Azymuth - Butterfly
Azymuth - Butterfly
(CD/LP) Far Out Recordings FARO134/FARO134LP, 2008-10-20
Tracklisting CD :
02. Os Cara La
03. Meu Dolce Amigo
05. Avenida Rio Branco
06. New Morning
08. Hole In One
10. Next Summer
Tracklisting LP :
A1. Os Cara La
A2. New Dawn
A3. Avenida Rio Branco
A4. Meu Doce Amigo
Band Members :
Jose Roberto Bertrami - Keyboards
Alex Malheiros - Bass
Press Release :
The mighty Azymuth make their individual stamp in 2008 with a brand new studio album which acts as a follow up to ‘Brazilian Soul’ released in 2004. This brilliant new project displays the bands timeless ability to push the boundaries of jazz infused electronic music. ‘Butterfly’ is a pioneering selection of new tracks that will appeal not only to the hardcore Azymuth fanbase but also to new fans of jazz and electronic music. Their eighth studio album ‘Butterfly’ sees Azymuth staking their claim as the true legends of Rio’s music scene, even three decades after their debut during the swinging 70s.
Butterfly is Azymuth’s eighth studio album with Far Out Recordings, coming thirty five years after defining their own particular brand of jazz, funk and samba that they like to call samba doido - crazy samba.
For those passionate about the Azymuth sound this album presents ten more fantastic tracks showcasing the band at their best, weaving together a series of beautiful jazz motifs mirroring the brightly coloured wings of the butterfly. With light free-flowing compositions such as Meu Doce Amigo whose lofty flute sees our butterfly soaring away, a poignant track, translated simply as ‘my sweet friend’, dedicated to bass-player Alex Malheiros’ beloved son who passed away in 2003.
Co produced with David Brinkworth (Harmonic 33) the result is perhaps the purist synthesis of the Azymuth sound during their 14 years of recording with Far Out Recordings. As David recalls it was a natural process of creation, ‘they are really so experienced musically that they can take an idea you may have and transform it in seconds into something beyond your original starting point. They know how each one of them thinks, even before they strike a chord or hit a beat’. Mamao is quick to add that the process is totally democratic, ‘When we start a track each one of us offers our opinion. We start with the swing, Bertrami creates a melody and Alex (on bass) composes his part and then spontaneously for my part I come in with the chorus. That was how Os Caras La was born.’ The result is a boogie jazz funk monster proving that the band has not lost any of their deftness in forging a pop/ jazz dance hit.
In homage to the great Herbie Hancock, one of their enduring influences and inspirations, the album is entitled after his composition Butterfly. As Alex notes, ‘We have identified with Herbie since the Sixties and because of this we have a lot in common, discovering new horizons and also the admiration for Butterfly.’ As Far Out label boss Joe Davis observes, ‘As they have covered some Herbie tunes in the past it was my idea for them to do this track and to get Arthur Verocai to arrange it with a string section and flutes. ‘A truly great version!’
Tracks including Catitu and Triagem are deeply rooted in the Azymuth sound. Catitu is a classic style samba, written by Mamao, it has his fast touch and potent upbeat samba. Catitu also typifies the playfulness of the band, named after a type of spiky pig which when it feels threatened throws it needles in all directions so as to warn it’s enemies! Triagem is full of exquisite melodies and the natural harmonies of Rio de Janeiro that only Bertrami can play.
The analogy of the butterfly has a certain resonance for a group that has been through a few metamorphoses, starting out with their early experimental albums in Brazil, followed by a move America in the Eighties to release their classic jazz funk albums before forming their most enduring relationship with Far Out Recordings in the Nineties.
The group first met whilst playing in different bands at the Canecao, Rio de Janeiro’s leading live music venue before going on to form Grupo Seleca, a prototype for Azymuth which did the bar and clubs circuit in Copacabana and beyond. The name Azymuth was inherited from the title of a composition by Marcos e Paulo Sergio Vale on the film soundtrack O Fabuloso Fittipaldi after Marcos Valle invited them to record with him.
Their first release as Azymuth is a hugely collectible 4-track single which still goes for several hundred dollars. The EP featured the track ‘Melo da cuica’ which was a bit of a hit on a television novela and launched Azymuth onto the national scene. This was quickly followed up in 1975 by their debut album entitled ‘Lind a De Horizonte’ which once again produced another huge TV success.
In 1977 they repeated the success with the album Aguia Nao Come Mosca and played in the Montreux Jazz Festival, the first Brazilian band to do so. Now with a growing international reputation they packed their bags for the United States following an invitation from Flora Purim and percussionist Airto Moreira to join them on a coast to coast tour. The tour was a huge success and resulted in a recording contract with Milestones and their first international record Light as a Feather. The album was released in 1979 and sold over 500,000 copies internationally and remained in the UK Top 20 for eight weeks. Throughout the Eighties Azymuth went on to record a string of albums on Milestones consolidating their position as perhaps the most successful band ever to emerge from Brazil.
In the Nineties Azymuth hooked up with Joe Davis and Far Out Recordings to start the most recent and enduring phase in their career, recording eight albums and leading to collaborations with the likes of 4 Hero and Roni Size before leading to the current release of ‘Butterfly’.
Label boss Joe Davis sums it up perfectly, ‘the sheer quality of melody, feel & playing on Triagem was a joy to behold, I still don't get tired of listening to that track.
Azymuth will be touring Europe in October.
EUROPEAN TOUR DATES OCT 08 (ALL TBC):
16 OCT 08 Istanbul Turkey Babylon
17 OCT 08 Bobigny France Canal 93 Bobigny Musiques
18 OCT 08 Paris France New Morning
19 OCT 08 Brighton UK Beachdown Festival
20 Oct The Croft Bristol
22 OCT 08 London UK Jazz Café
23 OCT 08 The Hauge Netherlands Dr Philips Zaal
24 OCT 08 Burgos Spain Centro de Arte Caja de Burgos
Azymuth started their career back in the early 1970s when Marcos Valle invited them to record on a soundtrack LP in tribute to the Formula 1 racing driver Emerson Fittipaldi.One of the tracks was entitled Azimuth, and after the great success of this record in Brazil they asked Marcos if they could use it as the name for their band. This was the official start of Azymuth. At this point there was a fourth member, Ariovaldo - the percussionist of the group who died tragically in the mid-Seventies, throwing into question the continued existence of the band.
Their first recording as a quartet was a four track EP with Polydor, which went on to be used in a successful novella (Brazilian soap opera). The records sales followed the massive popularity of the programme. From this followed their first LP with the Som Livre label and 'Linha Do Horizonte' (used in another novella). This LP featured other classics like Manha (a standard on the London club scene) and Faca De Conta. The unique Azymuth sound was born.
The second album Aguia Nao Come Mosca was an even bigger success. It was also released in the USA and Japan on Atlantic Records, bringing Azymuth international attention. This LP led to a world signing with the North American jazz label Milestone Records. To the band this was something of a surprise - they were just playing their own music, which they saw as MPB (Musica Popular Brasileira) with a touch of jazz.
In 1979 their first Milestone release became one of the best-selling LPs on the label. It featured the worldwide disco/fusion hit Jazz Carnival. As a single, it sold over 500,000 internationally and remained in the UK top 20 for eight weeks. Azymuth went on to record a string of albums on Milestone, establishing themselves as one the worlds great jazz bands. They played in the best jazz festivals and venues around the globe, and worked with other musicians like Chick Corea, Joe Henderson, Deodato and Stevie Wonder.
In 1983 the three members started solo careers, whilst still recording collectively. However, the trios burgeoning solo commitments caused a heavy toll - by 1987, Azymuth had split.
In 1995 Joe Davis from Far Out Recordings was introduced to Azymuth, whilst on a recording project in Rio working with Brazils best jazz musicians. Instantly they struck a common bond through the music that they loved. Not long afterwards, Joe asked them to record for his label. In 1996 the album Carnival was released, to excellent reviews and critical acclaim - a welcome return to the bands creative best.
Since 1996 the Azymuth sound has gone from strength to strength and has gained many new, younger fans across Europe. Through their energetic shows and especially through remixes by some of the most exciting producers around (Roni Size, 4 Hero, Jazzanova, Kenny Dope and Global Communications to name a few) theyve become an important force once again on the underground jazz scene.
Their new album for Far Out pays homage to the different styles they have created over the years, albeit with 100% new recordings. The album is split into three different parts, representing their 30 years. Tracks featuring Roberto Menescal, Emilio Santiago, and Fabiola represent the early years when Azymuth recorded with a constant stream of singers, creating some of the Brazils most popular vocal bossas and sambas. Representing Azymuths fertile period of the late 70s and early 80s (when they would regularly sell in excess of 500,000 albums!) they welcome percussionists Cidinho Moreira and Chacal, creating the classic Azymuth sound as heard on Jazz Carnival, Partido Alto and Dear Limertz.
1973 - O Fabuloso Fittipaldi
1975 - Linha Do Horizonte
1976 - Azimuth EP - Polydor
1977 - Agua Nao Come Mosca - Som Livre Rec
1979 - Light As Feather - Milestones
1980 - Outubro - Milestone
1981 - Telecommunication - Milestone
1982 - Cascades - Milestone
1983 - Rapid Transit - Milestone
1984 - Flame - Milestone
1985 - Spectrum - Milestone
1985 - Live At Copocabana Palace - SBA
1986 - Tightrope Walker - Milestone
1987 - Crazy Rhythm - Milestones
1988 - Jazz Carnival - Best Of Azymuth - BGP
1989 - Tudo Bem - Enigma/EMI
1990 - Curumim - Enigma/EMI
1994 - The Beat Of Azymuth - Ace
1995 - 21 Anos - Spotlight
1996 - Carnival - Far Out Recordings
1998 - Woodland Warrior - Far Out Recordings
1999 - Pieces of Ipanema - Far Out Recordings
2001 - Before We Forget Far Out Recordings
2002 - Partido Novo - Far Out Recordings
2004 - Brazilian Soul - Far Out Recordings
2007- Azymuth- Far Out Recordings