Returning to their huge old school sound, this new recording celebrates 35 years of Azymuth as “arguably the most successful band to come out of Brazil”. The signature swing samba is heavier than ever with a string of unforgettable tunes: from dance-floor fillers and lush jazz to hard, grooving samba funk and warped psychedelia. Together the original three piece Azymuth orchestra has made their strongest album since the seminal recordings ‘Azimuth’ and ‘Light as a Feather’. Discover why musicians as diverse as Friendly Fires and Madlib are addicted to this innovative boogie monster.
‘Aurora’, the follow-up to 2008’s ‘Butterfly’ draws on the sound that was so synonymous with their work in the 1980s, mixing disco, jazz, funk, psych, and samba with their super style, playing, and improvisation. Together with producer Daniel Maunick and David Brinkworth (Harmonic 313), Azymuth recorded Aurora in Rio de Janeiro over a two week period. Opening the set is the cool, fresh title track ‘Aurora’, which features Alex’s daughter and fellow Far Out recording artist Sabrina Malheiros on vocals alongside Marcio Lott. ‘In My Treehouse’ is an extremely personal track written by Bertrami, which is influenced by his oak tree and dreams that recall his childhood playing in a tree house in his mother’s hometown. ‘Isso Ã‰ Partido Alto’ encapsulates the sound of Azymuth, the focus on their signature groove, partido alto (one of the oldest traditional samba rhythms). ‘Diz No PÃ©’ is a samba monster combining broken drumming with syncopated samba instrumentation, written by Ivan Conti. ‘Carnaval Legrand’ is dedicated to one of Jose Roberto Bertrami’s peers – the great Franco-Armenian arranger and composer Michel Legrand, while ‘Meu MengÃ´’ is inspired by Alex Malheiros’ football team – Flamengo – another passion shared with his Azymuth band-mates.
The Original Cult Trio:
Pianist, songwriter, and band leader Jose Roberto Bertrami is recognised as one of the legends of Brazilian music, remaining one of its most influential keyboardists. He is responsible for the intensity and maverick approach of Azymuth. Ivan Conti is Azymuth’s drummer and percussionist. Known as Mamao, he is a spontaneous and incredibly energetic drummer, and the real hardcore Carioca of the trio. He has collaborated on a number of major projects in recent years including 2008’s Jackson Conti ‘Sujinho’ album with Madlib. On bass is Alex Malheiros, who learnt his trade playing with the master of Brazilian swing, Ed Lincoln. Alex is respected in Brazil as one of the original groove masters. The threesome is responsible for twenty five studio albums from 1975 crate-digger favourite debut ‘Azimuth’ (Far Out re-issued in 2007); to 1979’s ‘Light as a Feather ‘(which spawned ‘Jazz Carnival’); and ’80s classics including ‘Telecommunication’. One of the biggest jazz funk tunes of all time, ‘Jazz Carnival’, spent eight weeks in the UK Top 20 in 1980 and was a Number 1 hit around the world in the dance charts.
One of very few successful bands to have kept the original line-up, in their sixth decade the cult trio continue to tour the globe wowing audiences at the finest venues and festivals. Azymuth’s previous seven recordings for Far Out have been both critically acclaimed by the press and spun heavily by global DJs. With Aurora their finest work yet for the label, the samba legends swinging ‘samba doido’ (crazy samba) is primed to win over another generation of fans. You’re in the hands of masters.