Demos (1973-75) Vol. 1
- FARO 210-1LP
Since their debut in 1975 (FARO 117X-LP), Azymuth have risen to rank alongside the world's greatest jazz, funk and fusion artists. As young men in Rio de Janeiro, they stood out for both their exceptional talent as musicians, and their wild rock 'n' roll antics in the predominantly middle-class worlds of bossa nova and jazz. Their signature "Samba Doido" (crazy samba) sound ruptured the tried and tested musical structures of the day, resulting in what can only be described as an electric, psychedelic, samba jazz-funk hybrid. Before they became Azymuth, José Roberto Bertrami (keyboards), Ivan 'Mamão' Conti (drums), Alex Malheiros (bass) and Ariovaldo Contesini (percussion) played backing band to just about every major artist in Brazil. Azymuth's name can be found on record sleeves by the likes of Jorge Ben, Elis Regina, Marcos Valle, Ana Mazzotti, and countless others. But at the dawn of the seventies, fascinated by developments in improvisational music -- from jazz in the US, to progressive rock in the UK and of course samba, bossa and tropicália on home turf - the energetic young group were inspired and ready to move forward; these previously unheard recordings took place between 1973-75 at Bertrami's home studio. At the time of recording, there was nothing in Brazil, less the world, that sounded anything like them, so it's unsurprising that when Bertrami presented his demos to the record companies he had been working for, he was turned away, told in effect that the music was 'wrong'. When English producers Joe Davis and Roc Hunter arrived in Brazil in 1994 to record the first Azymuth album in over a decade, Bertrami dug out the demos which had sat virtually untouched for over twenty years. Beginning a long and fruitful relationship, "Prefacio" would be the first track Azymuth recorded for Far Out Recordings and was released on the Carnival album (1996). Only a handful of these demos were ever professionally recorded and released, making this the first opportunity to hear many of these early Azymuth compositions in their raw, original form. On every track the frenetic energy in the studio is palpable, giving the recordings a beautifully personal feel and a sense of the phenomenally creative vision Bertrami, Malheiros, and Conti were realizing at the time. Fifty years on, Azymuth's earliest recorded music retains an ineffable, futuristic quality, standing amongst their most captivating and moving work.