Monday, June 30, 2014

R.I.P.: Paul Horn

(born March 17, 1930; died June 29, 2014)

Internationally acclaimed musician & composer, jazz master, one of the world's greatest flutists ever, and a pioneer of both new age and world music, Paul Horn passed away yesterday, June 29 after a brief illness. He was 84.

Horn is survived by his wife Ann Mortifee, his sons Robin and Marlen, stepson Devon, 4 grandchildren -Brittany, Tyler, Jonah, Ana- and daughters in-law Robin, Alison and Beth. A private memorial-celebration of life is being planned.

Paul Horn came to prominence as a member of Chico Hamilton's group in 1956, but soon after he started his solo career as a recording artist, signing with ABC-Paramount's Dot label. He later jumped to World Pacific, Columbia, RCA, and Epic. Among his main albums are stunning collaborations with Lalo Schifrin (the Grammy-winning "Jazz Suite on the Mass Texts" in 1965) and Oliver Nelson ("Monday, Monday" in 1966).
However, big popularity beyond jazz circles came only with the historic "Inside" (1969), better known as "Inside the Taj Mahal". That ground-breaking LP sold over three quarters of a million copies and launched a series of "Inside" projects recorded in natural and sacred sites with unique acoustic properties.
But my personal favorite Horn album is "Altura do Sol" (High Sun), a Teo Macero production conceived after the flutist fell in love with the Airto Moreira-Egberto Gismonti collaboration on Airto's "Identity" (Arista, 1975). Gismonti wrote all the tunes and arrangements for that amazing album, recorded in NY back in 1976 featuring Dom Salvador, Ron Carter, Dom Um Romão and Robertinho Silva. "High Sun" was reissued on CD in 1989, by the Black Sun label, under the title "The Altitude of The Sun," combined with another album cut with the Canadian group Nexus. That same year, Paul Horn recorded "Brazilian Images" with Airto, André Geraissati and João Parahyba. His last albums were released on his own label and are available, along with some reissues, through his official website Rest in Peace.

Box Set of the Month - "Freddie Hubbard: Red Clay/Straight Life/First Light"

Box Set of the Month
Freddie Hubbard: "Red Clay / Straight Life / First Light" (CTI/BGO)

Original albums produced by Creed Taylor
Recorded & mixed by Rudy Van Gelder
Cover Photos: Pete Turner
Featuring: Freddie Hubbard, Herbie Hancock, Richard Wyands, Ron Carter, Lenny White, Jack DeJohnette, Weldon Irvine, Richard "Pablo" Landrum, Airto Moreira, Phil Kraus, George Benson, Joe Henderson, Hubert Laws, Don Sebesky et al.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Jack Wilkins' 70th Birthday Celebration @ Jazz Standard, NYC, with Coryell, Bertoncini, Juris and Abercrombie

One of the best kept secrets in jazz, and one of my all-time favorite guitarists, Jack Wilkins will appear in New York @ the Jazz Standard (116 East 27th St), for his "70th Birthday Celebration!" Next Tuesday, July 1st, presented by the great jazz impresario Charles Carlini. Two sets at 7:30pm & 9:30pm, with very special guests Gene Bertoncini, Larry Coryell, John Abercrombie, Howard Alden, Vic Juris, Joe Diorio and Jimmy Bruno.

I'll start to celebrate right now, by listening to the two superb albums that Wilkins recorded for CTI -- "Captain Blued" and "Opal", featuring my friends Phil Woods, Harvie Swartz, Akira Tana, Ted Moore and the late Albert Dailey -- as well as to his equally brilliant sessions with Bertoncini, Michael Brecker, Hubert Laws, Chet Baker and Jim Hall. A real "event" not to be missed!

Fusion CD of the Month - "Mauricio Zottarelli & Amanda Ruzza: Glasses, No Glasses"

Fusion CD of the Month
Mauricio Zottarelli & Amanda Ruzza: "Glasses, No Glasses" (Pimenta Music) 2014

Rating: ***** (musical performance & sonic quality)
Produced by Amanda Ruzza & Mauricio Zottarelli
Featuring: Mauricio Zottarelli (drums, percussion & cajón), Amanda Ruzza (electric bass) & Leo Genovese (piano, Rhodes, organ, analog keyboards, saxophones)

Recorded by Kamilo Kratc @ Soundworks Studios (Astoria, NY) in May & June 2013
Mixed & Mastered by David Darlington @ Bass Hit Studios (New York, NY) in March 2014
Photo by Samantha Knoop (Park Avenue Art & Photography)
Video & Studio Photos: Sandra Kratc
CD Artwork: Daniel Corso
Liner Notes: Bill Milkowski

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Support the "Miles Ahead" film!

Click here to donate money to make the "Miles Ahead" film come to life on the big screen! There are many ways to become a sponsor!

Jazz Station Gallery, Take 6: Arnaldo DeSouteiro

                                                   (Arnaldo DeSouteiro)

CD Reissue of the Month - "Creed Taylor: The Best Of The Barrack Ballads"

CD Reissue of the Month
Creed Taylor Orchestra and Chorus: "The Best Of The Barrack Ballads" (Hallmark) 2014

Produced by Creed Taylor
Arranged by Maury Laws
Vocal Solos: Lynn Roberts
Cover Photo: Pete Turner
Album Design: Viceroy
Liner Notes: Vikki Dale

Originally recorded for ABC-Paramount in 1959, this curious (to say the least) "easy listening" project is now being reissued by the UK-based label Hallmark, a division of the Pickwick Group Limited.
To order, please visit

DJ Yvonne Black in California, this Friday

Don't miss my friend, superDJ Yvonne Black this Friday in California @ RISQUE inside RED Covina-Lounge (211 North Citrus Ave.), alongside Lenny G, DJ Luxury and Nonfiktion. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Blu-ray Audio of the Month - "Dave Brubeck Quartet"

Blu-ray Audio of the Month
Dave Brubeck Quartet: "1960 Essen, Grugahalle" (Jazzline/Delta)

Featuring: Dave Brubeck (piano), Paul Desmond (alto sax), Eugene Wright (bass) & Joe Morello (drums)

Nat Hentoff Documentary Opens in NY and LA

"The Pleasures of Being Out of Step"
Notes on the Life of Nat Hentoff
A film by David L. Lewis
Featuring the Sublime Music of Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, John Coltrane & Charles Mingus

Now Open in New York at IFC Center
Opens July 4 in Los Angeles at Laemmle Theatres

Nat Hentoff is one of the enduring voices of the last 65 years, a writer who championed jazz as an art form and who also led the rise of 'alternative' journalism in America.  This unique documentary wraps the themes of liberty, identity and free expression around a historical narrative that stretches from the Great Depression to the Patriot Act.

At the core of the film are three extraordinary, intimate conversations with Hentoff.  Commentary and perspective are offered through additional interviews with such luminaries as Amiri Baraka, Stanley Crouch, Floyd Abrams, Aryeh Neier and Dan Morgenstern. Interwoven through it all is the sublime music of Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Charles Mingus and Bob Dylan, along with never-before-seen photographs and archival footage of these artists and other cultural figures at the height of their  powers.

WINNER! Metropolis Grand Jury Prize, DocNYC 2013

"Brisk and engaging. Hentoff comes off as an amused, amusing, endlessly fascinating man, one with more stories to tell than he could have fit into his almost three dozen books or his half-century of columns. He's a great pleasure to watch, to listen to, and to read, even when you couldn't disagree with him more." - Alan Scherstuhl, The Village Voice

"A sharp-looking and enjoyable doc that celebrates the writer's legacy."
- John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter

For more information, a complete list of playdates and a trailer visit:

Scot Albertson & Lee Tomboulian live in NY

This next Friday, June 27, 8pm thru 11pm @ Klavierhaus (213 W. 58th St., NYC, NY - ph: 212-245-4535):
Scot Albertson & Lee Tomboulian
Vocal/Piano Duo Evening
No Cover!

Book of the Month - "Getz/Gilberto"

Book of the Month
"Getz/Gilberto" (Hal Leonard)

Transcribed by Carlos Arana
Cover Painting: Olga Albizu

This folio transcribes every note by every instrument -- tenor sax, piano, bass, drums and vocals -- on the ground-breaking bossa nova masterpiece (recorded in 1963 under the production of Creed Taylor, released by Verve in 1964) that won 5 Grammy Awards in 1965, including "Album of the Year" and "Record of the Year" for the classic standard "The Girl from Ipanema.". The album features Stan Getz on tenor sax, João Gilberto on guitar & vocals, Antonio Carlos Jobim on piano, Sebastião Neto on bass, Milton Banana on drums, and Astrud Gilberto (English vocals on 2 tracks).

Eight classic songs: Jobim's "Desafinado," "The Girl from Ipanema (Garota De Ipanema)," "O Grande Amor," "Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars (Corcovado)," "Só Danço Samba (Jazz 'N' Samba)," "Vivo Sonhando (Dreamer)" plus Dorival Caymmi's "Doralice" and Ary Barroso's "Pra Machucar Meu Coração."

Essential companion item: the Blu-ray Audio issue of "Getz/Gilberto," which includes the original liner notes (written by Gene Lees, Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto) and a new essay by jazz historian Doug Ramsey. This High Fidelity Pure Audio release combines the vast storage space and bandwidth of a Blu-ray disc with original high quality recorded material, from the original master tapes, to create a uniquely luxurious listening experience.

Please note that there are 3 sound options available: Full DTS Master Audio, PCM (Pulse Control Modulation uncompressed sound!) and Dolby True HD that can be accessed via your Blu-ray devices interface and navigated using the remote controller. Audio is sourced from 24bit/96kHz minimum master sources, and the disc is compatible with all Blu-ray players, PS3 consoles and other Blu-ray devices. It will not play in a CD or DVD player. (ps: Joao Gilberto loves the PCM uncompressed sound.)

Bossa Nova Songs and Instrumental Tunes Needed by Non-Exclusive Library

BOSSA NOVA SONGS and INSTRUMENTALS are needed by a Production Music Library pitching to Films, TV Shows, and Advertising campaigns. They're on the hunt for authentic sounding Songs and Instrumentals in the stylistic ballpark of Sergio Mendes, Joao Gilberto, Astrud Gilberto, etc. Instrumental tracks, and Songs with Male or Female Vocals are all welcome for this opportunity. Give them playful Songs and/or Instrumental tracks that utilize authentic instrumentation played in a skilled and proficient way. Your lyrics can be sung in English, Spanish, or Portuguese.

Please be sure your lyrics are universal, PG-rated, and avoid specific names, places, dates, times, brands, etc. Do not copy or rip off the referenced artists in any way, shape, or form. Use them only as a general guide for tempo, texture, and tone. Broadcast Quality is needed (great sounding home recordings are fine). Please do NOT include unauthorized samples of any other artists' work or sounds in your Track.

You keep 100% ownership of your Copyright and Master. This Company gets 25% of any negotiated Sync License fee. Please submit one to three Songs and/or Instrumentals online or per CD. All submissions will be screened on a Yes/No basis - No full critiques. Submissions must be received no later than Friday, June 27, 2014. So jump on it if you've got it! TAXI # Y140627BN. For more details, visit

"On Stage at Kingsborough" announces Hot Summer Nights in Brooklyn! Free concert series!

                                                  (Carole J. Bufford)

Tomorrow, "On Stage at Kingsborough" will announce the line-up of exclusive Brooklyn engagements for its annual free outdoor concert series taking place every Saturday evening in July at the Kingsborough Bandshell.  

"Our summer concert schedule is tremendously exciting as we welcome some of the most acclaimed jazz artists in the country," stated Anna Becker, Executive Director of On Stage At Kingsborough. "Each concert will offer a very different experience - from Swing to Blues to The Great American Songbook to Modern Jazz - and all of them will provide a thrilling evening of music in the shadow of Kingsborough's lighthouse by the sea."


Jeremy Davis & The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra

Celebrate Independence Day with this Big Band tribute to America and great American music. Patriotic tunes as well as made-in-the-USA songs such as Coming to America, Route 66, andGeorgia will fill the air for this holiday concert. Lauded as a cross between Prairie Home Companion and the Dean Martin Variety show, this Savannah-based band plays New York City's hottest night clubs, including The Blue Note and The Iridium.

"Performing with an unabashed, unquenchable joy and a lot of unbridled fun, Equinox finds a way to sound both timeless and brand new." -

Grammy-Nominee John Beasley's MONK'estra
MONK'estra is a 16-piece big modern jazz band that captures the spirit of Thelonious Monk's unique quirkiness and offbeat accents. Beasley's contemporary twist incorporates Big Band instrumentation, Afro-Cuban rhythms, and Modern Jazz, powerfully driven by a propulsive rhythm section. This show has sold out nationally at the Ford Theatre, SF JAZZ Center, the Jazz Standard, and many more!
Beasley was pianist/keyboardist for Miles Davis, Chaka Khan, Al Jarreau, Christian McBride, and Barbra Streisand, and has played, composed or music directed for Skyfall, Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Godfather III, Kelly Clarksonand Carrie Underwood. John Beasley has recorded 11 CDs including the Grammy-nominated Positootly!
"Beasley is a real genius" -Sounds of Timeless Jazz
"Some of the most mesmerizing big band music of recent memory!" - International Review of Music

Carole J. Bufford with Grammy Award-Winners Vince Giordano & The Nighthawks
Music from a time when love was for sale, but liquor was not.

This Nightlife Award-winning show is a musical extravaganza that takes us back to a time when flappers, vamps and sheiks were shimmying in gin joints to songs made famous by the likes of Sophie Tucker, Al Jolson, Louis Armstrong, Bessie Smith, and more.

Carole J. Bufford is an award-winning vocalist who The New York Times deemed "a 21stcentury Barbra Streisand." She has performed to rave reviews at Town Hall, Feinstein's, 54 Below, and Lincoln Center. Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks are the Grammy Awarding-winning Jazz Age band of Boardwalk Empire fame. They have played the Rainbow Room, the Waldorf Astoria, Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall, and for numerous feature films.   

"Carole J. Bufford is a sizzling cabaret performer!" - The New York Times

 "...the Nighthawks are one of New York's musical treasures of any genre. ..." - The Wall Street Journal

SATURDAY, JULY 26, 8:00 p.m.
With Guest Vocalist Gina Fox
Swingadelic, known as New York City's greatest "little big band," delivers the traditional Big Band and Great American Songbook music of Duke Ellington and Frank Sinatra's Rat Pack era in swingin' style. The band has released 6 CDs, including the Jazz Week chart-topping "The Other Duke," and has played at Lincoln Center, NJ PAC, Swing 46 Supper Club, and festivals such as Bele Chere, MusikFest, and the CD 109 Jazz & Blues Festival.

"A high-impact, deep-throated, thundering band!" - All About Jazz

"Big-hearted, good-time, feelin'-fine jazz played with serious proficiency." - Jazz Inside Magazine


All concerts take place at Kingsborough's Bandshell, on the campus of Kingsborough Community College.
Admission and parking is free and open to the public.
Kingsborough's gates open at 7:00 p.m. and the concerts begin at 8:00 p.m.
Reservations are not necessary.
A limited number of seats are available, but all are welcome to bring blankets and folding chairs for our grassy areas as well.

Rain Location: In the event of inclement weather, the concerts will be relocated to the air conditioned Leon M. Goldstein Performing Arts Center. Updated location information will be available on our box office line - (718) 368-5596 - starting at 4:00 p.m. on concert days.

Picnic Information: To complete a gorgeous night of great music in a friendly community setting, our gates open at 7:00 p.m. and picnicking is welcomed. Dumplings, egg rolls, ice cream, and beverages will be available for sale.

For more information:
Box Office Location: On Stage atKingsborough box office, Kingsborough Community College, 2001 Oriental Boulevard (cross street: Oxford), Brooklyn, NY. There is ample, free parking on the campus.
Box Office Hours: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
By Phone: (718) 368-5596
Online: (video/audio links for concerts available.)

DIRECTIONS: By Car: AMPLE, FREE PARKING is available and we are just minutes from Exit 8 off the Belt Parkway. By Bus: Take the B1 or B49 bus straight to our gates. By Subway: Take the B, Q, F, D, or N and transfer to the B1 bus for a short ride to our gates.

On Stage At Kingsborough brings artistically and culturally diverse, multi-disciplinary performances from masters of the form to the varied communities within and surrounding the college. We strive to create an environment where the arts are an accessible and integral part of life, and the Arts Center is a community gathering place for interaction and inspiration. We offer performances in theatre, dance, music, and children's theatre. Our schooltime shows welcome classes from local public and private schools, a majority of which serves economically-disadvantaged or special needs populations.

SHM-CD of the Month - "Wes Montgomery: Just Walkin'"

SHM-CD of the Month
Wes Montgomery: "Just Walkin'" (Verve)

Produced by Creed Taylor
Liner Notes & Coordination: Eric Miller
Liner Notes: Takao Ogawa
Featuring: Don Sebesky, Herbie Hancock, Roger Kellaway, Jimmy Smith, Ron Carter, Grady Tate, Helcio Milito, Ray Barretto et al

Redline & VPX Fashion Show @ Kitchen 305

This Saturday, June 28, Newport Beachside Hotel & Kitchen 305 Present
From 7pm to 3am
16701 Collins Ave, Sunny Isles Beach, FL

For reservations please call 305-749-2110

CD Compilation of the Month - "Best of CTI - Instrumental"

Compilation of the Month
Best of CTI "Instrumental" (CTI/King)

Original sessions produced by Creed Taylor
Recorded & mixed by Rudy Van Gelder
Featuring: Eumir Deodato, Chet Baker, Freddie Hubbard, Stanley Turrentine, Paul Desmond, Hubert Laws, Milt Jackson et al.

Happy 78th Birthday, Hermeto Pascoal!

Hermeto Pascoal (born on June 22, 1936), Arnaldo DeSouteiro & Aline Morena

Thursday, June 19, 2014

TBT Gallery, Part 1: Arnaldo DeSouteiro

    (Leonardo Monteiro, Marcia Brito & Arnaldo DeSouteiro)

Blu-spec CD of the Month - "Don Sebesky: Giant Box"

Blu-spec CD of the Month
Don Sebesky: "Giant Box" (CTI/King)

Produced by Creed Taylor
Recorded & Mixed by Rudy Van Gelder
Cover photo: Pete Turner
Album design: Bob Ciano

Sebesky's masterpiece, one of the "Best 10" albums in the CTI catalog, and a lesson in terms of jazz orchestration. All tracks are excellent, most of them are superb. It's an album so rich in details that it deserved to be analyzed in a book, with the original orchestral scores and full transcriptions of all solos by people like Freddie Hubbard, Hubert Laws, Paul Desmond, Joe Farrell, Milt Jackson and, yes, the controversial Grover Washington Jr., who recorded his best jazz solos in two projects arranged by Sebesky ("Giant Box" and Randy Weston's "Blue Moses"), although his best-selling albums were scored by Bob James, another member of the all-star cast assembled for "Giant Box." Btw, this album was released and advertised in Japan as "Don Sebesky and the CTI All Stars."

The rhythm sections have a big importance here too, with Ron Carter (playing acoustic bass, electric bass on "Semi-Though" and the piccolo bass used for the funky solo on "Psalm 150") on all tracks, and Billy Cobham (unbelievable on "Firebird/Birds of Fire") and Jack DeJohnette (terrific on "Free As A Bird") relaying on drums. The percussion team includes Brazilian masters Rubens Bassini (providing the groovy congas to "Psalm 150") and Airto Moreira, plus the long-forgotten Phil Kraus (a veteran of the Creed Taylor Orchestra in those late '50s sessions for ABC-Paramount) on tympani, gongs and other "classical percussion" instruments, and studio ace Ralph MacDonald, who composed big hits for CTI (and non-CTI) artists but was never signed to the label by Creed, despite the fact that he became the percussionist who took part in more CTI dates ever.

"Giant Box" is so astounding, so outstanding, so full of surprises, that George Benson doesn't sounds like George Benson neither Bob James sounds like Bob James when soloing on "Semi-Though," a surprisingly funky closing tune to such a classy & sophisticated album. Speaking of class, Jackie & Roy are also there. And what a joy to listen to Sebesky, the keyboardist! Playing acoustic piano, Fender Rhodes (with a crystalline sound), Hammond organ and Hohner clavinet, not to mention the accordion he used to play as a child. And what a pleasant surprise to hear Sebesky, the vocalist! Sounding like Chet Baker used to sound in the '70s on "Fly" (backed by his own Fender Rhodes), and, thanks to overdubbing, like a gregorian choir in the intro of "Psalm 150." I only miss Sebesky's trombone in this celebration.

In a low note: this new Japanese CD reissue doesn't includes the original liner notes (an interview conducted by Didier Deutsch with Sebesky which had appeared in a booklet included in the original 1973 box set) neither any of the twelve pics taken by photographer Steve Salmieri for the original album. Anyway, the sumptuous "Giant Box" is more than an extraordinary album. It's a musical monument.(Don Sebesky & Ron Carter photographed at The Lotos Club, New York City, July 1973, by Steve Salmieri)

CTI's top conoisseur, Doug Payne, has already posted about "Giant Box" on his Sound Insights blog when it was released on CD in the USA (for the second time) in 2011.
Here's the link:

Don Sebesky had been arranging albums for producer Creed Taylor since the composer/arranger got a call from the producer out of the clear blue sky in 1965 to arrange guitarist Wes Montgomery’s Verve classic Bumpin’. Sebesky arranged four more of Wes Montgomery’s albums as well as Verve records for Astrud Gilberto and Kai Winding and A&M records for Kai Winding & J.J. Johnson, Soul Flutes, George Benson, Paul Desmond and Walter Wanderley – all produced by Creed Taylor.

It’s little wonder that Creed Taylor invited Don Sebesky to CTI in 1970 to become the in-house arranger for some of the label’s premier recording artists, almost single-handedly setting the musical direction for the label on such albums by Hubert Laws, George Benson, Freddie Hubbard, Hank Crawford, Esther Phillips, Jackie & Roy, Milt Jackson and Airto.

Indeed, Sebesky’s role helped secure Grammy nominations for George Benson’s CTI album White Rabbit, Esther Phillips’ “From A Whisper To A Scream” and a Grammy Award for Freddie Hubbard’s First Light (all 1972) as well as 1973 Grammy nominations for Freddie Hubbard’s “In A Mist” (from Sky Dive), Esther Phillips’ Alone Again, Naturally and Hubert Laws’ Morning Star.

Creed Taylor had shortly thereafter offered Sebesky the opportunity to record his own album for the label (the arranger had already recorded two jazz-rock albums for Verve in the late 1960s), utilizing the incredible star power of the CTI All Stars, many of whose newfound success was directly attributable to both Creed Taylor and Don Sebesky.

Following CTI’s success of Deodato’s “Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001),” the producer offered Sebesky the opportunity to do a double album – the very first (and only one of three) in CTI’s history – and the arranger quickly took up the challenge.

Giant Box, originally issued in real box packaging, like so many classical records of the day, not only felt significant, it contained a heavy roster of the day’s biggest and best jazz players, all part of the CTI family and all reflecting on a program of Sebesky charts that make for some of the label’s most potent listening.

First and foremost is the extraordinarily inspired pairing of Stravinsky’s “Firebird” with the Mahavishnu Orchestra’s “Birds of Fire,” remarkably balancing horns and strings and features for Hubert Laws, Freddie Hubbard, Don Sebesky and Billy Cobham. Joni Mitchell’s lovely “Song to a Seagull,” originally from her 1968 debut, is a soaring feature here for Paul Desmond, Don Sebesky and Ron Carter.

Sebesky’s dynamic “Free as a Bird” (catching all the bird references here?) is one of the album’s highlights and is a feature for Freddie Hubbard’s jaunty flugelhorn, Bob James’ fantastically sparkling piano, Sebesky’s scintillating electric-piano commentary, Grover Washington, Jr.’s meaty soprano sax and the rhythmic interactions of Ron Carter and, of course, Jack DeJohnette.

Jimmy Webb’s “Psalm 150,” previously waxed by Sebesky with Doc Severinsen on the trumpeter’s 1971 album Brass Roots, marvelously highlights the vocal talents of Jackie & Roy (and Sebesky himself) in a sumptuously funked-out arrangement that features Freddie Hubbard, Ron Carter and Bob James (on organ!). Rachmaninoff’s 1912 piece “Vocalise” gets a melodic treatment here – but surprisingly no vocals - with leads provided by alto saxist Paul Desmond and vibist Milt Jackson, who’d previously been paired together for the first time at a December 1971 Modern Jazz Quartet concert.

Sebesky’s own “Fly” leads off with a vocal by the composer himself, performing very much like Chet Baker (who he would go onto work with very shortly hereafter), and lifted bodily by echoplexed flourishes from Hubert Laws, Joe Farrell, Ron Carter and Jack DeJohnette that lead into the lovely jazz of “Circles,” another of the album’s greatest moments, featuring Joe Farrell on soprano sax, Bob James (beautiful again) on piano, Ron Carter (again – the bassist single-handedly guides much of the album into beautiful territories much of the time) and Hubert Laws on flute.

The obligatory funk tune, “Semi-Tough,” which was surprisingly never exploited for its radio potential, is aided by Sebesky’s Gospel piano and clavinet, Carter’s ultra-funky electric bass and Billy Cobham’s grooviest groove, and closes out the album with George Benson’s fun but surprisingly undistinguished modified electric guitar solo, Grover Washington, Jr.’s tough tenor and Bob James providing some funky organ. It’s at this point that the absence of Esther Phillips becomes notably apparent. But she’s not missed.

According to Didier Deutsch’s interview with Don Sebesky, the recording took six months and about 150 hours in the studio, though only several days of recording in April 1973 are listed in the credits as being the recording time. Sebesky’s recollection is probably more accurate. There was obviously a lot of work that went into this record. And it’s truly surprising that it’s not a better known part of CTI’s legacy than it is.

Don Sebesky went onto work with CTI for another couple years (Paul Desmond, Jackie & Roy, George Benson, Esther Phillips, Chet Baker, Joe Beck, Jim Hall), recording another album under his own name for the label (The Rape of El Morro) and returning for several albums late in CTI’s legacy (Roland Hanna, the perfect Studio Trieste and Larry Coryell). But this magnum opus, Creed Taylor’s “thank you note” to the composer/arranger, recorded during CTI’s halcyon days, has not been bettered anywhere in Don Sebesky’s solo discography.

Pete Turner’s garish cover photo, “USA Car,” is part of an Americana series the photographer conceived that includes photos found on the covers of Ron Carter’s Blues Farm (CTI 6027) and the all-star In Concert Volume Two (CTI 6049). “USA Car,” photographed in Nevada in 1970, oddly seems to contradict the gravity of the project and the classy music found within but designer Bob Ciano probably picked up on the car’s stars for this “all-star” album. 

Jazz Station Gallery Take 5: Arnaldo DeSouteiro

                                      (Arnaldo DeSouteiro)

Jazz Station Gallery Part 4: Arnaldo DeSouteiro

                                   (Arnaldo DeSouteiro)

R.I.P.: Horace Silver

(born Horace Ward Martin Tavares Silva on September 2, 1928 in Norwalk, Connecticut, USA;
died on June 18, 2014 in New Rochelle, New York, USA)

For a detailed bio, please visit Silver's official site:

Vinyl Reissue of the Month - "Deodato 2"

Vinyl Reissue of the Month (180gram audiophile virgin vinyl LP)
Eumir Deodato: "Deodato 2" (CTI/Speakers Corner) 1973/2014

***** (musical performance, sonic quality & pressing)

Produced by Creed Taylor
Recorded & Mixed by Rudy Van Gelder @ Van Gelder Studio (Englewood Cliffs, NJ)
Arranged & Conducted by Eumir Deodato
Cover Photo: Alen MacWeeney
Liner & Back Cover Photo: Duane Michals
Album Design: Bob Ciano

Featuring: Deodato (acoustic piano, Fender Rhodes, synths), John Tropea (electric guitar), Stanley Clarke & John Giulino (electric bass), Billy Cobham & Rick Marotta (drums), Rubens Bassini & Gilmore Digap (congas & percussion) plus horns & strings
At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Speakers Corner all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: they would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records.

During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s – or employed existant tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.

A digital delay is gladly used when cutting a lacquer disc because tape machines with an analogue delay have become quite rare and are therefore expensive. When cutting the lacquer, the audio signal is delayed by one LP revolution against the signal, which controls the cutter head, and for this a digital delay is very often employed. Of course, the resultant sound signal is completely digital and thus only as good as this delay.

We should like to emphasise that Speakers Corner Records on principle only uses the original master tape as the basis for the entirely analogue cutting of lacquer discs. In addition, the pressing tool is newly manufactured as a matter of principle. They have one digital recording in their catalogue (Alan Parsons' "Eye In The Sky“), but even in this particular case they have used the analogue tapes for cutting.

Speakers Corner only employ existing tools for manufacturing if an improved result is not forthcoming, e.g. the title Elvis Is Back, which was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray, or several titles from their Philips Classics series, which in any case Willem Makkee cut from the original masters at the Emil Berliner Studios in the 90s. It goes without saying that they only used the mother and that new tools were made for the production.

To put it in a nutshell: we can ensure you that Speakers Corners releases (including the previous reissues from the CTI vaults, like Gerry Mulligan/Chet Baker's "Carnegie Hall Concert" and George Benson's "Beyond The Blue Horizon," not to mention Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Wave" and Paul Desmond's "Summertime" from the A&M/CTI era) are free from any kind of digital effects – excluding the exception above – and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.

To order directly from Speakers Corner's website:

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

CTI Memorabilia - "Deodato 2 Quadradisc"

CTI Memorabilia
The advertisement of the Quadradisc issue of Eumir Deodato's "Deodato 2," released in Japan on September 25, 1974.

DVD of the Month - "Diana Krall: Live"

DVD of the Month
Diana Krall: "Live" (Wet Music/Radar Records)

Directed by Ana Hernandez
Produced by Emilo Garcia
Filmed live on July 24, 2008 @ Heineken Jazzaldia Festival in San Sebastian, Spain
Featuring: Diana Krall (vocals & acoustic piano), Robert Hurst (acoustic bass), Jeff Hamilton (drums) & Anthony Wilson (electric guitar)

Includes excellent versions of "Let's Fall In Love," "The Look of Love," "I'll String Along With You," "Devil May Care" and "I Was Doin' All Right." As usual, Diana ends the concert with Peggy Lee's "I Don't Know Enough About You." But instead of singing Joni Mitchell's "A Case of You" as the encore, she did it as the sixth song in the program.

Vocal CD of the Month - "Aline Morena: Sensações"

Vocal CD of the Month
Aline Morena: "Sensações" (2014)

Produced by Aline Morena & Hermeto Pascoal
Engineered by Beto Japa
Album Design: Adriana Alegria
Photos: Rudi Bodanese
Bonus Track Filmed by João Marcelo Gomes

Forget all your pre-conceived notions about "conventional" singing. Don't try to idealize an avant-garde jazz singer either. Aline Morena goes beyond categories, and moves inside her own galaxy. She's a musician (who plays keyboards, Brazilian "viola caipira", percussion etc) that also happens to be an extraordinary singer, using her voice (and body) as a sharp instrument, flying over sonic textures built with the support of her partner in love Hermeto Pascoal and many great musicians that have been members of Hermeto's group for several years. Among them: Vinicius Dorin, Itiberê, Marcio Bahia, Fabio Pascoal and Andre Marques, plus accordion master João Pedro Teixeira and such talented newcomers as Mariana Zwarg, Carol Panesi, Karina Neves and a superb young drummer called Ajurinã Zwarg.

Aline is gifted with an incredible vocal range and a very adventurous spirit that allows her to take chances throughout this fearless musical journey, leaving you breathless. Hermeto, the supreme living genius of universal music, provided the arrangements, and is featured on several tracks, playing bass flute ("Canjica Animada"), acoustic piano ("Aconteceu"), melodica ("Está No Ar") and percussion ("Boiada").

Besides these and other stunning new originals ("Frevando em Manaus," "Lamento Verde," "Voa Ilza, ""Está No Ar," "O Meu Coração Bateu"), Aline's solo debut also includes amazing renditions of Dominguinhos' hit "Tenho Sede," Cristovão Bastos/Chico Buarque's "Todo O Sentimento," Edu Lobo/Buarque's "Beatriz," and two Hermeto's "old" tunes: "São Jorge," originally composed for his 1979 "Zabumbê-bum-á" LP, and to which she has added truly perfect lyrics, and "Sereiarei," from the 1973 epic album "A Música Livre de Hermeto Pascoal"; plus a surprising song, "Canturia," composed by Hermeto's brother Elisio Costa after a set of lyrics written by their mother, Dona Divina, until then known exclusively for the famous "O Galho da Roseira" (Branches), a pretty melody covered by Airto & Flora Purim in the 70s.

It will be impossible for neophytes or lazy ears' listeners to absorb or either understand the deep musical content of this album. You need to love and live music to understand and love Aline Morena.

World Cup Beach Party @ Newport Pier

Instrumental Jazz CD of the Month - "Sonny Rollins: Road Shows Volume 3"

Instrumental Jazz CD of the Month
Sonny Rollins: "Road Shows Volume 3" (Doxy/OKeh) 2014

Produced by Sonny Rollins & Richard Corsello
Engineer: Richard Corsello
Mastered by Allan Tucker
Photo: John Abbott
Album Design: Jamie Putman
Liner Notes: Bob Blumenthal

Featuring: Sonny Rollins (tenor sax), Bob Cranshaw (electric bass), Kobie Watkins, Perry Wilson, Steve Jordan & Victor Lewis (drums), Bobby Broom & Peter Bernstein (electric guitar), Kimati Dinizulu & Sammy Figueroa (percussion), Stephen Scott (acoustic piano), Clifton Anderson (trombone)
Since launching his Doxy label in 2006 with the Grammy-nominated studio album Sonny, Please, the great tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins has been turning to his vast archive of his own concert recordings to compile superior performances for release in Doxy's acclaimed Road Shows series. The selections in Volume 1 (2008) spanned nearly 30 years and included a trio track from the saxophonist's 50th-anniversary Carnegie Hall concert, while Volume 2 (2011) focused primarily on his epic 80th-birthday concert at New York's Beacon Theatre.

Road Shows, vol. 3, released as part of a distribution agreement with Sony Music Masterworks and its jazz imprint OKeh, draws its six tracks from concerts recorded between 2001 and 2012 in Saitama, Japan; Toulouse, Marseille, and Marciac, France; and St. Louis, Missouri. "Patanjali," a recent-vintage Rollins composition, is given its debut recording on the new disc. The performances, says Rollins, "present parts of me I want to have presented."

On May 5, Rollins expanded his forays into social-media territory (and CD promotion) by participating in an unprecedented video conference, "Sonny Rollins Meets His Fans," broadcast live on YouTube and Google+. Ten members of Sonny's global community of listeners and fellow musicians, chosen from the winners of a video contest on his Facebook page, interacted with Sonny, one by one, in real-time video, utilizing Google's popular Hangout platform. Immediately after the live broadcast, the program became available for viewing on demand on Sonny's web site and Facebook page.
Sonny Rollins  
"As one of the few jazz musicians able to fashion a career exclusively as a concert artist," writes Bob Blumenthal in his CD notes, "[Rollins] has made his appearances events that blend the soul-baring seriousness of a 'classical' recital with the participatory release of a music that has always drawn on various kinds of call and response. At his best, which Rollins presents to us here and in the previous Road Shows, he rides the spontaneity of the moment into unique collections of moods, grooves, and feelings."

Road Shows' material reflects an artist who has become as enthralled by narrative lines as melodic. Noel Coward's "Someday I'll Find You" -- which he first recorded on 1958's Freedom Suite and then on Sonny, Please -- takes him back to his boyhood days, when it was the theme for the long-running radio show, Mr. Keen, Tracer of Lost Persons.

Sonny Rollins The infectious "Biji," introduced on the 1995 album, Sonny +3, was written "back in the days when guys had nicknames like Rahsaan and Famoudou. I adopted Brung Biji as mine. It was sort of African style."

"Patanjali" is named after the sage whose Yoga Sutras, he says, "lay down everything you need to know" about a discipline and philosophy that "has helped me get through life and kept me trying to be a better human being."

The nearly 24-minute rendering of Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II's masterwork, "Why Was I Born," is as moving as it is breathtaking -- a monument to Rollins's emotional powers. He won a 2006 Grammy for his version of it on Without a Song: The 9/11 Concert, performing it in Boston five days after the terrorist attack on New York, which forced him to evacuate his apartment.

"I've played it a lot," he says. "So I was wondering whether I should put it out again. I decided to because it captured me going in certain directions I felt needed to be put on record. I actually had two versions to choose from. On one of them, everything was quite clean. On this one, I played something I might be the only one who likes. But I liked the groove and a lot of other things. It represents Sonny Rollins at a certain point of creation."

Rounding out the program, there's an eight-minute, stand-alone cadenza taken from a 2009 St. Louis show and a brief, album-closing dose of his perennial crowd-pleaser, "Don't Stop the Carnival."

Road Shows, vol. 3 was produced by Rollins and his longtime engineer, Richard Corsello. Trombonist Clifton Anderson and bassist Bob Cranshaw are heard throughout, joined on selected tracks by pianist Stephen Scott; guitarists Bobby Broom and Peter Bernstein; drummers Kobie Watkins, Perry Wilson, Steve Jordan, and Victor Lewis; and percussionists Kimati Dinizulu and Sammy Figueroa. "All of these people in my bands are top of the line in their own right," says Rollins. "It's a privilege and pleasure to play with them."  

Saturday, June 7, 2014

R.I.P.: Helcio Milito

(born on February 9, 1931 in Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil;
died on June 7, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, RJ. Brazil)

R.I.P.: Helcio Milito, my friend (for 35 years!), my idol, just passed away today, June 7, 2014. A legendary "universal" drummer & percussionist who created the "tamba" instrument and was a founding member of the Tamba Trio.

Milito also recorded with João Gilberto & Stan Getz (on "Getz/Gilberto #2"), Stan & Astrud Gilberto ("Getz Au Go Go"), Luiz Bonfá & Maria Toledo ("Braziliana" and many others), Wes Montgomery ("Bumpin'"), Tony Bennett ("Songs For The Jet Set"), Eumir Deodato ("Os Catedráticos 73 / Skyscrapers"), Mitchell & Ruff ("After This Message"), Maysa ("Barquinho"), Ali Ryerson, Joyce Cooling, Orlandivo, Edson Frederico, Sebastião Tapajós, Joyce & Nelson Angelo; produced albums for Luiz Carlos Vinhas, Bebeto, Pedro dos Santos; played with Duke Ellington, Gil Evans, Sammy Davis Jr. and so on.
His solo album "Kilombo" (released by Island/Antilles in 1987) is a masterpiece. I was fortunate to attend his performances as a leader at the Park Meridien Hotel in NY around that time, and while a visit to London I produced for BMG the first official reissue of my favorite Tamba album ever, "Tamba" (aka Tamba 74, RCA). Only João Palma and the late Milton Banana could match his brushwork. Oh boy, oh boy, I'm devastated. We used to visit each other and hang out a lot in Rio, NY, LA and Carmel often. My condolences to all his family.
Luiz Eça/Bebeto/Helcio Milito: "TAMBA" (1974)
Relançamento Produzido, em 2001, por Arnaldo DeSouteiro para a série "RCA 100 Anos de Música" e distribuido mundialmente pela BMG
Texto de Arnaldo DeSouteiro

Reissue Produced by Arnaldo DeSouteiro (Jazz Station Productions) and released worldwide by Sony/BMG
Catalog Number: 74321866282

Liner Notes written by Arnaldo DeSouteiro for the CD booklet:

Relançado agora em CD, pela primeira vez desde a sua edição original em 1974, este fantástico álbum do Tamba Trio capta o grupo inteiramente revigorado, na sua fase de maior inventividade. Em plena ebulição criativa, respirando e transpirando modernidade, no sentido mais amplo e literal da palavra. É um Tamba anos-luz distante do grupo apenas acústico e bossanovista, ampliando seus horizontes em todos os sentidos. Revelando uma estética renovada, incorporando instrumentos eletrônicos, e trazendo um repertório ecelético mas homogeneizado pelos fenomenais arranjos de Luiz Mainzl da Cunha de Eça (1936-1992), apimentados por instigantes performances de Adalberto José de Castilho e Souza (1939-) e Helcio Paschoal Milito (1931-).

Ao contrario do também fenomenal Zimbo Trio, que nasceu e até hoje continua sendo um grupo bem comportado – inclusive com os mesmos componentes há mais de 36 anos! -, o Tamba Trio já começou conturbado. No melhor dos sentidos! Um coquetel explosivo de talento e turbulência. Tanto que, ao fazer seu primeiro show oficial (em 19 de março de 1962, no Bottle’s Bar) e ao gravar logo em seguida seu LP de estréia para a Philips, o contrabaixista original, o craque Octavio Bailly Jr. (futuro membro do Bossa 3 e do Bossa Rio), já havia deixado o conjunto, sendo substituido por Bebeto.

Melhor assim. Alem de ótimo baixista, Bebeto dominava varios tipos de flautas, sax tenor e ainda cantava muitíssimo bem, apesar da pouca extensão vocal. Se Helcio havia dado o nome (de origem indígena) ao grupo por conta do instrumento que inventou, e se Luiz Eça era a alma harmônica (apesar de acusado de provocar tanta desarmonia extra-musical) do trio, Bebeto – desdobrando-se nos sopros, vocais e no baixo - representava o elemento diferencial que viria a colocar o Tamba em uma posição artística incomparável na história da MPB.

Ao contrário do que se pensa, Helcio não usou a tamba em nenhum dos LPs gravados nos anos 60, lançando mão do efeito sonoro-visual do instrumento apenas em shows em locais maiores – porque, nos exíguos palcos dos clubes do Beco das Garrafas, não havia espaço para aquele enorme kit de percussão. Em estúdio, somente passou a empregar a tamba a partir deste disco de 74. Era também o único trio que, nas gravações (mais especificamente nos três primeiros LPs), contava com a participação de um quarto músico, Durval Ferreira, no violão. Pioneiros por vocação, excursionaram pelos EUA (shows no Village Vanguard, meca do jazz em NY) antes do célebre concerto de bossa nova no Carnegie Hall. Foram o primeiro grupo a dividir um show com um humorista, Chico Anysio, na boite carioca “Au Bom Gourmet”.

Alguns engraçadinhos diziam que o quarteto Os Cariocas deveria se limitar a cantar, assim como o Tamba deveria apenas tocar. Pura maldade. Pelo menos no caso do Tamba... Principalmente porque, descontados os desastrados solos vocais cometidas por Eça e Milito no disco de estréia batizado apenas “Tamba Trio”, as engenhosas vocalizações coletivas eram perfeitas, verdadeiras aulas de harmonia ministradas por quem, já em meados dos anos 50, arriscava vocais (ao lado do guitarrista Paulo Ney e do então baixista Ed Lincoln) no antológico LP de 10 polegadas “Uma Noite No Plaza”, antes de barbarizar num sexteto vocal que incluia as irmãs Flora & Yana Purim. “No Tamba, Luiz fazia os arranjos vocais, nós três armávamos a parte instrumental”, desvenda Bebeto.

No palco, Eça, Bebeto e Milito entrosavam-se às mil maravilhas. Fora dele, viviam às turras, o que provocou várias mudanças na formação do conjunto. Em 65, o batera Rubem Ohana de Miranda substituiu Milito, que se mandou para NY, onde gravou até com Wes Montgomery (“Bumpin’”) e Tony Bennett (“If I Ruled The World - Songs for the Jet Set”). A partir de 67, veio a fase do Tamba Quarteto (logo rebatizado Tamba 4), com a entrada de Dorio Ferreira como baixista e violonista, deixando Bebeto nas flautas e vocais. Neste esquema, o grupo tentou carreira nos Estados Unidos, gravando três LPs para o selo CTI, do produtor Creed Taylor, então distribuido pela A&M: “We And The Sea”, “Samba Blim” (com suntuosas orquestrações de Luiz Eça para uma seção de cordas) e um álbum até hoje inédito, exceto por duas faixas (“Na Onda do Berimbau” e “Capoeira Soul”) lançadas em single.

Em seguida, o próprio Eça deixou o conjunto, em 1970, sendo substituido por Laércio de Freitas, que participou de longa temporada do Tamba no México (onde Luiz, acirrando a competição com os antigos colegas, também estava atuando à frente de um grupo batizado A Sagrada Família). Fase documentada no controvertido álbum “País Tropical”. Retrato de um grupo que àquela altura já tinha mandado para o espaço as canções de Jobim, Menescal e Bonfá presentes nos primeiros discos, optando por Cassiano (“Sem Você Eu Não Vivo”), Antonio Adolfo & Tiberio Gaspar (“Juliana”) e até Roberto & Erasmo (“Se Você Pensa”). Por um curto período, ainda no México, adotaram o nome de Tamba 6, incorporando Flora Purim e Lennie Dale.

De volta ao Brasil, findas todas as ego-trips (e também as bad-trips...), Eça, Bebeto & Milito reconciliaram-se. Chegaram à conclusão de que tinham sido feitos uns para os outros, juraram amor eterno, mas decidiram que, assim como num casamento retomado depois de tumultuadas escapulidas, era preciso apimentar a relação para evitar nova crise. Esqueceram de vez o repertório antigo, passaram a compor num processo de brain-storm que resultou em temas instigantes, e ampliaram ainda mais a concepção sonora. Como todos os sábios, livres de preconceitos e tocando e andando para as patrulhas ideológicas, tomaram atitudes radicais para que este disco de retorno ao mercado, e de estréia na RCA em 74, se transformasse em um novo marco. De uma nova fase.

Para ficarem longe das pressões de uma éntourage que mais atrapalhava do que ajudava, fazendo lobby para influir no repertório, espertamente foram gravar o disco no recém-reformado estúdio da RCA em São Paulo, em 16 canais. Uma maravilha para quem se acostumara a fazer o diabo para gravar aqueles overdubs todos em apenas dois ou três canais na época da Philips. No cardápio, para desespero dos puristas, misturaram Ivan Lins com Antonio Carlos & Jocafi, Ary Barroso com Tom & Dito, dupla acusada de porta-voz da ditadura militar. A futurista ilustração da capa impactante, assinada por Ney Távora, reflete fielmente a sonoridade desafiadora do conteúdo.

Luiz Eça, sem dispensar o piano acústico de técnica clássica lapidada em Viena com Hans Graff e Friedrich Gulda, adicionou dois tipos de piano elétrico (o Fender Rhodes muito em voga e o Yamaha CP-70 ainda não popularizado) e vários modelos de sintetizadores das pioneiras marcas Arp e Moog. Helcio Milito, além da bateria e da tamba finalmente utilizada em gravação, não se furtou a usar cuíca, tamborim, pandeiro e agogô em algumas faixas (“Não Tem Perdão”, “Mestre Bimba”) para criar efeito de uma bateria de escola de samba em miniatura. Bebeto, formando fascinantes naipes de flautas (“Reflexos”, “Quadros”) graças ao recurso de overdubing, também encaixou sax, trocou o baixo acústico pelo elétrico, e ainda arriscou-se a uma guitarra de pegada roqueira na faixa de abertura (“Se É Questão de Adeus Até Logo”), dando novo sabor ao hit de Tom & Dito, com incríveis alternâcias de groove e andamento.

As ousadas harmonizações prosseguem por “Não Tem Perdão”, de Ivan Lins & Ronaldo Monteiro de Souza, com o refinamento instrumental chegando logo ao auge na lisérgica “Reflexos”, de Eça. As aulas práticas de dinâmica não se processam apenas nos arranjos, como também no escalonamento das faixas, obecendo a infalível tática de tension and relax. Haja visto o romantismo desconcertante de “Gazela”, tema de Bebeto (usando sua voz de eterno adolescente desprotegido) letrado por Arlette Neves (esposa de Milito), ensanduichado entre “Reflexos” e a obra-prima “Mestre Bimba” (criação coletiva do Tamba), carro-chefe do disco nas rádios, campeã de execução na JB-AM no segundo semestre de 74! Prova trágica e incontestável da decadência de qualidade da música brasileira.

Junto com “Mas Que Nada” (do LP “Avanço” de 63) e “Sanguessuga” (do segundo LP para a RCA, em 75), a vanguardista “Mestre Bimba” viria a tornar-se a faixa do Tamba de maior sucesso no cenário do acid-jazz. A ponto de ser incluida, ao lado de gravações de Herbie Hancock e George Duke, na coletânea “The Soul of Science”, produzida em 2000 pelos DJs ingleses Ian O’Brien & Kirk DeGiorgio. “Ossaim”, dos hit-makers Antonio Carlos & Jocafi, surge valorizada por uma interpretação visceral, com Helcio dando um show à parte na tamba (instrumento formado por quatro frigideiras, caixa-clara, três tambores e dois bambus). E a teatralizada performance do tema “Em Casa”, na qual ouve-se a voz de Luiz chamando Bebeto para levar na flauta a singela melodia (parceria do pianista com o ator – e flautista amador – Carlos Vereza) provoca efeito instantâneo, selando a comunicação entre executante e ouvinte, conduzido à intimidade da gravação.

Abrindo o que era o lado B do LP, outra surpresa: a união dos sambas “Prá Machucar Meu Coração”, “Rosa Maria” e “Não Tenho Lágrimas”, redimensionados em clima hiper-cool, com Eça no Fender Rhodes e Milito deslizando nas vassourinhas e nos múltiplos sinos. Passam pelos “Quadros” de tintas vanguardistas, com os sintetizadores envenenados por phasers e delays. Seduzem através do embalo afro-cubano de “Não Tem Nada Não”, parceria de João Donato & Eumir Deodato composta para o álbum “Donato/Deodato”, e à qual Marcos Valle adicionou letra para grava-la no disco “Previsão do Tempo”. Reafirmam o poder de síntese nas compactas “O Homem” (conduzida pelo sax) e “Morada”, lições para os coitados que compram a idéia (fascista) de uma divisão (ridícula) entre música vocal e instrumental. Enquanto pseudo-jazzistas dão voltas ao redor do nada em longos improvisos repletos de clichês, os rapazes do Tamba esbanjam informação musical em faixas de dois minutos em média! Invocam raízes (“Amanhangá”) sem necessitarem de discursos de retórica, e encerram a viagem com o minimalismo experimental – mas natural – do “Infinito” de números contados por Bebeto sobre um desenho rítmico de Helcio nos bambus da tamba.

Após este disco de 74, os mancebos gravaram mais dois ótimos álbuns para a RCA. Juntaram-se e separaram-se várias vezes nos anos 80. Novamente com Ohana no lugar de Milito (que acabara de lançar nos EUA seu primeiro CD-solo, “Kilombo”, pelo selo Antilles/Island), o Tamba fez sua derradeira temporada na casa noturna People, em 89. Eu e Hélcio íamos todas as noites contemplar aquela música dos deuses. Brigado com Luiz, Milito fazia questão de chegar com o show já começado, sentava-se numa mesa longe do palco, e ficava sorvendo cada partícula de som. “Que músicos, que pianista filho da mãe...”, ele dizia sempre, extasiado.

Pouco depois, quando o grupo já havia implodido definitivamente, voltou a residir na paradisíaca cidade californiana de Carmel, que teve Clint Eastwood como prefeito. Lá ficou sabendo da morte de Luiz Eça em 92. Procurou reativar o conjunto, tentado por propostas de empresários entusiasmados com o sucesso da gravação de “Mas Que Nada”, ressucitada graças ao uso no comercial da Nike estrelado por Ronaldinho na Copa de 98. Com Bebeto no baixo e o pianista Weber Drummond tentando substituir o insubstituível Eça, chegaram a tocar no Japão. Mas a tão anunciada turnê européia acabou abortada. Milito continua ativo em Carmel, Bebeto segue fazendo shows e gravações com Pingarilho, Ithamara Koorax e Durval Ferreira. Ohana faleceu em 99.

Popular sem ser populista, complexo sem soar hermético, o disco “Tamba” encanta, ainda, pela dimensão orquestral obtida pelo conjunto de forma tão natural. Não por acaso, a palavra Trio não constou da capa nem do rótulo do LP, porque teria uma função reducionista para um conjunto de tamanha amplitude sonora. Por tudo isso, e muito mais, trata-se de um álbum indispensável, que apontava um caminho evolutivo que a MPB bem poderia ter seguido. Mas que, lamentavelmente, seus latifundiários preferiram renegar, buscando agradar os tradicionalistas, eternos chatos de plantão, sempre prontos a ceifar qualquer tentativa de transgressão a rótulos e padrões pré-estabelecidos. Do Tamba, restam discos maravilhosos. Como este, agora merecidamente redescoberto.

Arnaldo DeSouteiro
Londres, 14 de julho de 2001
(Produtor musical, historiador de jazz e música brasileira, jornalista e educador, membro da IAJE - International Association of Jazz Educators).
Texto de contracapa (Text for the CD tray card):
Gravado em 1974, este álbum instigante marcou a estréia do Tamba na RCA, com o grupo incorporando elementos eletrônicos, renovando seu repertório, redefinindo sua sonoridade e ampliando seu horizonte estético. Pela primeira vez em uma gravação de estúdio, Helcio Milito usou o instrumento que deu nome ao trio, um dos mais importantes na história da MPB. Primeira reedição mundial em CD.