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Azymuth: Outubro

Album Notes

Outubro is Azymuth's tribute recording, in a sense, to their Brazilian brothers and sisters. It leans heavily on José Roberto Bertami's Fender Rhodes as a direct means of communication, with gorgeous guitar and bass work by Alex Malheiros, and top-notch drumming by Ivan Conti, who engages the tonal and programming reaches of the ARP 2600. The album was recorded in 1979 and its first nine cuts were remixed in 1980 when it was finally issued. The most successful moments here are the covers, where the trio digs into spaced out, modern-day electric jazz classics such as "Light as a Feather," and "500 Miles High," both of which are closely associated with Return to Forever, its vocalist at the time Flora Purim, and her husband, percussionist Airto Moreira. In addition to beautifully rendered versions of these tunes, there are readings of Toninho Horta's "Dona Olimpia," Ivan Conti's steaming "Swamp, (Pantanal)," and Milton Nascimento's "October" ("Outubro" in Portuguese). Of the originals here, Bertami's tribal percussion workout "Carta Pro Airto" ("Letter to Airto"), the slippery late-night funk of "Partido Alto" and Malheiros' breezy postmodern pop tune "Friend" work best. The extended faux-disco monolith -- compete with cheesy electronic drum effects -- of "Jazz Carnival" mars the proceedings a bit, making this an imperfect but nonetheless utterly listenable and enjoyable set from this prolific trio. ~ Thom Jurek


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