked in my vault in the Kayman Islands, I can't rerecord the audio anytime in the near future, so this will have to do.

Biography by Ron Wynn

A seminal funk ensemble, the Fatback Band made many great singles through the '70s and early '80s, ranging from humorous novelty tunes to energetic dance vehicles and even occasional political/message tracks. The original lineup featured drummer Bill Curtis, trumpeter George Williams, guitarist Johnny King, bassist Johnny Flippin, saxophonist Earl Shelton, and flutist George Adam. Synthesizer player Gerry Thomas, saxophonist Fred Demerey, and guitarist George Victory were integral parts of the group during their peak years. They began recording for Perception in the early '70s, and had moderate luck with "Street Dance" in 1973. They moved to Event in 1974, and while funk audiences loved such songs as "Wicki-Wacky" and "(Are You Ready) Do the Bus Stop," they didn't generate much sales action. Their first sizable hit was "Spanish Hustle" in 1976, which reached number 12 on the R&B charts. They shortened their name to Fatback in 1977, and landed their first Top Ten R&B hit with "I Like Girls" in 1978. Their 1979 single "King Tim III (Personality Jock)" is widely considered the first rap single in many circles. But their biggest year was 1980. They scored two Top Ten R&B hits with "Gotta Get My Hands on Some (Money)" and "Backstrokin'," their finest tune. Fatback kept going through the mid-'80s, landing one more Top 20 hit with "Take It Any Way You Can Want It" in 1981. They were backed by the female vocal trio Wild Sugar in 1981-82, and Evelyn Thomas also provided the lead vocal for "Spread Love" in 1985, their last song for Spring. Fatback also recorded a pair of LPs for Cotillion in 1984 and 1985.

This album is a solid listen of classic Fatback. The first side is all-killer-no-filler funk and soul joy for the ears. There is even a reference to the mythical Bertha Butt of Jimmy Castor fame if you listen closely... The first time I heard Jimmy King sing "Baby Doll" I found his voice kind of hard to get used to -- he sounds like he's 17 years old (maybe he was?) and the low parts are sort of out of his range -- but the chord changes and the groove are so GOOD that its impossible not to like it, and eventually you realize his voice is just perfect. The second side doesn't quite hold up, with the instrumental tracks seeming uninspired compared to those on the first, and the unfortunate inclusion of a cover of Sam & Dave's 'Soul Man', which isn't terrible but also just not that interesting. Oh and the first side features the song "Fatbackin' " which has a classic break in it, been sampled a bunch of times.

The Fatback Band - People Music (1973) in 320kbs em pee three


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Banda União Black (2006)

Banda União Black - Banda União Black (2006)

When I first put this record on, I was sure I was hearing some unfamiliar União Black album from the mid-70s. I had it pegged at '76 due to the plagiarizing of Tim Maia's Rational Culture that forms the bass line of the opening track "Everyone's a Winner." The production is awash with analog delight, Moog lines drifting in and out of horn arrangements, chunky clavinet riffs sparring for aural space with rhythm guitars and congas. Understated guitar leads dripping with Echoplex tape delay. And the drums are so HEAVY, heavier than anything else I can think of coming out of Brazil in the 70s. I mean the way they are recorded as well as played. Microphones placed at a good distance, levels pegging the VU meters into the red, saturating the tape with warm analog fuzzies. I mean it sounds like their drummer stole a pair of John Bonham's drumsticks and smuggled them to Brazil. I was subjected to this barrage of sound, this head-bobbing masterpiece that seems tailor made for beat-starved crate diggers, and asked myself -- Why haven't I heard any of these tracks sampled on two or three dozen hip hop albums? It is because they the were recording in Brazil and weren't getting their records distributed in the cradle of hip hop culture to the north?

No, it probably had more to do with the fact that this album was recorded in 2006.

My jaw dropped. Ok, sure, I guess this makes it "retro" or something but that misses the point. "Retro" implies a nostalgic longing for a vibe whose day has come and gone. This music is as alive and vital as the first time you heard it. Like I heard it that day, and the way it still sounds to me every time I put it on. This isn't the União Black of the 1970s. It is the Banda União Black of the 21st Century and you better damn well get used to it.

Maybe all the keyboards were played with a Nord emulator, maybe all the warm guitar tones were done with an Ampfarm Plug-in in ProTools, maybe the drums were never actually ON tape but just run through tube compressors -- I DON'T CARE. The album pushes all my buttons and I light up accordingly. The occasional lyrics in English, a cultural signifier to highlight that these guys owe more to Black Heat and early Kool & The Gang than they do to many of their own countrymen in South America's largest nation. The celebratory self-referencing of the Black Rio scene, DJs and singers and musicians and dancers and legend all stirred up together. There's even a slow dub-infusion on the track "Astral." Recorded in São Pauo and Brooklyn and with a blurb from the Dap-tones on the inside cover, the word "revival" encompasses much here.

And I wasn't kidding about the drums. Check out opening drum fills at the beginning of "Africa Hot Band" and "Escorpião" and tell me if you can't here a filtering of Motown by way of Zeppelin by way of Motown, crossing oceans and continents in a huge zig-zag in the way drummer Ivan Tiririca lays behind the beat, understanding what thousands of hard-rock drummers have never understood about how to kick it *really* heavy in all the right spots.

For some weird reason the album goes out on its weakest tune, Oris Vacilou, which feels like an inspired afterthought. It even appears to fade out a bit too early, as if the band decided at the last minute to pull their own plug. And this if followed by pointless remixes -- which seems to be all the rage these days. Maybe I am dense but I just don't get it: Given that there are scores of talented and creative DJs who can do live remixes on the dance floor, where it matters, why bother including mediocre remixes at the end of your own album? Anyway, it hardly matters since there is so much great music here. This album is out on VAMPISOUL (another reason I thought it was a reissue, incidentally), and if you can get your hands on a copy you should buy it immediately!

Banda União Black - Banda União Black (2006) in 320 em pee three.

Banda União Black - Banda União Black (2006) in FLAC LOSSLESS AUDIO

Seal of Approval

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Os Originais do Samba (1969)

RCA Victor
BBL 1475
2004 Reissue
RCA Victor Essential Classics

1 Cadê Tereza
(Jorge Ben)
2 O rapaz do violão
3 Enlouqueci
(Luiz Soberano, João Sale, Waldomiro Pereira)
4 No morro é assim
(Carlos Magno)
5 Bacubufo no caterefofo
(Bidi, Velha)
6 Despertar do lavrador
(Neoci, Dida)
7 Sei lá Mangueira
(Hermínio Bello de Carvalho, Paulinho da Viola)
8 Domingo da Rosa
(Neoci Dias)
9 Larga meu pé, reumatismo
(Ataulfo Alves)
10 Não ganha se não quiser
(Carlos Magno)
11 Canto chorado
(Billy Blanco)
12 Até meu final
(Bidi, Dida)

From the back cover:

"Considered the pioneers of the "Pagode" groups (samba with a romantic pop twist) that took our music scene by storm in the late 1980s, Os Originais do Samba were really "original" as their name says, with their joyful, pop samba tracks, with a lot of vocals and percussion. The band's premier album released in 1969 made instant hits of upbeat samba tracks like Jorge Ben's "Cadê Tereza", and instilled a new kind of "swing" to traditional samba tracks. -- Rodrigo Fauor"

Well well... its a dubious legacy to say the least when you claim late 80s 'pagode' as a POSITIVE thing.. Nor would I credit Os Originais with adding some swing to samba as quite a few others were already working on that. Anyway, the review above is right about this being a more pop-oriented samba, but not in a negative way. They are a samba vocal group first and foremost, with a focus on entertaining us with well-executed songs and light humor -- not unlike Demônios da Garoa, in that sense. One of their members was even involved in the famous Brazilian comedy TV show Os Trapalhões that ran for many years. They owed a lot of their early popularity to the explosive growth of television as a means of influencing popular tastes in culture consumption. They were a huge hit on the first samba festival televised on São Paulo's channel 7 (1 Bienal do Samba), after which they became a highly-sought after commodity on TV. I will admit that I prefer their 1970s material to this debut album, as they were influenced by the 70s samba revival to lean towards a rootsier, less-orchestrated sound. But this album is great, and their version of Jorge Ben's Cadê Tereza is pretty famous and important, so it`s worth having this album for that track alone!

Biography by Alvaro Neder

With a particular blend of traditional samba and humor, Os Originais do Samba became a commercial success, achieving three gold records for their hits "Tá Chegando Fevereiro" (Jorge Ben/João Melo), "Esperanças Perdidas" (Adeílton Alves/Délcio Carvalho), "O Lado Direito da Rua Direita" (Luís Carlos/Chiquinho), "É Preciso Cantar," and "Tragédia No Fundo do Mar" (Zeré/Ibraim). They also had hits with "Cadê Teresa" (Jorge Ben), "A Dona do Primeiro Andar," and "Nego Véio Quando Morre." They performed shows with such artists as Elis Regina, Duke Ellington, Earl Grant, Paulinho da Viola, and Jorge Ben Jor, among others, and recorded albums with Chico Buarque, Toquinho/Vinícius de Moraes, Martinho da Vila, and Jair Rodrigues. Os Originais do Samba was the first samba group to perform and record at the Olympia in Paris, France, also performing at the Carnaval Friends of Brazil Club in San Francisco, CA. The group enjoyed continued success in Brazil and abroad in its second formation. The group started in 1960 as Os Sete Modernos do Samba. The next year they were invited by Carlos Machado to perform the show O Teu Cabelo Não Nega, about Lamartine Babo, and they changed their name to Os Originais do Samba. It was followed by a six-month stay in Mexico and performances in Puerto Rico and Brazil. After settling in São Paulo in 1968 they were invited to back Elis Regina in the I Bienal do Samba on the winning samba "Lapinha" (Baden Powell/Paulo César Pinheiro). Their first album came the next year, Os Originais do Samba (RCA Victor), followed by 18 others through 1997. In 1977 the group's formation was: Bigode (leader/pandeiro/vocals), Zeca do Cavaco (cavaquinho/banjo), Sócrates (guitar), Rubinho Lima (percussion), Valtinho Tato (percussion), and Gibi (reco-reco, tamborim).


From Cliquemusic

Grupo formado na década de 60 no Rio de Janeiro por ritmistas de escolas de samba, começou a se apresentar em teatros e show, incluindo o palco do Copacabana Palace, onde realizou o espetáculo "O Teu Cabelo Não Nega". Fixaram-se em São Paulo depois de excursionar pelo México, e em 1968 acompanharam Elis Regina na música vencedora da I Bienal do Samba, "Lapinha", de Baden Powell e P.C. Pinheiro. No ano seguinte gravaram a música "Cadê Teresa", de Jorge Ben, que fez grande sucesso. Participaram de festivais e ganharam discos de ouro pela vendas de suas gravações, principalmente nos anos 70, combinando o canto uníssono, a roupa padronizada e boa dose de humor. Um dos integrantes do grupo, Mussum, sairia para formar Os Trapalhões ao lado de Renato Aragão e Dedé Santana. Tocaram com grandes nomes da música brasileira - como Chico Buarque, Jair Rodrigues, Vinicius de Moraes - e mundial - Earl Grant. Excursionaram pela Europa e Estados Unidos, e foram o primeiro conjunto de samba a se apresentar no Olympia de Paris. Alguns de seus maiores sucessos são "Tá Chegando Fevereiro" (Jorge Ben/ João Melo), "O Lado Direito da Rua Direita" (Luiz Carlos/ Chiquinho), "A Dona do Primeiro Andar", "O Aniversário do Tarzan", "Esperanças Perdidas" (Adeilton Alves/ Délcio Carvalho), "E Lá se Vão Meus Anéis" (Eduardo Gudin/ P.C. Pinheiro), "Tragédia no Fundo do Mar (Assassinato do Camarão)" (Zeré/ Ibrahim), "Se Papai Gira" (Jorge Ben), "Nego Véio Quando Morre". Em 1997 gravaram um CD comemorativo pelos 30 anos de carreira, e atualmente continuam se apresentando no Brasil. Fizeram parte do grupo: Mussum, Rubão, Bigode, Bide, Chiquinho, Lelei, Zeca do Cavaquinho, Sócrates, Rubinho Lima, Valtinho Tato e Gibi.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Eumir Deodato - Percepção (1972)

Eumir Deodato
1972 London/Odeon

1 Dia de verão
(Eumir Deodato)
2 A grande caçada
(Eumir Deodato)
3 O sonho de Judy
(Eumir Deodato)
4 Adeus amigo
(Eumir Deodato)
5 Bebê
(Hermeto Pascoal)
6 Neve
(Eumir Deodato)
7 Barcarole
(Eumir Deodato)
8 Serendipity
(Eumir Deodato)

All compositions by Eumir Deodato except "Bebê" by Hermeto Pascoal.

An interesting and beautiful album from Deodato, very different from his funkier work from the same period. It´s extremely short -- only 24 minutes -- but its a very engaging listen, even as it can make good 'background' music for chilling out with a good book (as I found out recently), which can't be said of his very lively funk interpretations of pieces like 'Also Sprach Zarathurstra'. It's dominated by lush orchestrations, most of the pieces being rather slow and often melancholic, with a few upbeat numbers ("A grande caçada", The Great Hunt, and "Bebê", written by Hermeto Pascoal). This might be one of his lesser-known albums but I think it is some of his best work. Unfortunately the musicians are uncredited on the sessions.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Human Life at Discount Prices in Rio de Janeiro

By 2016, the favelas of Rio de Janeiro will be sequestered and repressed on a scale to rival the Gaza Strip. If this sounds like ungrounded prophesy and soothsaying, so be it, but in the two weeks that have passed since the Olympic Committee awarded the city with the games, the evidence certainly points in this direction.

Like most people I am deeply disturbed by photos published in the domestic and international media of a dead man stuffed into a shopping cart and left on a street corner, a crowd gathered around, and a police officer toting an automatic rifle standing to the side. Variations on the photo have appeared, with different groups of people gawking at the dead man as if he was an exhibit in a museum or, perhaps, a zoo. But now, with the divulgation of these images through mass media, we have the eye of the foreigner ogling the “Other” - the dead man, the bystanders, like exotic, dehumanized creatures.

In one photo a teenage boy can be seen openly laughing in the face of death, a tragic commentary on the desensitization to violence that can happen when it is part of your quotidian existence. It is that quality of common everyday-ness that stuns the distant observer from the First World. It is then only a short extrapolation to thinking that “those people” feel nothing in their encounters with this brutality.

What troubles me most deeply is the very partial coverage of the situation that has thus far appeared in the international press. The favelas are represented and objectified, along with the people who live in them, as being inherently and intrinsically violent. Being poor in Rio de Janeiro makes you into a criminal by default, and the only time that favela residents even see a police officer in their neighborhood is when they show up SWAT-team style with guns blazing. Shoot first, ask questions later, as the cliché goes. A vestige of the right-wing military dictatorship that ruled the country for twenty years and still rules the mentality of the police.

These areas are referred to in English as “shanty towns”, a loaded signifier that would lump together the slums of Mumbai and Kingston and Johannesburg and Rio while paying no attention to their different cultural and political histories. What is not being talked about in the coverage of Rio is that a great number of people who live in favelas *work*, when they can find work, often commuting to the city center to work at jobs that pay next to nothing. That many of these ‘shanty towns’ have fought for basic services like paved roads and electricity and telephone lines, and often have won official recognition and become incorporated into the city infrastructure to some extent.

Rio’s reputation as one of the most violent cities in the world is well-deserved. It is also one of the most unequal. What is rarely mentioned in the stories written by and for foreigners is the social context of having a place like Rocinha, one of the most notorious and largest of the favelas, in plain sight of the richest areas of Rio. Of the dozens of people you are likely to see sleeping in doorways and on sidewalks on a stroll through Ipanema or Copacabana on any night of the week. Of children searching for something to eat in the elite’s bags of trash left on the sidewalk. Or the fact that what the wealthiest 3% of Brazil spends in a single day could feed an entire family of Brazil’s poorest for months. Of the fact that 6% of Brazil’s population lives on the equivalent of $80 a year.

For every person killed by a policeman in São Paulo, upwards of 1600 are “protected” by police presence. In Rio, the statistic is that for every person killed by police, 250 are “protected.” Is it even worth asking who the people are who are being “protected,” and – more importantly – who they are being “protected” from? When the NY Times writes about the violence in Rio, do they mention the luxurious apartment buildings and homes built like fortresses to keep the ‘commoners,’ the multitudes, the “povão” at a safe distance? Of the apartheid walls with which the city already began to encircle the favelas long before the ‘good news’ about the Olympics?

Does the media coverage notice how the “War on Drugs,” created in the United States and exported around the world, has been a colossal failure? When the violence is covered by the media, it is often implied that what is needed to bring the situation “under control” is simply more police presence. There is little discussion, particularly in the foreign English-language press, of the absurd scale of corruption among the Brazilian police, of police participation in the drug trade itself, or of the formation of private militias comprised of off-duty or retired police officers to carry out revenge murders and other killings, often execution-style. How much attention has the international media payed to the Candelária massacre of 1993 and of the judicial impunity of those who carried it out? Of the Death Squads hired by businessman to ‘clean up’ the streets?

President Lula, when criticized for not including any mention of Rio’s sprawling favelas in the promotional materials to the Olympic Committee, made a statement to the effect that, in the future, the favelas will no longer exist. What he seems to have meant was that, by some magic of neoliberal economic theory, the favelas will reap the benefits of Brazil’s expanding economy. What is more likely is that they will be “developed” out of existence, by way of more dislocations and displacement. Lula is deploying the same type of neoliberal policies and logic that he fought against as a union militant in the 1970s and 80s, the “conservative modernization” and authoritarian development that led to unprecedented migration to Brazil’s urban centers during the “economic miracle,” in turn swelling the favelas with people who found that miracle to be a bit less than miraculous. Completely leaving aside the question of US covert operations and the toppling of democratically-elected governments, the economic policies pursued under “The Chicago Boys” of Chile under Pinochet and the policies pursued by the military dictatorships of Brazil and elsewhere, were a litmus test. The work of social engineering and technocratic planning forged in the First World nations as an experiment to be let loose in the sandbox of Latin America before deploying them in their own countries during the 1980s. Brazil emerged from the dictatorship into a constitutional democracy that held many of the same personalities and policies in place, with an even greater gap between rich and poor than before the 1964 coup. Little has changed, except perhaps the exponential growth of a culture industry that promotes material wealth and consumption out of reach of the majority of the population and portrays such consumption as the hallmarks of citizenship and self-worth.

Now that the eyes of a global and skeptical public are watching how Brazil addresses these issues, as the most recent spat of urban warfare between Military Police and drug-based gangs creates a public relations nightmare, the President is loudly proclaiming that they have “a plan” for making Rio a safe place for the throngs of tourists and – most importantly – the investors that hope to reap obscene amounts of profit from the Olympic-sized debacle that will arrive in six years. Other government officials involved with “public security” (literal translation) are using unabashedly military and adversarial language, of “going into battle” against crime. For years Rio has repeatedly coordinated and unleashed heavily-armed police/military operations on its own citizens, whether to bust up baile funk parties in the favelas or to engage in urban warfare. To achieve the tranquility, security, and positive public image that Brazil`s politicians and business leaders are seeking, it will only be necessary to employ stronger doses of the same medicine. The “plan” of Lula’s government, to be presumably carried out by the next administration to follow, must consist of more marginalization, more criminalization, and more repression.

(Demonstration on Copacabana beach, Oct.14)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Silvia Telles - Amor de gente moça (1959)

Silvia Telles
"Amor de gente moça -- músicas de Antonio Carlos Jobim"

Odeon Fonográfica
MOFB 3084
This remaster, 2007

01 - Dindi (Tom Jobim / Aloysio de Oliveira)
02 - De Você Eu Gosto (Tom Jobim / Aloysio de Oliveira)
03 - Discussão (Tom Jobim / Newton Mendonça)
04 - Sem Você (Tom Jobim / Vinicius de Moraes)
05 - Fotografia (Tom Jobim)
06 - Janelas Abertas (Tom Jobim / Vinicius de Moraes)
07 - Demais (Tom Jobim / Aloysio de Oliveira)
08 - O Que Tinha de Ser (Tom Jobim / Vinicius de Moraes)
09 - A Felicidade (Tom Jobim / Vinicius de Moraes)
10 - Canta Canta Mais (Tom Jobim / Vinicius de Moraes)
11 - Só Em Teus Braços (Tom Jobim)
12 - Esquecendo Você (Tom Jobim)

Free translation from the original back cover notes:
Three strong ingredients make up this LP:

The interpretation and singing of Silvia Telles.
The Music of Antonio Carlos Jobim.
The arrangements of Gaya.

Gaya demonstrates more and more with every effort a perfect understanding of the simplicity with which an orchestra must create a background for a singer.

Antonio Carlos Jobim, here with nine first-rate offerings, continues to prove his talent as the best composer of popular music today. And only Silvinha can give life to these songs.

Silvinha has already surpassed the phase of being only a singer. From this album onward we can call her a grand artist, a grand interpreter.


Silvia Telles' short life was a condensation of the pathos and tragedy of musical legends. Although Nara Leão may have been "the muse of Bossa Nova," Silvia Telles was really the genre's first real interpreter. (I am discounting Elizeth Cardoso's "Canção de Amor Demais", which João Gilberto apparently found repugnant due to Elizete's strident and brash vocal style which was thought to be very un-bossa nova). She was discovered by Billy Blanco at a young age, and dated João Gilberto as her first boyfriend (a relationship that ended because Silvia's parents didn't approve of João's bohemian lifestyle and lack of a permanent address or steady job). Although her career began in 1955 and included performances along side Dick Farney and Dolores Doran, Silvia was one of the earliest people to record Jobim's music and eventually became the headlining main act at the first ever concert promoted with "bossa nova" on the flier -- a term bequeathed by an anonymous typist or secretary whose identity has never been discovered. Silvia was hugely important to the early history of bossa nova. Recording with other early pioneers like Luiz Bonfa and Lucio Alvez, she became one of the biggest stars on the Elenco label,eventually marrying founder Aloysio de Oliveira, and being one of the first bossa nova artists to perform in the United States and Europe. Her life was tragically cut short when she was killed in a car accident in 1966. She was thirty-two years old.

This is a classic statement in the bossa nova canon, allegedly the first album to consist entirely of compositions in the genre. By which is meant, I believe, that other records by founders such as João Gilberto drew from a diverse repertoire such as classic samba which he then turned *into* bossa nova. The album consists entirely of Tom Jobim compositions, many of which are appearing for the first time here. Although it may be hard for listeners to notice it 50 years after its release, Silvia's singing was quite innovative in its day, a departure from the more dramatic styles that had been popular in past years. The album opens with "Dindi", a song covered so many times I won't even try to list them here. I once debated with myself whether Maysa's version, recorded a year or so after this one, was superior, but finally decided that Silvia is more true to the spirit of it. Maysa certainly had the pain and suffering in her voice, drawn from the ample amounts of it in her life, but her style still veered towards the dramatic. Silvia was understated and subtle -- those qualities that no doubt drew João Gilberto to her immediately. The album is so mellow and soothing that it may pass through your aural cavities without too much notice on the first few listens, or drift on the breeze with that stigmatized tag of "easy listening," only revealing its nuances with subsequent replays. Check out the instrumental break in 'Demais' if you have any doubts, doubling the tempo until Silvia sings half a verse and it winds back down again right in the middle of it! No singers did that kind of thing in Brazilian music in the 1950s! This is the kind of musical modernity that was practically 'scandalous' at the time. Remember that, like the title says, this record is music for young lovers. It was also an injection of energy and inspiration to other singers who realized they had to contend with Silvia's power. It's no coincidence that Maysa, for example, recorded her own bossa nova album a year later with a nascent Tamba Trio, showing that she too could kick it with the jazz-inflected vocal phrasings. Although her career spanned a little over a decade, it's been somewhat eclipsed by the prominence of those bossa nova stars whose luminosity, one could argue, owed everything to Silvia's pioneering work.

Silvia Telles - Amor de gente moça (1959) in 320 kbs em pe three

Silvia Telles - Amor de gente moça (1959) in FLAC LOSSLESS AUDIO

Full artwork, log, cue, m3u, and a bottle of cognac included.

For those interested there is also a vinyl rip of this album from an original pressing over at Loronix.

Baden Powell - Ao Vivo no Teatro Santa Isabel (1966)

Baden Powell
Ao Vivo no Teatro Santa Rosa
Elenco ME-30
Reissue 2009 on Biscoito Fino

1. Abertura (Berimbau)
- Choro para metronomo
2. Astronauta
3. Valsa de Euridice
4. Preludio em re menor
5. Berimbau
6. Consolacao
7. Lamento *
8. Samba de uma nota so
9. Tempo feliz **

Musicians: Baden Powell (git, vcl **)
Carlinhos (b)
Oscar Castro Neves (p)
Victor Manga (dr)
unknown strings and flute *
unknown chorus **

Guitar Model: Author 3 by luthier Reinaldo DiGiorgio
Also published as: Samba de uma nota so (CD, 1999)
O Mestre do Violao Brasileiro (CD-Box, 2003)

I am really liking this Baden Powell live record! Kudos to the almost-indie label Biscoito Fino for bringing it back into circulation with the reissue, although I am not totally in love with the mastering job. The artwork is a little on the sparse side too for a full-price release, basically just reproducing the info on the original back cover. But its the music that counts and this is a wonderful and (until now) rather rare album to come across. Includes Baden playing some Bach (Prelúdio em Ré Menor) and also a tune Vinicius co-wrote with Pixinguinha (Lamento). The rest of the tunes are all compositions by Baden and/or Vinicius, a lot of 'afro-sambas.'


From a cool German website I found called Brazil-On-Guitar:

BrazilOnGuitar says: Unfortunately, we did not find out the exact recording date of this first live record by BP. The half-hour recording in the Teatro Santa Rosa is another proof of his guitar abilities in 1966 and stands for his intense playing style. The sound quality of the recording is not the best and could not be improved significantly with the 2003 cd re-issue. However, BP's guitar playing is so precise and exciting that the sound can be overlooked.

The recordings give the impression of a creative and very vital musician, whose life is completely devoted to music. At this time BP had developed great musicality and an impressive technique. It seems that on Teatro Santa Rosa he wanted to set other standards. In his high tempi there could be missed the depth and relaxation of later years, which is understandable thinking of his playing speed.

On 20 live recordings, five from the sixties, we can study his art of the moment. Teatro Santa Rosa is different with its repertoire and unique recordings. There is the impressive interpretation of the choro with a metronome and the overwhelming Bach prelude. His arrangements of the Afro-Sambas are wild, his Euridice sensitive. His virtuoso arrangement of Samba de uma nota so is very own and tricky. He would as well play it as an encore at the Berlin Jazzfestival in 1967. The record closes with Tempo feliz, his first recording as a singer......

.....We thank Robert G. (Germany) for his translation

Monday, October 19, 2009

Jimmy Smith - Black Smith (1974)

Jimmy Smith
Black Smith
Pride Records PD 6011

Ripped from a new reissue on Pride Records (Atlantic) only played once prior to transfer

1. Hang 'Em High
2. I'm Gonna Love You Just a Little Bit More
3. Joy
4. Ooh Poo Pah Doo
5. Why Can't We Live Together
6. Groovin'
7. Pipeline
8. Wildflower
9. Something You Got

Producer - Jerry Peters , Michael Viner
Cover painting by Klaus Voormann

I doubt Jimmy Smith was aiming for irony but this record is basically tailor-made to piss off the jazz purists. I know that's like shooting fish in a barrel but he really tries on this one. There aren't too many jazz organists who can, with aplomb and grace, mix up Western soundtrack music ("Hang 'Em Hang", which sort of makes sense being that Clint Eastwood is such a jazz fan), Barry White ("I'm Gonna Love You Just A Little Bit More"), Johann Sebastian Bach ("Joy"), surf rock ("Pipeline," previously recorded by The Chantays and The Ventures), and The Young Rascals ("Groovin'"). But more surprising is the indisputable fact that he can pull it off, with no small credit going to arrangers Jerry Peters and Michael Viner, the later of whom must have had a big hand in the repertoire selection. The one song that falls flat here is Jessie Hill's "Ooh Poo Pah Doh," although I am biased because its a song that I just don't like. It might have done better here if Smith had not made a stab at singing it -- Hell, if I don't like it when Tina Turner sang it, I'm not going to dig Jimmy Smith giving it a turn. I am guessing that the first mix of this tune probably used an arrangement like some of the other tracks here that have a few female vocalists singing only some parts from the choruses and leaving the rest instrumental; 'Ooh Poo Pah Doh', for all its New Orleans glory, just doesn't have that much going on in it musically and so I can imagine Smith and company being frustrated at the mixing desk and decided to record a take or two of lead vocals for the entire song. Bad move.

I suppose another reason for jazz snobs to hate on this album would be the use of uncredited session musicians.

This may not be the landmark that 'Root Down' was a few years before it, but this is still a cool album, long-cherished by crate diggers and beat seekers.
A record that's way way different than the sound of Jimmy Smith Blue Note work -- and a much-loved set by fans of 70s funk! Jimmy's organ is still very strongly out front of the arrangements -- but it's soaring over the top of grooves done by Jerry Peters and Michael "Incredible Bongo Band" Viner -- tracks that have a harder, hipper style than most of Smith's other recordings from the time -- in a groove that often comes close to the best blacksploitation soundtracks of the time! The drums are plenty heavy on many numbers here -- kicking in a hard and heavy bottom that gives the record a few key breaks -- and other numbers even use a bit of chorus vocals, but in a way that never overwhelms the tracks, just supports them with a nice righteous edge. Titles include the classic break version of "I'm Gonna Love You Just A Little More Babe", plus "Something You Got", "Wildflower", "Hang Em High", "Groovin", "Pipeline", "Why Can't We Live Together", and "Joy".


VINYL RIP specs. Ripped in December 2008 on the old rig ->
Music Hall MMF.5 Turntable with Goldring 1012GX cartridge, Gyger II diamond stylus, and MK II XLR Ringmat --> Projekt Speedbox II -> Parasound Z Phono Preamp -> Marantz PMD 661 digital recorder at 24/96khz. Declicked on very light settings with Click Repair -> DC Offset and track splitting in Adobe Audition 2.0

Dithering to 16-bit in Isotope Rx (I think! Honestly don't recall). Converted to FLAC and mp3 with DbPoweramp

Jimmy Smith - Black Smith (1974) in 320kbs em pee three

Jimmy Smith - Black Smith (1974) in FLAC Lossless Audio format

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Luiz Eça y La Familia Sagrada - Onda Nova do Brasil (1970)

Luiz Eça y La Familia Sagrada
Recorded 1970*
Released on Discos AVV SA (Mexico) - AVV-1136, 1978

My friend in Italy is setting me up with a bunch of music on one of my favorite labels, VampiSoul. This one is the first of the bunch I will share with you, and it is really an amazing delight for the ears. One of the biggest aural surprises I have had in a long time was putting this album on and thinking, how the HELL did this go unreleased for 8 years -- and to all appearances has never seen an official release in Brazil itself.

Luiz Eça, the innovative pianist behind the Tamba Trio (and later the Tamba 4), explores more pop territory on this album, with only one of his own compositions making an appearance. Classic tunes from Milton Nascimento and Fernando Brandt, an original interpretation of the oft-covered 'Pais Tropical' from Jorge Ben features Wilson Simonal belting it out, several songs from my favorite freak Antônio Adolfo, and even a Roberto Carlos tune. The song 'Yemele' (by Luis Carlos Vinhas and Chico Feitoso, mispelled on the CD jacket), had been recorded in a very funky version by Maria Bethania a year or two earlier and may have been an inspiration for this reading.

Sr. Eça has help from a HUGE ensemble of amazing musicians. Check this out:

Wow you can possibly go wrong with this? Also it seems that Nelson Angelo, Joyce, and Nana Vasconcelos had a habit of working on albums that never got released in their day.

If you enjoy this album even a fraction as much as I do, I think it will improve your day considerably.

* According to VampiSoul this was recorded in Brazil, but I question this. Most if not all of the musicians participating on this album were hiding out in Mexico after the military counter-revolution issued constitutional act AI-5 and things got *really* bad. In fact the person responsible for the eventual release of the album, Rogelio Villareal, ran a hotel chain at which tons of bossa nova and MPB starts took refuge and performed regularly. As it seems rather unlikely to me that a huge group of musicians like this would go back to the dictatorship to record this album, all signs point to it being recorded in Mexico itself.

Luiz Eça y La Familia Sagrada - Onda Nova do Brasil (1970) in 320 em pee three

Luiz Eça y La Familia Sagrada - Onda Nova do Brasil (1970) in FLAC LOSSLESS AUDIO

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Donald Byrd - Ethiopian Knights (1972) SBM CD Pressing

This is not a repost. I got hold of a the Super Bit-Mapped (SBM) Remaster of this album from the late 90s and figured I would share it here. Probably not great propaganda for my own vinyl rips, because I think this remaster probably sounds better than my nth-generation Blue Note repressing. But don't judge me -- I have some tasty vinyl treats coming up soon that really do sound lovely! You can see the original description for this album here

Donald Byrd - Ethiopian Knights (1972) SBM REMASTER in 320kbs

Donald Byrd - Ethiopian Knights (1972) SBM REMASTER in FLAC LOSSLESS AUDIO

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Hugh Montenegro - The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly ...(1968)

Busy week here in Flabberland but I figured I would stop by and leave you all a small treat, at least. Although Ennio Morricone wrote the theme for Sergio Leone's "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" and did the original soundtrack, Hugh Montenegro (and his Orchestra, of course) scored a hit record by recording a bunch of compositions from all three of the "Man Without a Name" films. Montenegro had also done other well-known scoring for film and television such as the groovy theme from spy-thriller The Man From U.N.C.L.E., and in a few years hence would begin producing albums of electronic music using that newfangled creation, the Moog. (thanks to lightningclap for setting me straight about all this..)

This CD is a collection of titles those three Leone films, "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly," "Fistful of Dollars, and "For a Few Dollars More."

Hugh Montenegro - The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly ...(1968)in 320kbs em pee three

Hugh Montenegro - The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (1968) in FLAC LOSSLESS AUDIO

Monday, October 5, 2009

Orlando Silva - A Voz de Orlando Silva (1951-56)

Wiki article on Orlando Silva (in Portuguese)

Short biographical article on Orlando Silva by Alvaro Neder


Orlando Silva was arguably Brazil's most popular singer of the first half of the 20th century, heralding from a time when the use of microphones in live performance was unavailable or 'optional', and making his name singing on national radio. His influence on a young João Gilberto is well known, particularly in the early years after he relocated to Rio and sang in vocal groups. But some say that Silva's was a voice whose influence runs through all Brazilian music that came after him.

This collection brings together a bunch of 78 rpm sides recorded for the Copacabana label between the years of 1951 and 1956. With his greatest successes in the 1930s and 40s, these sides were quite a bit after Orlando's star had faded, and his voice was considerably different. Not quite the difference between early Tom Waits and later Tom Waits, for example -- I still think he sounds great. But his hard-living had caught up with him, as the photos included in the booklet well attest to -- It is hard to believe that he was only 35 - 40 years old in these photos, as he looks about ten years older to me. His voice no longer had the same range or capacity in the higher register, and the tonal clarity is not quite what it had been. But these observations are part of a preconceived aesthetics of what comprises a "good voice", and I find his more 'mature' sound quite charming.

As explained in the liner notes, the repertoire of this collection consists largely of songs that had been staples of other performers, like his mentor Francisco Alves and Silvio Caldas, the latter of whom had big hits with a lot of them. The songwriting credits include some of the most vaunted samba composers of his time like Ary Barroso and Cyro Monteiro. All in all, this is a very nice collection in spite of not being from his 'peak' period. I have no idea why Discos Marcus Perreira issued this on 2 discs because it could have easily been fit on one. It might have something to do with the type of copy-protection they saddled the release with -- which I valiantly defeated in order to an EAC rip. However, the victory was not complete. For those of you who care about such things please read this

: the ripping log for EAC shows mismatched CRCs, and that the rip was done in Burst Mode. I am not sure how the program got in Burst Mode (it was necessary to use a rolled-back version of the program, so it might have been my fault). The CRCs are probably false-positives caused by whatever evil hoodoo the record label has slapped on these discs, so I wouldn't worry too much about them. Some music colleagues of mine have reported that only Plextor drives can get an error-free rip from some of these ridiculously "protected" EMI pressings. Unfortunately, the original disks are in my ultra-secure bunker in the offshore Cayman Islands, and I will not have access to them anytime until next year, so there's nothing to be done for it.

ENJOY THE MUSIC, in the end that's what matters!

A Voz de Orlando Silva, 1951-56 (2005) in 320kbs em pee three

A Voz de Orlando Silva, 1951-56 (2005) in FLAC Lossless Audio

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Donald Byrd - Ethiopian Knights (1972) vinyl rip

Donald Byrd
"Ethiopian Knights"
Blue Note BST 84380

Recorded at A&M Recording Studios
Recorded: August 25th & 26th, 1971
Remix at: Van Gelder Recording Studios
Pub. by Elgy Music Pub. Co. BMI

Producer - George Butler
Engineer - Henry Lewy
Engineer [Remix] - Rudy Van Gelder
Liner Notes - Bill Quinn
Photography, Artwork - Norman Seelf
Album Design - Dave Bhang

VINYL TRANSFER TECHNICAL INFO: Blue Note repress -> Pro-Ject RM-5SE turntable / Sumiko Blue Point 2 cartridge / Pro-Ject Speedbox power supply -> Creek OBH-18 MM Phono Preamp -> M-Audio Audiophile 2496 soundcard. Recorded at 24-bit / 96 khz resolution to Audition. Click Repair on very light settings to remove some clicks and pops, some clicks removed manually in Audition. Track splitting in Adobe Audition 3.0. Dithered to 16-bit using iZotope M-Bit noise-shaping. Converted to FLAC using DbPoweramp. ID tags done with Foobar2000.


HOLY CRAP look at that lineup!

I am not sure why this album is not better known. In fact it is almost downright ignored. No doubt it has been eclipsed by the masterwork `Black Byrd` that would come the following year. That´s too bad, as this is a critical 'transition period' album, between the Bitches Brewish explorations of 'Electric Byrd' and the trademark production and super-tight arrangements of the Mizzell Brothers on 'Blackbyrd' and 'Street Lady'. (Incidentally, although he is not credited on the album, Larry Mizzell claims to have worked on this.. I'm not sure what I think of that, though..)

This album is much looser than what came before or after in Byrd's body of beautiful booty-work. The two long tracks that make up the bulk of it are built on simple funk riffs around which the whole band vamps and takes solos. Drummer Ed Greene, while he definitely has chops, is not a jazz drummer in the strict sense. He was as session guy who played on some fabulous records by the likes of Eddie Kendricks and Lamont Dozier, and his style only adds to the album's charm. Because he IS surrounded by some serious jazzista heavy-hitters: the inimitable Bobby Hutcherson on vibes, Harold Land on tenor, and from The Crusaders (formerly Jazz Crusaders), Joe Sample and William Felder.

I am not entirely convinced that this vinyl rip has many advantages over the remastered CD version released in the late 90s. Reason being that this is a repress on Blue Note. and it's nearly certain that they are not using the original vinyl acetate masters made on a vinyl cutting lathe, from which the original pressings would have been made. And it's anybody's guess what masters they actually used -- unfortunately for many of these new represses, it's strongly suspected that the labels are using the same master they made for the CD pressing, which defeats the purpose: a vinyl LP has inherently different properties, and when done right with current recordings, a second pass is made just for the vinyl pressings. Some labels, like Capitol for example, sound to me like they are actually using the original master tapes (possibly even the acetate), but we can assume that the vast majority of reissues are not. One way to tell this, besides using your ears, is to look at the wave form. This album still retains some dynamics, but not much -- the recording itself is dense and layered, and once the jamming gets going there isn't much variation in dynamic range. Hard for me to tell without having an original press on hand. Other vinyl rips I am doing from repressed, you can actually see the hard limited that was done by the shape of the wave forms -- and this is a characteristic of CD mastering (particularly of mastering over the last ten years or so) and hints strongly that a newer digital master was used for the vinyl repress.

Here is a screen shots, just for the hell of it. Below these you will find the DL links.

Spectral view

Waveform view, Jamie (the short ballad...)

Waveform view - Little Rasti

Donald Byrd - Ethiopian Knights (1972) 320kbs

Donald Byrd - Ethiopian Knights (1972) in FLAC Lossless