Saturday, April 4, 2020

Flora Purim, Mickey Hart, Airto Moreira - 1983 - Dafos

Flora Purim, Mickey Hart, Airto Moreira

01. Dry Sands of the Desert
02. Saudação Popular
03. Ice of the North
04. Reunion
05. Subterranean Caves of Kronos
06. The Gates of Dafos
07. Passage

Steve Douglas: woodwinds
Marcos Antonio Dias: vocals
Bobby Vega: bass
Batucaje (Group): percussion
Hart: tars, beimbau, vocals, gamelan, the beast, percussion
Shabda Kahn: tar
Daniel Kennedy: tar
Mica Katz: tar
Khadija Mastah: tar
Ray Patch: tar
Habib Bishop: tar
Brian Crittenden: tar
Flora Purim: vocals, percussion
Airto Moreira: percussion
Jody Diamond: gamelan
Jose Lorenzo: percussion

Produced by Mickey Hart and Airto Moreira

Recorded October 24, 1982 and March 21, 1983 at the Japan Center Theatre, San Francisco.

"The Reference Recordings versions are the only authentic representations of this music.
The later Rykodisc versions were improperly mastered, RR used a customised, non-standard tape recorder so the masters can only be played back correctly on the RR tape machine which Rykodisc did not have access to."

The above is verbatim from a letter from J Tamblyn Henderson, president of Reference Recordings, to The Absolute Sound magazine Issue 59 May/June 1989.
So caveat emptor on the Rykodisc releases.

Däfos is a musical ethnography of an imaginary country created by Mickey Hart and Airto Moreira. The album was recorded live in San Francisco as a celebration of percussion music with the help of Jose Lorenzo and his Brazilian percussion group Batucaje. Originally released in 1983 and later reissued as part of “THE WORLD” series (now part of the Mickey Hart Collection made available by Smithsonian Folkways), the album was produced without the use of overdubs. The songs lead listeners on a journey across deserts and icecaps, through the fictional geography and mythology of Däfos, and features traditional Brazilian, Indonesian and African instruments, woodwinds and electric bass guitar.

When it was originally released on lp it was an audiophile recording played at 45 rpm. In other words, it was short. The cd has a long bonus live track that is somewhat long. Most of the album is very quiet prompting you to turn up your stereo. Be careful, the volume does increase. This is a wonderful "soundscapes" album with many great songs and the sound is superb. It was recorded at the Japan Center Theater in San Francisco without an audience and it really does capture the sound of the room well. This is probably not the kind of album that you're going to listen to alot, but when you do you'll really enjoy it.

I have the original LP which is from Reference Recordings at 45 rpm, done by Dr. Johnson, of course. He achieves great reality in the recording with a truly deep and wide sound-field. This makes the experience of the recording much more like "being there" with the performers. I agree with one other reviewer that this is not music you will listen to with great regularity, but when you want to know what can be done with a good recording and how it can (and SHOULD) sound, this is one of the recordings you'll turn to. This was recorded in analog with minimalist microphone numbers, but the attention to the recording equipment, etc, pays huge dividends. Most recordings done at high sampling rates in digital will not sound this good. Fortunately, this all translates into digital for this CD very nicely and does not appear to lose any appreciable ambience, etc. The added track not on the LP is "Psychopomp" and when pushed in volume will give you an idea of what your speakers will do for you. Fun fun recording.

Flora Purim - 1979 - Carry On

Flora Purim 
Carry On

01. Sarara 4:04
02. From The Lonely Afternoon 3:23
03. Niura Is Coming Back 2:53
04. Once I Ran Away 3:37
05. Carry On 5:14
06. Love Lock 3:30
07. Corine 4:51
08. Island In The Sun Interlude 1:28
09. Beijo Partido (Broken Kiss) 4:37
10. Freeway Jam 4:34

Flora Purim: vocals, finger snaps, lyrics, arranger
George Duke: Rhodes, synthesizer, writer, lyrics, arranger, producer
Airto: tambourine, triangle, drums, shaker, cowbell, cuica, wood block, bell tree, percussion, lyrics
Joe Farrell: soprano saxophone, flute
Greg Phillinganes: synthesizer, melodica
David Myles: guitar, electric guitar
Byron Miller: bass
Ricky Lawson: drums
Raul de Souza: trombone
Bobby Lyle: synthesizer, piano
Keith Jones: bass
Mike Sembello: acoustic guitar, guitar, writer, arranger
Leon "Ndugu" Chancler: drums, hi-hat
Larry Williams: alto saxophone, flute, piccolo
William Reichenbach: trombone
Laudir de Oliveira: congas
Sheila Escovedo: timbales, finger snaps, wood block
Fred Fleck: talking drum
Al Jarreau: vocals
Josie James: backing vocals
Lynn Davis: backing vocals
Mike Azevedo: congas
Hugo Fattoruso: Rhodes, synthesizer
Jerry Hey: trumpet
Ronnie Foster: synthesizer
David Amaro: guitar

This album is a George Duke production. George Duke was one of Flora Purim's comrade-in-arms from her debut record, but it must have been this experience in particular which inspired the man to record his own A Brazilian Love Affair some months later. Again, he assembled the creme de la creme of Californian studio musicians: Ronnie Foster, Greg Phillinganes, Mike Sembello, Sheila Escovedo, Joe Farrell from NYC, Larry Williams, Leon "Ndugu" Chancler, etc. and his regular band.

Carry On, a Disco track, has some nice improvisations from Flora and Al Jarreau. I also still like the pensive Once I Ran Away, Sarara written by Gilberto Gil and especially the Toninho Horta song, Beijo Partido (Broken Kiss) both sung in Portuguese.

Carry On was Flora Purim's final record in the seventies. When one recalls her 70s output, it was kind of erratic, but it's fair to conclude that she contributed some of the most adventurous vocal Jazz of that decade.

In 1979, jazz was no longer George Duke's primary focus; his albums were emphasizing soul/funk, and many of the R&B fans who knew him for late '70s hits, like "Dukey Stick," "I Want You for Myself," and "Reach for It," knew little or nothing about his work with Cannonball Adderley, Billy Cobham, or Jean-Luc Ponty. But Duke was still producing some jazz albums here and there, although they weren't necessarily straight ahead. Even though Flora Purim's Carry On, which Duke produced, is primarily a Brazilian jazz album, it isn't for jazz purists -- rather, Purim provides an eclectic blend of jazz, samba, R&B/funk, rock, and pop. Purim has many inspired moments on this LP and is joined by members of Duke's late '70s band -- bassist Byron Miller, drummers Ricky Lawson and Leon "Ndugu" Chancler, percussionist Sheila Escovedo (who became Sheila E after joining forces with Prince in 1984), keyboardist Bobby Lyle, trumpeter Jerry Hey, and saxman Joe Farrell. In addition to excelling on Duke's funky title song, Gilberto Gil's "Sarara," and Toninho Horta's "Beijo Partido," Purim really lets loose on Milton Nascimento's "From the Lonely Afternoon." Those who associate "From the Lonely Afternoon" with Wayne Shorter's superb Native Dancer album will find Purim's interpretation to be faster and more intense.

Flora Purim - 1978 - That's What She Said

Flora Purim
That's What She Said

01. Look Into His Eyes 4:32
02. Juicy 4:31
03. Hidden Within' 5:08
04. You On My Mind 3:30
05. What Can I Say? 5:03
06. Love's The Way I Feel Bout' Cha 4:44
07. That's What She Said 3:52
08. You Are My Heart 4:06

Drums – Leon Ndugu Chancler
Electric Bass – Alphonso Johnson (tracks: 2, 4, 6 to 8), Byron Miller (tracks: 1, 3, 5)
Electric Piano [Rhodes] – George Duke
Electric Piano [Yamaha Electric Grand Piano] – George Duke (tracks: 3, 5)
Flute – Ernie Watts (tracks: 5, 8)
Guitar – Jay Graydon (tracks: 2, 5)
Guitar, Soloist – David T. Walker (tracks: 3)
Percussion, Bongos, Congas, Soloist – Airto* (tracks: 8)
Synthesizer [ARP Odyssey], Soloist – Hugo Fatuoroso (tracks: 8)
Synthesizer [ARP String Ensemble] – George Duke (tracks: 6, 7)
Synthesizer [Moog], Soloist – George Duke (tracks: 1)
Tenor Saxophone – Joe Henderson (tracks: 5)
Tenor Saxophone, Soloist – Joe Henderson (tracks: 8)
Trombone – George Bohanon (tracks: 5, 8)
Trumpet – Oscar Brashear (tracks: 5, 8)
Vocals – Flora Purim

Recorded and remixed [...] at Paramount Recording Studios, Holywood; mostly in 1976 (mixed 1977).

Comparatively to other Flora Purim recordings from the 2nd half of the ‘70’s, this is the most stripped down in terms of arrangements, with no strings arrangements and only a couple of tracks with a 4tet of horns; but if the man power is reduced it’s not less effective, Flora having picked some of her favorite collaborators and having asked them to contribute with their own compositions, the final result being a fiery demonstration of her unique take on vocals - or use of the voice as a full fledged instrument -, on a Fusion register infected with Funky and Latin grooves; lyrics are thus rare and she soars above the irreprehensible top-notch instrumental backing with her trademark vocalizations of cries, whispers, whining and a basket full of rhythmical or ambient tricks, often double or multi tracked, at times soaked in delays or reverbs or with the occasional help of husband Airto Moreira on vocal harmonies.

George Duke composed half the repertoire and was responsible for all the arrangements, his Funky touch permeating the set list as do the colorings provided by his keyboards arsenal, from inflamed moog solos (“Look into His Eyes”), to Funky Rhodes comping (“Juicy”) or ARP string ensemble sheets of sound (“That’s What She Said”), and he who often shaped his or others output into easy listening or even Muzak offerings did excel and created a fine body of work this time, in spite of Orrin Keepnews glossy production and its stylization and leveling effect which hampered the blossoming of a little more and welcomed aural diversity,

Bass players Byron Miller and Alphonso Johnson propel the grooves by turns with their respective distinctive styles, the latter also responsible for the writing of “Love’s the Way I feel ‘bout Cha”, which coincidentally, or maybe not, evokes memories of Weather Report spacious/ethnic moods, and drummer Leon "Ndugu" Chancler drives the beat engine with his punchy colorful approach, besides  being responsible for the writing of the rhythmically tumultuous “Hidden Within” and the Latinized “You are My Heart”, the latter enriched with a tasteful Arp Odyssey synth solo by Hugo Fattoruso.

Guitarists Jay Graydon and David T. Walker brought in their expertise and Funky chops on some tracks (though modestly used and somewhat drowned by the smoothing production), Airto besides contributing with all the rich percussive backing, lent his own “Flora on My Mind (rechristened  “You On My Mind” for the occasion and in the process losing some of the appeal it originally had on his Identity album from a couple of years earlier), and Joe Henderson contributes a short but blazing solo on “What Can I Say?” one of two tracks where the horns arrangements inject extra fuel on the infectious cadenzas.

Flora Purim - 1978 - Everyday Everynight

Flora Purim
Everyday Everynight

01. Everyday, Everynight 4:55
02. Samba Michel 4:08
03. The Hope 3:39
04. Five-Four 3:32
05. Walking Away 4:55
06. I  Just Don´t Know 3:56
07. In Brasil 3:50
08. Lss Olas 4:23
09. Blues Ballad 1:54
10. Overture 2:56
11. Why I´m Alone 4:39

Acoustic Guitar – Oscar Neves (tracks: A2, B2)
Bass – Alphonso Johnson (tracks: A1), Byron Miller (tracks: A2, B2), Jaco Pastorius (tracks: A3, A4, B3, B4)
Drums – Airto Moreira (tracks: B3, B5), Chester Thompson (tracks: A2, B2), Harvey Mason
Electric Piano – George Duke (tracks: A2, B2), Herbie Hancock (tracks: B3, B6), Michel Colombier
Guitar – Al Ciner (tracks: B2), George Sopuch (tracks: B2), Jay Graydon (tracks: A2), Lee Ritenour
Percussion – Airto Moreira, Laudir de Oliveira
Piano – David Foster (tracks: A4), Herbie Hancock (tracks: B3, B4), Michel Colombier (tracks: A3)Saxophone – David Sanborn (tracks: A1, A3, B4, B6), Michael Brecker (tracks: A1, A5)
Synthesizer – Michael Boddicker, Michel Colombier
Trombone – Raul De Souza (tracks: A1, A2)
Trumpet – Randy Brecker (tracks: A1, A5)
Vocals – Flora Purim, George Duke (tracks: B1)

Everyday, Everynight had escaped my record collection for unknown reasons. I always loved this album. Likely I lent it to someone who never bothered to return it. I made sure I found another copy.

Upon listening to it again for the first time after more than twenty years, the memories, the nostalgia and the music brought tears to my eyes. And how was this album slandered by the Jazz press! Jazz? Of course, it's not Jazz. So what! Flora is from Brazil, and though this album was produced at high costs by Michel Colombier and clearly to chart in the US, the album is still very much a Brazilian affair. The sparkling all-star lineup - just to name the stars - Michael and Randy Brecker, Oscar Castro-Neves, Raul DeSouza, George Duke, Jon Faddis, David Foster, Jay Graydon, Lani Hall, Herbie Hancock, Alphonso Johnson, Harvey Mason, Byron Miller, Airto Moreira, Jaco Pastorius, Lee Ritenour, David Sanborn, Chester Thompson, Marcos Valle, and The London Symphony Orchestra Strings - and they do get a chance to contribute.

Samba Michel, an exuberant Samba, and the dark Blues Ballad are the only two songs Flora sings in her native Portuguese. There's a mix of fast and slow tracks that keeps the level high throughout. Blues Ballad and the closing song Why I'm Alone are quite melancholy, they fuse the American Blues with the Brazilian Saudade.

On this project, singer Flora Purim is backed by a large string orchestra and a countless number of top studio and jazz players, playing arrangements by Michel Colombier. Although some of the musicians are quite notable (including Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, David Sanborn, Oscar Neves, Jaco Pastorius and even Herbie Hancock), the overall music is generally forgettable. Most of the playing sounds planned in advance, and not much spontaneity occurs, certainly not from the London Symphony Orchestra. Purim's voice is fine, but none of the 11 songs (eight by Colombier) were destined to catch on.

Flora Purim - 1977 - Nothing Will Be As It Was... Tomorow

Flora Purim
Nothing Will Be As It Was... Tomorow

01. You Love Me Only 5:36
02. Nothing Will Be As It Was Nada Sera Como Antes 5:02
03. I 'm Coming For Your Love 6:22
04. Angels 3:35
05. Corre Niña 6:30
06. Bridges 5:16
07. Fairy Tale Song 4:06
08. Angels (Reprise) 1:25

Bass – Byron Miller (tracks: A1 to B1, B3 to B5)
Brass – George Bohanon, Oscar Brashear
Drums, Tom Tom [Roto Toms] – Ndugu (Leon Chancler) (tracks: A1 to B1, B3 to B5)
Handclaps – Dennis Moody, Eryke McClint
on, Gregory Walker
Harp – Dorothy Ashby
Reeds – Ernie Watts, Fred Jackson

Recorded and mixed at Paramount Recording Studios.
Mastered at Kendun Recorders.

I mean, just look at all the musicians involved here... in 1977 these were the most admired and in-demand jazz/rock musicians around, and many of them are STILL top draw, even after almost 30 years!  Names like George Duke (who is all OVER this album), Byron Miller (bass), Jay Graydon (guitar), Raul de Souza (trombone), Ernie Watts (horns), Leon "Ndugu" Chancler, and of course her husband and lifelong best friend Airto Moriera.

Granted, by 1977 jazz fusion was in the waning years of its greatest popularity, but that didn't stop Flora from assembling an all-star cast and recording the album of her life.  I like just about everything she does-- her music is timeless and filled with emotion, and the way she combines her Brazilian heritage with rock and jazz is sublime.  In the very early years (1970 with Chick Corea's Return to Forever and her early 70s solo albums), Flora used her voice as much as an instrument to create experimental sounds and effects as she did for singing straight lyrical parts.  She and Ursula Dudek (wife of Polish violinist extraordinaire Michal Urbaniak) seem to have the corner on the market of female jazz vocalists who dared to defy sound/style categorization.  Maricia Platon, who sang on Zao's first album Z=7L, is another one who used her voice like an electronic keyboard, scatting, doo-wooping, eeeeoooowwwwwing, etc when there was room for improv.  These ladies were bold!

The track "Angels" even turned out to be an FM "hit" in '77, cuz I remember hearing it on FM radio back then (although it wasn't as big as Fleetwood Mac, but then who was?).  This album is packed with badass jazz/rock jamming too, because NONE of these guest artists end up short-changed during their appearances, especially Duke, who quite possibly presents his most manic and possed synth flurries and keyboard textures on ANY of the recordings he's been a part of (which is ALOT).

There are your lovely ballad-type love songs (Bridges), your get on your feet and DANCE funk tunes (Fairy Tale Friend), dreamy cosmic jazz fusion chill tunes (You Love Me Only), and your full-flight leaving-the-galaxy-NOW jamming fusion blasters in the title track (sub-titled "Nada Sera Como Antes"... Brazilian anyone?).  Yep, this baby has it all, and up till just recently it was only available on CD in Japan for some ridiculous price I could have my car painted with.  But I'm lucky to have friends who DIDN'T get rid of all their vinyl when the CD craze first hit back in the 80s... I'm such a dummy! (Isn't "dummy" a nice word?  I could have said shit-head, but why be harsh just because everyone else is?)

So, for those of you who love hardcore jazz fusion with a little Brazilian spice and lotsa badass funk with your love-stuff, this is the album to get.  Angels alone will have you humming the tune for days!

This is Purim's first album for Warner Bros. after spending 1973-1976 with Milestone. While Purim's last dates with Milestone began to reflect a more commercial jazz sound, the style came to fruition by the time of this 1977 album. Drummer Leon "Ndugu" Chancler is listed as producer, and George Duke is also here, under his alias of Dawili Gonga. Given that fact, this effort sounds like a Duke production job, and like one of his late-'70s classic albums. Patrice Rushen's meditative "You Love Me Only" strikes the delicate balance between Purim's singular phrasing and persona and more streamlined production values. Earth Wind and Fire members Al McKay and Phillip Bailey contribute "Angels," and it has the sound of period EWF juxtaposed to Purim's patented and sensual wordless vocalizations. Although the artist adapts to each style, Nothing Will Be As It Was...Tommorow also has her covering the work of Brazilian artist Milton Nascimento, who co-wrote the title. Nascimento's whimsical "Fairy Tale Friend" gets a funkier treatment, as the song's lyrics lose nothing in translation. The album's most poignant track from Nascimento, "Bridges," has a doleful arrangement and a gentle vocal from Purim. Although this effort seemed to get lost in the shuffle, it is well worth seeking out, especially for lovers of late-'70s jazz fusion.

Flora Purim - 1977 - Encounter

Flora Purim

01. Windows 5:32
02. Latinas 3:42
03. Uri (The Wind) 8:05
04. Dedicated To Bruce 4:32
05. Above The Rainbow 3:24
06. Tomara (I Wish) 4:00
07. Encounter 7:13
08. Black Narcissus 6:34

Bass – Alphonso Johnson (tracks: B4), Byron Miller (tracks: A1), Ron Carter
Drums – Airto Moreira, Leon Ndugu Chancler (tracks: A1)
Electric Piano – George Duke (tracks: A4), Hermeto Pascoal
Percussion – Airto Moreira
Piano – George Duke, McCoy Tyner (tracks: B1, B2)
Saxophone – Joe Henderson (tracks: A1, B4)
Synthesizer – George Duke (tracks: B3), Hugo Fattoruso (tracks: A2)
Trombone – Raul De Souza (tracks: A2)
Vocals – Flora Purim, Googie Coppola (tracks: B3), Hermeto Pascoal (tracks: A2), Urszula Dudziak (tracks: B3)Notes

Recorded April 1974 To February 1977.

This was one of Flora Purim's finest all-around jazz recordings, and it is luckily available on CD. Purim is featured in a variety of challenging and stimulating settings: on two numbers ("Above the Rainbow" and "Tomara") with pianist McCoy Tyner; teamed up with tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson on Chick Corea's "Windows" and "Black Narcissus"; and utilizing such players as bass trombonist Raul DeSouza, keyboardists Hermeto Pascoal and George Duke, and singer Urszula Dudziak (who is heard on "Encounter") plus Flora's husband, percussionist Airto. The music is primarily group originals and finds Flora Purim in peak form. Highly recommended.

Encounters opens with Windows, a Chick Corea composition. The band is so great with George Duke on keyboards, Joe Henderson on tenor sax, Airto on percussion and Ndugu on drums. Flora glides above with her exquisite vocalizations and wordless textures. Hermeto Pascoal joins Flora on many of these selections adding keyboards, though I miss his bamboo flute and other talents on this album. Dedicated to Bruce is an excellent collaboration between Pascoal and Purim with some fine trombone soloing by Raul De Souza. There is a fantastic scat section in the middle where Flora showcases her incredible vocal range and dexterity. McCoy Tyner plays acoustic piano on Above The Rainbow and Ron Carter plays upright bass on a few tracks as well. Black Narcissus, a Joe Henderson composition is a very nice duo of vocal and sax. Its a tight collection of musicians, performing great compositions, while being recorded flawlessly.

This is truly one of those records that I had forgotten just how great it really is. Rather than being progressive jazz for the sake of soloing, this seems to be a bit more true to the songs.

The cover is an almost madonna-like (not that Madonna) photo of Flora looking very peaceful and content. Statuesque. Acrobatic like an olympic athlete preparing to fly.

In the mid-1970s, Flora Purim became the Queen of Fusion Jazz. She, along with Urszula Dudziak, were the major jazz vocalists to embrace new sounds and ways of thinking. Flora's albums "Open Your Eyes You Can Fly" and "That's What She Said" showed that creative vocals had a place within the mostly instrumental genre of fusion. Recorded and released between those two fusion masterpieces in 1976, however, is "Encounter", which was a very mellow, very jazzy album that isn't going to excite too many fusion-heads.

Despite that, the quality of this album is undeniable, and represents a big leap from her earlier straight-jazz leanings on 1973's "Butterfly Dreams." All of the pieces on offer are well-played, well thought-out, and beautifully sung. The roster of musicians includes first-rate guys like Joe Henderson and McCoy Tyner, as well as dueling vocals with Urszula Dudziak and Googie Coppola on the title track. In fact, the two pieces featuring Tyner (including a duet) are some of the most unusual work that either McCoy or Flora have done. And Henderson's solos are just as lush and wonderful as always--did that guy have tone, or what?

The highlight of the album, for me, is a version of Henderson's "Black Narcissus" that I rate considerably higher than the original version on Joe's "Power to the People" album. Flora's take on "Black Narcissus" puts so much into what is already a wonderful composition. Joe himself even puts in a good solo. You should buy the album for this track alone.

I find this to be a great chill-out album when I need to decompress. It doesn't get the blood pumping, but it adds something worthwhile to my life, and what more could one ask?

Flora Purim - 1976 - Open Your Eyes You Can Fly

Flora Purim
Open Your Eyes You Can Fly

01. Open Your Eyes You Can Fly 4:29
02. Time's Lie 5:09
03. Sometime Ago 4:44
04. San Francisco River 4:06
05. Andei (I Walked) 6:11
06. Ina's Song (Trip To Bahia) / Transition 4:14
07. Conversation 2:34
08. White Wing / Black Wing 5:49

Acoustic Guitar – David Amaro (tracks: A2, B4), Egberto Gismonti (tracks: A4, B4)
Bass [Electric] – Alphonso Johnson (tracks: A1 to B2, B4)
Berimbau – Roberto Silva (tracks: B1, B4)
Congas – Laudir de Oliveira (tracks: A3, B2)
Double Bass [Acoustic Bass] – Alphonso Johnson (tracks: A2, B3), Ron Carter (tracks: A4, B4)
Drums – Leon Ndugu Chancler (tracks: A1 to A3), Roberto Silva* (tracks: A4, B1, B2)
Electric Piano – George Duke (tracks: A1 to A3), Hermeto Pascoal (tracks: A4 to B4)
Flute – Hermeto Pascoal (tracks: A2 to B1, B4)
Guitar [Electric] – David Amaro (tracks: A1, A3 to B3)
Percussion – Airto Moreira, Roberto Silva* (tracks: B2, B4)
Synthesizer [Arp String Ensemble, Arp Odyssey, Moog] – George Duke (tracks: A2 to B3)

Brazilian vocalist Flora Purim became famous after her participation on one of the best ever recorded fusion albums - Chick Corea's Return To Forever. After one more release with Corea she left for concentrating more on solo career.

Flora's album, from very early and till some recorded in 90s, all contain music which is more or less related with Latin/fusion atmosphere of first RTF works. "open Your Eyes..."contains three RTF/Corea's covers plus five Flora's or/and Hermeto Pascoal originals, recorded in similar key.

Comparing with previous Purim solo albums' music, one can find more energetic, more rhythmic and more accessible songs here. Rooted deeply in her trademark Latin/fusion mixture, this album's music is obviously more oriented on possible commercial success. As a result, it looses in part dreamy spiritual atmosphere which was so significant success' component of Flora's earlier works, but from other hand whole music is lighter and more optimistic.

As an original member of Chick Corea's group Return to Forever, Purim subsequently drew praise as a solo act. Recording for the jazz label Milestone since 1973, Purim's sensual and strong voice was singular enough to withstand the pitfalls that hampered the work of many Latin jazz fusion artists. Open Your Eyes You Can Fly represents a commercial breakthrough, and has the artist again supplemented by adventurous players and top-notch songwriting. The best of the three Chick Corea tracks is the title song. With it's emotive and stinging guitar solo from David Amaro, it features Purim at her most accessible and charming. The remake of "Sometime Ago" has one of Corea's more accessible melodies, as Purim turns in one of her more sweet and fulfilling vocals. The melodic and soothing "San Francisco River" has the artist writing solely with frequent Corea collaborator Neville Potter on the evocative track. Despite the great work here, Open Your Eyes You Can Fly, lacks consistency. But with the great talents assembled and great voice, it's easy to overlook that fact. Hermeto Pascoal's "Andei (I Walked)" has a great synthesizer solo from George Duke and a flute solo from Pascoal. "Ina's Song (Trip to Bahia)" features Purim singing in Portuguese, starting off slow but then enlivened by her passion filled vocalizations. Produced by jazz producer Orrin Keepnews, this features the artist more lucid and joyful than some of her other work. For the reason it is recommended.

Flora Purim - 1974 - 500 Miles High

Flora Purim
500 Miles High

01. O Cantador 5:22
02. Bridge 1:45
03. 500 Miles High 5:42
04. Cravo E Canela (Cinnamon And Cloves) 6:59
05. Baia 4:33
06. Uri (The Wind) 6:22
07. Jive Talk 9:59

Bass – Ron Carter
Drums, Percussion, Berimbau – Roberto Silva
Drums, Percussion, Vocals – Airto Moreira
Electric Piano, Organ – Pat Rebillot, Wagner Tiso
Guitar, Acoustic Guitar – David Amaro
Vocals, Percussion – Flora Purim

Recorded at Montreux Jazz Festival, July 6, 1974.
Cover report:" Special thanks is due to Festival director Claude Nobs.
The opening announcement is by French disc jockey Pierre Lattes."

Recorded when she was at the peak of popularity, a result of her stint with Chick Corea's Return to Forever, 500 Miles High presents Flora Purim in concert at the 1974 Montreux Jazz Festival. Accompanied by an all-star band including guitarist David Amaro, flutist Herbie Mann, keyboardist Pat Rebillot, bass legend Ron Carter, and husband (and star in his own right) Airto Moreira on drums, vocals, and various percussion, the Brazilian songstress delivers a fiery performance that must have been a joy to behold. Strictly speaking, this is really more of a band album than a Flora Purim album, as Airto and the guys are featured for extended instrumental romps. However, when Purim is in the spotlight, her vocal magic lifts the proceedings to a high level. The trademark "500 Miles High" is wilder and more electric than in its Return to Forever studio version. Special guest Milton Nascimento leads the ensemble through his "Cravo e Canela" (Cinnamon and Cloves), a joyously percussive highlight of the show. Elsewhere, Airto joins his wife for a vocal give-and-take while the band cooks along underneath. The lengthy set closer, "Jive Talk," is really more a showcase for him than for his wife, but when it kicks into high gear, it provides a scorching climax highlighted by the twosome's wordless vocals. Although a fine document of her live show, 500 Miles High is probably not the best place to go for an introduction to the vocal artistry of Flora Purim. Stories to Tell and Butterfly Dreams would serve this purpose better, as would Corea's Light as a Feather. Nonetheless, it's an enjoyably eclectic and exciting outing.

Dreamy Rhodes arpeggios and Airto chimes, introduce Flora’s silky voice “O Cantador”, over Ron Carter sparse double bass notes; tension slowly mounts with stronger chords and cymbals;
A drum roll and Flora’s vocalizations introduce a furious rhythm, swinging bass and jazzy chaotic Rhodes chords which are a “Bridge” to the lovely guitar line opening “500 Miles High”; a Corea tune is given a bossa jazz treatment; 1st Flora vocalizations then David Amaro’s slightly distorted Gibson solo take you HIGH ! The mood calms down with Ron’s soloing over DA jazzy progressions; the band resumes in up-tempo mode ending in a great climax!
Next song has a special guest, Milton! Two of Brazil’s most interesting singers/musicians together “Cravo e Canela”, driven by Milton acoustic playing over the band in full bossa-jazz mode; RC jams with Airto Moreira,1st on shaking percussions then on berimbau…when the 2 singers take the tune back, Airto joins on vocals and over a driving instrumental the song ends.
“Baia” opens side 2, with a heart melting electric guitar line over a rich rhythm arrangement and Flora’s heavenly vocals; AM takes the drum stool and together with Roberto Silva do a climaxing percussion ending.
RC deep bass introduces “The Wind” in Flora’s voice, as you feel yourself walking on the beach on a cloudy moon lit night; Airto tribal chants , over free flowing keyboards (Pat Rebillot and Wagner Tirso) and percussions; sweet Rhodes and organ lines later make the perfect background for Flora’s melodic ending;
“Jive” opens, again with a berimbau that should have left Montreux fascinated, a traditional inspired Hermeto Pascoal tune; you feel yourself sailing up the Amazon river, straight into the middle of an Indian village ceremony…then in a old Portuguese founded Brazilian town…Airto vocalizations then introduce DA guitar riff and amazing soloing over an up-tempo jazz-rock Latin tinged shuffle…later cut by Airto’s vocal and percussion showmanship …but resumed, until the climaxing end of this fascinating album

Flora Purim - 1974 - Stories To Tell

Flora Purim
Stories To Tell

01. Stories To Tell 3:41
02. Search For Peace 5:53
03. Casa Forte 3:55
04. Insensatez 2:46
05. Mountain Train 3:14
06. To Say Goodbye 4:03
07. Silver Sword 5:40
08. Vera Cruz 4:12
09. O Cantador / I Just Want To Be Here 6:45

Acoustic Guitar – Oscar Neves (tracks: A4, A5, B3)
Bass – Ron Carter (tracks: A2, A3, B3)
Congas – King Errisson
Drums, Percussion – Airto
Guitar – Earl Klugh (tracks: A1 to B1, B3, B4)
Keyboards, Synthesizer – George Duke
Trombone – Raul De Souza (tracks: A3, B1, B3)

Though her recordings for Chick Corea's Return to Forever provide a better introduction to her vocal talents, Stories to Tell is an excellent outing by Flora Purim and friends. Assisted by a cast of jazz/fusion all-stars led by husband Airto Moreira, Purim shows off the wide range of her abilities: from wordless vocal soaring to songs with lyrics in English and Portuguese, from uptempo percussion-driven workouts to beautiful ballads. In addition to Airto, the assembled cast includes bassists Miroslav Vitous and Ron Carter, keyboard wunderkind George Duke, guitarists Earl Klugh and Oscar Castro-Neves, and trombonist Raul de Souza. Also, Carlos Santana turns in one of his patented sizzling guitar solos on "Silver Sword." With material from Antonio Carlos Jobim, Vitous, Milton Nascimento, McCoy Tyner, and Purim herself, this is an album worth savoring.

Released in 1974, Flora’s second Milestone set “Stories To Tell” was a bona fide classic. This time the group is based around the core of Duke, Moreira, guitarist Earl Klugh and conga player King Errisson, with Miroslav Vitous, Carlos Santana, Raul De Souza, Oscar Neves and others all playing important bit parts.

The opening title track is built on an incredibly funky groove over which Purim glides around the intricately beautiful melody improvising phrases lifted from songs written for Return To Forever. Cuts such as this and ‘Silver Sword’ with its fantastic guitar solo from Santana seem to define the funky fusion side of her musical vision. Her vocalisation of McCoy Tyner’s ‘Search For Peace’ shows an artist who can really sing jazz. The Brazilian songs on the album are fantastic, arranged in a fresh way that takes them apart from the original versions. ‘Vera Cruz’ has a distinctive arrangement that lifts the parts where the tempo is taken down, while Jobim’s ‘Insensatez’ is a million miles from the soft bossa standard it had become in the 1960s. The final track is a medley of the classic ‘O Cantador’ with ‘I Just Want To Be Here’, a number developed by the musicians in the studio that reflects how at ease they felt creating the music on this album. “Stories To Tell” cemented Flora’s reputation as one of the key vocalists of the era and she continued recording for Milestone throughout the 1970s, building up a body of work that continues to stand the test of time.

Flora Purim - 1973 - Butterfly Dreams

Flora Purim -
Butterfly Dreams

01. Dr Jive (Part 1) 2:15
02. Butterfly Dreams 7:03
03. Dindi 3:37
04. Summer Night 5:59
05. Love Reborn 3:42
06. Moon Dreams 5:03
07. Dr Jive (Part 2) 3:44
08. Light As A Feather 5:57

Acoustic & Electric Bass – Stanley Clarke
Acoustic & Electric Guitar – David Amaro
Clavinet, Piano, Electric Piano – George Duke
Drums, Percussion  – Airto Moreira
Flute, Tenor Sax – Joe Henderson
Vocals – Flora Purim
Zither – Ernie Hood

For those who know Flora, an introduction is unnecessary. Her music has interwoven the life fabric of anyone with a passing interest in Latin and American jazz music for almost 50 years.

Her once-in-a-generation six-octave voice has earned her two Grammy nominations for Best Female Jazz Performance and Downbeat magazines Best Female Singer accolade on four occasions. Her musical partners have included Gil Evans, Stan Getz, Chick Corea, Dizzy Gillespie and Airto Moreira, with whom she has collaborated on over 30 albums since moving with him from her native Rio to New York in 1967.

Her musical genius was inbred thanks to a Russian émigré father who played violin and a mother who was a talented pianist in her own right. Before leaving Brazil to escape the repressive military regime of the time, she had mastered piano and guitar and liberated an exhilarating vocal talent.

In New York, she and Airto became central to the period of musical expression and creativity, which produced the first commercially successful Electric Jazz groups of the 70s.

Blue Note artist Duke Pearson was the first American musician to invite Flora to sing alongside him on stage and on record. She then toured with Gil Evans about whom she says, this guy has changed my life. He gave us a lot of support to do the craziest stuff. This was the beginning for me. Her reputation as an outstanding performer gained her work with Chick Corea and Stan Getz as part of the New Jazz movement that also contained the nurturing influence of sax man Cannonball Adderley.

Shortly after, Flora started in earnest to re-educate discriminating musical minds, after linking up with Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke and Joe Farrell to form "Return To Forever" in late 1971.

Two classic albums resulted - "Return to Forever" and "Light as a Feather" - nodal points in the development of fusion jazz. When Chick decided to drive further still down the electric road, Flora and Airto chose their own path. Airto by this time had already begun to create his own legend by playing with Miles Davis in 1970, before helping to found the jazz wellspring that was "Weather Report".

Her first solo album in the US, Butterfly Dreams was released in 1973, which put her right away to the Top Five Jazz Singers on the Downbeat Magazine Fame Jazz Poll.

Flora went on to contribute to some of the greatest recording of the seventies - Carlos Santana, Hermeto Pascoal, Gil Evans, Chick Corea and Mickey Hart all benefiting from her vocal and arranging skills. In the mid-Eighties, Flora and Airto resumed their musical partnership to record two albums for Concord - "Humble People" and "The Magicians" for which she received Grammy nominations. In 1992 she went one better by singing on two Grammy winning albums - "Planet Drum" with Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart (Best World Music Album) and the Dizzy Gillespie "United Nations Orchestra" (Best Jazz Album).

The launch of the highly combustive Latin jazz band Fourth World in 1991 with Airto, new guitar hero Jose Neto and keyboards and reeds supreme Gary Meek, marked a new era in Flora's career. The band signed to new UK-based jazz label B&W Music - and Flora consciously set out to win over the next wave of listeners.

Gigs at the Forum and collaborations with leading UK DJ/producers Gilles Peterson and Patrick Forge led to Flora and Airto as guests on several influential contemporary recordings, including the James Taylor Quartets "Supernatural Feeling" and Urban Species "Listen". Gilles subsequently spent time in the studio remixing "Now Go Ahead and Open Your Eyes" with help of hot new producer Tyrrell and London session drummer and producer Andrew Missingham.

Flora's 1995 world tour started in traditional style with a month a Soho's Ronnie Scott's Club with a new band that includes Gary Brown on bass, Helio Alves on keyboards and regular Fourth World rhythm and psychedelic guitar player Jose Neto, along with Puerto Rico master of congas Giovanni Hidalgo and, of course, Airto, joined Flora to take her new album "Speed of Light" on the road.

Recorded across two continents and featuring some of the top names in contemporary jazz such as Billy Cobham, Freddie Ravel, George Duke, David Zeiher, Walfredo Reyes, Alphonso Johnson, Changuito, Freddie Santiago and Giovanni Hidalgo, the album demonstrates emphatically that Flora is ready to shape the sound of the nineties. With important writing and performing contributions from Chill Factor and Flora's daughter Diana Booker. "Speed of Light" makes the connection between her experimental beginnings with Chick Corea and Gil Evans and the new "head" music being produced by jazz players out of the London and New York "Trip Hop" scenes.

Whilst this is certainly music for the head, it is the heart that responds to Flora's extraordinary voice. Open your ears and you will fly.

In 2002, with two new releases by Narada Records, the jazzy "Perpetual Emotion" and the world music "Flora Sings Milton Nascimento", once again Flora takes the listeners to the edge of their imagination.

In September of 2002, Brazil's President Fernando Henrique Cardoso named Flora Purim and Airto Moreira to the "Order of Rio Branco", one of Brazil's highest honors. The Order of Rio Branco was created in 1963 to formally recognize Brazilian and foreign individuals who have significantly contributed to the promotion of Brazil's international relations. The order is named after Barão do Rio Branco, Brazil's Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1902 to 1912, famous for his role in negotiating the national borders of Brazil and referred as the "Father of Brazil's Diplomacy".

The album "Speak No Evil" was released in January of 2003. This is Flora's third album with Narada Records. After listening to the album, George Duke had this to say: "Flora is one of those rare talents that truly understand how to phrase lyrics and melody". Then he said, "she can swing - and she can sing!"

Flora's new album entitled "Flora's Song" was released by Narada Record on June 28th, 2005. "Brazilian Jazz at it's best with colors and rhythms of world music. Rhythms of my soul mixed with the sounds of my heart communicating with words that express the times, trials and tribulations of the world right now as I perceive it."

This is the album that launched Flora Purim's solo career with great promise following her magnificent stint with Chick Corea's first incarnation of Return to Forever. Most of the tracks on this album sound like they would have fit very nicely onto one of Return To Forever's first two LPs, with bandmate Stanley Clarke not only lending support on electric and acoustic bass, but also contributing original compositions and arrangements to the mix. The rest of the supporting cast is not too shabby either, including sax and flute man Joe Henderson, keyboard whiz kid George Duke, guitarist David Amaro, and Purim's other half, percussion legend Airto Moreira. Clarke's funky "Dr. Jive" and lyrical "Butterfly Dreams" are standout tracks here, as is the upbeat Egberto Gismonti composition "Moon Dreams." Duke shows his light Brazilian side on "Love Reborn," featuring Henderson's tenor sax solo and Amaro's lovely acoustic guitar. Purim delivers a gorgeous take on Jobim's well-known ballad "Dindi," and reshapes the standard "Summer Night" into a wordless vocal in her unmistakable style. The disc closes with a fine reworking of Clarke's now-classic "Light as a Feather," which strays not too far from the original Return To Forever version. Neatly capturing Flora Purim's many vocal strengths, Butterfly Dreams delivered on the great expectations generated by her work with Corea and turned out to be a high point in her recording career.

Airto & Deodato - 1974 - In Concert

Airto & Deodato
In Concert

01. Do It Again 6:29
02. Spirit Of Summer 5:33
03. Parana 6:50
04. Tropea 8:50
05. Branches (O Galho Da Roseira) 7:14
Bonus Tracks
06. Baubles, Bangles And Beads (From The B'way Musical, Kismet) 7:05
07. Skyscrapers 11:34

Baritone Saxophone – Joe Temperley (tracks: 1, 2, 4)
Congas – Rubens Bassini (tracks: 1, 2, 4)
Drums – Rick Marotta (tracks: 1, 2, 4)
Electric Bass – John Giulino (tracks: 1, 2, 4)
Guitar – David Amaro (tracks: 3, 5), John Tropea (tracks: 1, 2, 4)
Keyboards – Eumir Deodato (tracks: 1, 2, 4)
Percussion – Gilmore Degap (tracks: 1, 2, 4)
Percussion, Vocals – Airto Moreira (tracks: 3, 5)
Piano – Hugo Fattorusso (tracks: 3, 5)
Trombone – Garnett Brown (tracks: 1, 2, 4)
Trumpet – Burt Collins (tracks: 1, 2, 4), Joe Shepley (tracks: 1, 2, 4)
Vocals – Flora Purim (tracks: 3, 5)

Special thanks: Jeff Jones, Tim Fraser-Harding, Seth Rothstein; Betsy Krouner; Tony Drootin, Bryan McKenna, Peter Cho, Sony Music Studios; Douglas Payne; Arnaldo de Souteiro.

Recorded live at the Felt Forum of the Madison Square Garden, New York City, April 20, 1973.
Track 1, 2, 4: overdubbed later at Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

In April 1973, after having scored the monster hit and million-selling single "Also Sprach Zarathustra" (2001), Deodato recorded his second album for CTI. Despite its excellence, "Deodato 2" did not achieve the commercial success of Prelude. This ruined the relations between Creed Taylor and Deodato, and led to the artist’s departure from CTI to sign with MCA in late 1973. Creed never got over the loss.

In trying to capitalize on his former protege’s success, and possibly get additional mileage from his forthcoming MCA debut, Creed went back to the tapes of a concert Deodato and the CTI All Stars had given at the Felt Forum of Madison Square Garden in New York. To his surprise (and delight!), he found that the tunes performed at the concert included two that also were on the MCA release, the one posteriously chosen as the title track, “Whirlwinds”, and another intended as the first single, “Do It Again.”

Creed also selected another tune performed at the concert, “Spirit of Summer,” added two selections played by percussionist Airto Moreira (who had opened for Deodato at the Felt Forum), and rush-released "Deodato/Airto In Concert," which strongly diminished the impact of Deodato’s first album for MCA. In so doing, Creed also helped promote Airto, simply by not mentioning on the album cover that the two artists had played separately at the concert.

For 15 years, all the other tracks recorded at the Felt Forum remained unreleased until "Deodato In Concert - Live At Felt Forum," was released on CD in 1988 with the complete concert.

But, to add some extra confusion on the market, Sony decided to reissue "Deodato/Airto In Concert" in 2003, as the album appeared on vinyl, BUT adding 2 more tracks from Deodato's performance, with new remixes.

In July 2017, the Holland-based label Music On CD reissued in Europe the 2003 CD. The original vinyl (3 tracks by Deodato + 2 tracks by Airto plus 2 bonus tracks by Deodato)...What a mess!

Anyway, the musical content is great. The highly energetic repertoire performed that night included tunes which originally appeared on the "Prelude" album, and others that the arranger was still preparing to record for "Deodato 2."

Deodato's band was singularly skilled, the lineup consisting of John Tropea on guitar, John Giulino on bass, Rick Marotta on drums, Rubens Bassini and Gilmore Degap on congas/percussion, Burt Collins and Joe Shepley on trumpets, Garnett Brown on trombone and Joe Temperley on baritone sax.

A master on grooves, Deodato displays his dexterity to make the horn section swing along over funky, strong rhythms. In fact, it is interesting to note that the horn riffs on “Baubles, Bangles And Beads” are more reminiscent of R&B recordings than of jazz dates.

As a keyboardist, Deodato is equally capable of intense, very personal statements. Not only does he perform notable solos on “Do It Again” (an irresistible version of Steely Dan’s hit) and “Spirit of Summer” (a Deodato original in a haunting arrangement full of luminous orchestral textures, in which his keyboard work reveals a provocative harmonic imagination, with an exemplary use of dissonant chords).

Creed Taylor originally had no title for “Whirlwinds”, since that tune was untitled at the time of the Felt Forum concert, but because it showcased John Tropea’s powerful approach he called it “Tropea” (in a review of Deodato 2, DownBeat called Tropea “a master of pithy guitar…the most forthright new guitarist since Mahavishnu John McLaughlin”). The other musician featured on “Whirlwinds” is Brazilian Rubens Bassini, an incredibly underrated percussionist who worked with Deodato from 1973 to 1979, before joining Dave Grusin with whom he played up until his death in 1985.

After performing the best conga solo I have ever heard on a contemporary jazz recording, Bassini returns to the front line for a fiery interplay with Degap and Marotta on the frenetic “Skyscraper”, which also includes an exciting Garnett Brown solo, that had been shortned for the 1988 CD.

Airto's tracks are fabulous: "Paraná," featuring the composer Hugo Fattoruso whistling in unison during his Fender Rhodes solo, and "Branches," a duet between Airto and Flora Purim, who plays acoustic guitar and sings this gentle melody gifted with a folk quality. "Branches" is credited to P. Divina (sic), a big mistake, since its composers are Hermeto Pascoal's parents, Pascoal José da Costa and Divina Eulália Oliveira.

Airto Moreira - 1977 - I'm Fine How Are You

Airto Moreira 
I'm Fine How Are You

01. I'm Fine. How Are You? 5:11
02. Meni Devol 5:11
03. La Tumbadora 3:39
04. The Happy People 3:48
05. The Road Is Hard (But We're Going To Make It) 5:32
06. La Cumbia De Anders 4:24
07. Celebration Suite 4:16
08. Nativity 6:44

Airto Moreira : percussion, backing vocals
Flora Purim : vocals, backing vocals
Hugo Fattoruso : keyboards, backing vocals
Charles "Icarus" Johnson : guitar.
Byron Miller : bass
Abraham Laboriel : bass
Jaco Pastorius : bass
Oscar Castro-Neves : guitar
Laudir de Oliveira : percussion
Manolo Badrena : percussion
Raul de Souza : trombone
Ruben Rada : vocals
Tom Scott : saxophone, flute
Maria Fattoruso : background vocals.

Recorded at Paramount Studios, Hollywood, July/August 1977.

We are in the middle of the Fusion era. We find good old friends from Rio, like Oscar Castro-Neves on Guitar, Raul de Souza on Trombone, Manolo Badrena (Weather Report) on percussion, Hugo Fatturoso on keys and of course, Flora Purim (great, on The Road Is Hard); yet there are more American musicians here than before: Funk Fusion bass players Byron Miller and Abraham Laboriel, Charles (Icarus) Johnson, guitars and Tom Scott on reeds. Airto is fully assimilated; that, however, is not to say he's playing nonsense. It's just that you can hear the Californian influence much more than before, but Airto makes sure Brasil is with us on all the tracks. Although he is not explicitly listed on the record sleeve, it sounds as if George Duke was just around the corner during the production. The quality is generally high, with few downers (Meni Devol, La Cumbia de Andres) and some highlights: the title song, The Happy People, The Road Is Hard and Celebration Suite where you can learn about the Samba - and certainly dance to it.

Airto Moreira - 1976 - Promises of the Sun

Airto Moreira
Promises of the Sun

01. Batucada 4:42
02. Zuei 3:56
03. Promises Of The Sun 5:27
04. Candango 3:56
05. Circo Marimbondo 4:15
06. La De Casa 4:04
07. Ruas Do Recife 3:19
08. Georgiana 6:46

Airto: percussion, arranger, drums, flute, backing vocals, lead vocals, vocals
Flora Purim: vocals
Novelli:bass, acoustic guitar, electric piano, lead vocals
Toninho: electric guitar, 12 string guitar, bass
Hugo Fattoruso: keyboards
Milton Nascimen: lead vocals, acoustic guitar, writer
Raul de Souza: trombone

Recorded at Paramount Recording Studio, Los Angeles, 1976. Mastered at Kendun Studios, Burbank, California. Flora Purim appears courtesy of Warner Bros. Records,Inc.

The most high-profile percussionist of the 1970s and still among the most famous, Airto Moreira (often simply known by his first name) helped make percussion an essential part of many modern jazz groups; his tambourine solos can border on the amazing. Airto originally studied guitar and piano before becoming a percussionist. He played locally in Brazil, collected and studied over 120 different percussion instruments, and in 1968 moved to the U.S. with his wife, singer Flora Purim. Airto played with Miles Davis during part of 1969-1970, appearing on several records (most notably Live Evil). He worked withLee Morgan for a bit in 1971, was an original member of Weather Report, and in 1972 was part of Chick Corea's initial version of Return to Forever with Flora Purim; he and Corea also recorded the classic Captain Marvel with Stan Getz. By 1973, Airto was famous enough to have his own group, which was signed to CTI and appeared on Purim's sessions. Since then, he has stayed busy, mostly co-leading bands with his wife and recording as a leader for many labels, including Buddah, CTI, Arista, Warner Bros., Caroline, Rykodisc, In & Out, and B&W. Not all of his music as a leader would be called jazz, but Airto remains a very impressive player.

Airto Moreira - 1975 - Identity

Airto Moreira

01. The Magicians (Bruxos) 5:16
02. Tales From Home (Lendas) 5:15
03. Identity 2:09
04. Encounter (Encontro No Bar) 5:00
05. Wake Up Song (Baiao Do Acordar)/Café 7:25
06. Mãe Cambina 5:31
07. Flora On My Mind 6:10

Acoustic Guitar, Electric Piano, Piano, Flute – Egberto Gismonti
Bass – John Heard, John Williams, Louis Johnson
Drums – Airto, Roberto Da Silva
Guitar – David Amaro
Organ – Ted Lo
Percussion – Airto
Saxophone – Wayne Shorter
Synthesizer – Egberto Gismonti
Synthesizer [Arp Odyssey] – Herbie Hancock
Trombone – Raul De Souza
Vocals – Airto, Flora Purim

Recorded at The Record Plant, Los Angeles, Kendun Recorders, Los Angeles, Wally Heider Recording Studios, Los Angeles.
Mixed at West Lake Audio Studios, Los Angeles.

Anyone who hasn’t yet understood the vital role Airto played as one of the main architects of what gave a good name to early 70s Fusion as a movement that sought to enlarge horizons by incorporating as many elements of what makes music such an universal language as possible , how he contributed to transversely help hundreds of musicians rediscover the ancestral roots of what they played, and why everyone from  Miles to McLaughlin, to Santana, to Paul Simon, to Joni Mitchell to a horde of Blue Note Jazz-men, you name them, wanted to have his African or South-American jungle instincts coloring and assisting them in shaping and defining their sounds, should check the man’s identity card, of which this album is a comprehensive and fascinating synthesis.

This is also the fruit of a solid partnership and an undeniable artistic empathy with Egberto Gismonti who co-authors four out of the seven pieces and who is along with Airto a fundamental pillar in the making of this masterpiece, contributing with his dazzling multi-instrumentalist chops, switching from acoustic to electric piano to the ARP Odyssey the String ensemble and the Pro-soloist synthesizers to wooden flutes and to the acoustic guitar he’s best known for;

The album’s Magic spell starts being revealed right on from the initial spires, on the brisk hallucinatory ritual of “The Magicians” by the seemingly wildly strummed guitars and hammered piano , incantatory flute phrases , spiraling gut-string single note runs and slithery synth fill-ins atop a percussive frenzy and lead by Airto clamoring and warm vocals, or with beautiful unisons with Flora Purim throughout unpredictable changes and stellar organic arrangements as on the dramatic, syncopated and impassioned “Encounter”.

David Amaro injects his blistering electric guitar vocabulary against the Funky slapped bass of Louis Johnson (other bass players on the album are John Heard and John Williams) on the infectious sections of “Tales From Home”, after delicate percussions and scintillating Rhodes introduce a piece that uncannily contrasts the differences between Airto and Flora recitations of the same theme,  and then again against a bubbling bass on the closing “Flora on my Mind”, a moving paean to an often announced love that would fully materialize, a piece that counts with a fiery trombone solo by Raul de Souza and which, as on other occasions,  feeds on awesome working of the rhythms tensions, either with chopped off or suspended grooves that demand a resolution and create an on-the-edge feel rarely experienced elsewhere.

The title track is a percussions-only retour to the jungle with the support of Airto’s percussion’s department assistant Roberto (most probably Robertinho Silva), where as the only concession to outside writing is an homage to the great Hermeto Pascoal with a spiritual reading of his “Mãe Cambina” atop ethereal Rhodes arpeggios , ornamented by chirping birds emulations and a middle part when berimbau and double-bass briefly install a waving pulsation, before the initial fervent theme capable of bringing tears to one’s eyes resumes.

And then there’s the stirring and anthemic “Wake up Song”, with its Epic trombone launched arrangement, where producer Herbie Hancock contributes with a blistering synth solo, and which counts with a cameo appearance of Wayne Shorter whose soaring soprano lines respond to Airto calls and vocal pirouettes.

If I could only take a handful of Brazilian albums in that famed desert island, this one would surely be among them.

With some of Airto's usual suspects including Hugo Fatturuso on keyboards, David Amaro on guitar, the ever beautiful and magicical Flora Purim, and Raul de Soza on trombone settling in with American musicians like Herbie Hancock of course, John Heard and John Williams playing their asses off on bass, and even Louis Johnson from Brother's Johnson playin' slap .. think he might have been only 19 or 20 years old at the time .. topped off with the true musical genius of Egberto Gismonti on keyboards and guitar, these guys put together some truly powerful and moving music. Magic .. really. Not an overly long recording by total time, it nonetheless holds up to the test of time.

For me, there are passages that transcend superior musicians simply playing great. Like many of Hendrix's early recordings, for me, these songs have an undefinable magic that moves me as much as any music anytime anywhere.

As an extra note, check out Egberto's piano and guitar .. all I can say is wow! This guy is on another planet .. like Airto, like Hendrix .. beautiful powerful emotion with licks like none other. Hope you enjoy.

Airto Moreira - 1974 - Virgin Land

Airto Moreira
Virgin Land

01. Stanley's Tune 4:31
02. Musikana 7:03
03. Virgin Land 8:15
04. Peasant Dance 3:30
05. Lydian Riff 7:15
06. Hot Sand 5:30
07. I Don't Have To Do What I Don't Want To Do 3:16

"Peasant Dance", "Lydian Riff" and "I Don't Have To Do ..." recorded at Electric Lady Studios, February, 1974.
Stanley's Tune, Musikana, Virgin Land and Hot Sand recorded at Wally Heider Recording, February, 1974.

Bass – Alex Blake (tracks: B1, B2, B4), Stanley Clarke (tracks: A1, A2, A3, B3)
Bassoon – Jane Taylor (tracks: B2)
Clarinet – Eddie Daniels (tracks: B1, B2)
Guitar – David Amaro (tracks: A1, A2, A3), Gabriel DeLorme (tracks: B2, B3, B4)
Keyboards – Milcho Leviev (tracks: B1, B2)
Keyboards, Piano – George Duke (tracks: A1, A3, B3)
Oboe, Piccolo Flute – George Marge (tracks: B1, B2)
Piano [Acoustic], Mellotron – Kenny Ascher (tracks: B4)
Vocals, Drums, Percussion – Airto
Vocals, Effects [Vocal Special Effects] – Flora (tracks: A2, B1, B2, B3)

Apparently, Airto’s tenure with CTI didn’t last all that long, since 74’s Virgin Land album was released on the CTI-subsidiary Kudu-Salvation label, but this included a fairly different set of supporting guest musicians, with only wife Flora and bassist Stanley Clarke present from the CTI days. But other well-known guest include George Duke, David Amaro, and Billy Cobham behind the production desk in Hendrix’ old Electric Lady studios.

Opening on the ultra-funk of the Clarke-penned 100 MPH Stanley’s Tune, Virgin Land is off to a flying start, only to be confirmed with the DeLorme–written Musikana that seems to be written for (unannounced) didgeridoo. Closing the A-side is the Santana-inspired title track (just after a rather free-dissonant intro), where Airto’s bass vocals provide some cool sonic effects, and we’re crossing the desert on a Caravanserai trip.

On the flipside, there are four (relatively) shorter tracks, the first of which is a Klezmer-infected fast funk (almost disco) groove Peasant Dance from Milcho Leviev (on keyboards) with some clarinet to boot. The gentler slightly mid-eastern infected Lydian Riff follows, but the track s too long for its own good, despite some far-tripping light Egyptian ambiances. Things pick up with the upbeat Hot Sand, a funky Arp-synth-dominated (courtesy of Duke) piece, where Airto’s percussions and vocals are all over the place. The closing and rockier Don’t Have To Do sounds a bit like a Peter Frampton tune, with a vocoder-guitar coming alive throughout the track, sometimes underlined by a mellotron. Weird stuff.

A rather strange album, definitely more even than the schizophrenic Free album, Virgin Land can’t really be called JR/F, but it doesn’t fit the funk-soul-jazz mould either, but it’s probably Airto’s finer solo album discography moment.

A great little fusion set from Airto – recorded in a mode that's a great bridge between his acoustic roots and some of his smoother albums in years to come! The sound has some key electric elements here – bits of bass, guitar, and keyboards – but there's still a strongly acoustic sound overall too, one that leaves plenty of room for Airto's unique jams on percussion, plus a bit of vocals from the lovely Flora Purim. Airto's got some top-shelf talents helping him out here – Billy Cobham on production, and Stanley Clarke and Milcho Leviev on arrangements – and there's a nice sense of darkness going on that even separates the album from some of Airto's other mid 70s sides on CTI.

An all-star cast accompanies Brazilian percussion master Airto Moreira on this percolating collection of jazz fusion pieces. Produced by drummer extraordinaire Billy Cobham, the album locks into a steamy groove on Stanley Clarke's "Stanley's Tune" and never lets up. The Middle Eastern flavor of some of the melodies, Moreira and wife Flora Purim's unique vocalizations, and the use of unusual instrumentation on several cuts help make this recording a unique highlight of the electric fusion era. Standout soloists include Eddie Daniels on clarinet and guitarists David Amaro and Gabriel DeLorme, while bassist Clarke provides his usual stellar performance.

Airto Moreira - 1973 - Fingers

Airto Moreira

01. Fingers (El Rada) 4:30
02. Romance Of Death 5:35
03. Merry-Go-Round 2:40
04. Wind Chant 5:45
05. Parana 6:00
06. San Francisco River 4:05
07. Tombo In 7/4 6:20

Acoustic Guitar, Guitar [Electric], Guitar [12 String] – David Amaro
Bass, Vocals – Ringo Thielmann
Drums, Vocals – Jorge Fattoruso
Keyboards, Harmonica, Vocals – Hugo Fattoruso
Percussion, Drums, Vocals – Airto
Percussion, Vocals – Flora Purim

Airto Moreira is the outstanding percussionist of the era and brought the role into the foreground of the music, enlarging the customary battery of instruments with his influential approach. His array may include, for example: congas, bongos, talking drum, maracas, temple blocks, timbales, gong, vibraphone, djembe, whistles, conch shell, tabla, marimba, beat box and of course his vocal acrobatics (many of these feature here). Having played on some seminal jazz albums with Miles Davis, Chick Corea, Cannonball Adderley and Weather Report, he went on to make his own landmark release with Fingers. Here Airto combines his trademark mardi gras-style energy and excitement with a sublime set of songs. And bringing in the Uraguayan band Opa makes for a brilliant and organic ensemble with just over half an hour of distilled magic.
We begin with the compulsively danceable Fingers, with Airto's fevered chorus as the band rallies around in celebration - throughout these pieces Airto's percussive poly-rhythms and unique scat-chanting thrill. Merry-Go-Round has some carnival organ to carry the joyful tune as Hugo Fattoruso on keyboards brings some distinctive latin flavours to this record. Airto's wife Flora Purim contributes some sensual vocals on her beautiful and haunting San Francisco River, my favourite composition here - a moonstruck performance that floats by so elegantly with Flora's unique siren call. It all comes together on the last song, Tombo in 7/4, where an unusual tempo builds to a euphoric samba-rock finale. Fingers has it's own special atmosphere and I love this addictive album. The track sequencing makes for a unified recording aided by the engineering of the great Rudy Van Gelder.
This is one of the treasures of the CTI record label and perhaps the defining release for Airto Moreira. Essential!

Airto Moreira - 1972 - Free

Airto Moreira

01. Return To Forever 10:15
02. Flora's Song 8:30
03. Free 10:35
04. Lucky Southern 2:35
05. Creek (Arroio) 6:00

Double Bass – Ron Carter
Flute – Hubert Laws (tracks: A2 to B2)
Flute, Percussion – Airto
Piano – Keith Jarrett (tracks: A2, B2)
Soprano Saxophone – Joe Farrell (tracks: A1, A2, B2, B3)
Trombone – Garnett Brown (tracks: A1, A2), Joe Wallace (tracks: A1, A2), Wayne Andre (tracks: A1, A2)
Trumpet, Flugelhorn – Alan Rubin (tracks: A1, A2), Burt Collins (tracks: A1, A2), Mel Davis (tracks: A1, A2

Recorded at Van Gelder Studios, April,May 1972.

Free is an album by Brazilian jazz drummer and percussionist Airto Moreira (who was credited simply as "Airto") featuring performances recorded in 1972 and released on the CTI label. The album reached number 30 in the Billboard Jazz albums charts.

Other than a couple of obscure efforts for Buddah in 1970, this was percussionist Airto's debut as a leader, and this is still his most famous record. A brass section arranged by Don Sebesky is heard on two tracks, and such all-stars as keyboardist Chick Corea, flutist Hubert Laws, the reeds of Joe Farrell, and even pianist Keith Jarrett and guitarist George Benson make worthwhile appearances. Flora Purim joins Airto in the one vocal piece ("Free"), and "Return to Forever" receives an early recording. The music combines together jazz, Brazilian music, and aspects of fusion and funk quite successfully.

Airto Moreira's first album for Creed Taylor's nascent jazz-fusion label CTI contributed magnificently to Taylor's modus operandi--expanding the boundaries of jazz to include elements of indigenous cultures, rock, and even classical modes. FREE is Airto in full, unencumbered flight.

His version of Chick Corea's own genre-defining classic "Return to Forever" sets the listener adrift in a choppy sea of vocal atmospheres, crests of electric piano, and Airto's simmering squall lines of percussion. The title track conjures the Brazilian rainforest with a thick underbrush of rhythm, tribal howls, and chatter. Airto and his cohorts play a wonderful array of ceremonial woodblocks, wood flutes, and other natural Brazilian noisemakers. Accompanying the percussionist are such stellar figures as Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, Stanley Clarke, Ron Carter, and George Benson.

I have a lot of Airto's stuff, particularly the CTI and Arista recordings, but I never owned this one. Originally I thought "How different could this one be from the rest?", but one listening proved I was mistaken in that notion. Airto brings an all-star cast that includes his associates in the original Return to Forever (the album for ECM had just been recorded so this was captured at an amazing period for Airto's development) Chick Corea and the amazing Joe Farrell, as well as Keith Jarrett (a rare guest appearance for him) and the CTI stable of Ron "The Rock" Carter on bass, George Benson on guitar, Hubert Laws on flute and others. Airto plays ALL PERCUSSION heard, including drum kit -- something only rarely heard like on the original RTF ECM recording but something we should hear more of-- I saw Airto play standard kit in the 90s and his feel is amazing, particularly on the Brazilian-infused selections, of course (as a jazz drummer myself, I know a little bit about such things). There is lots of tasty flute on these cuts, giving an airy, light feel to the music. A great choice of material as well, better than the other CTIs of Airto because it really has an ensemble feel and the Sebesky arrangements lend a beautiful feel to the whole thing-- I hear a lot of the same approach on Jobim's masterwork from the same period "Stone Flower"... so, killer musicians + great tunes= one hell of an outing for the pioneering percussionist and grand master of all things struck with a stick. Salud Airto!  

Here is a jem of an album. Airto Moreira, or Airto, as he was known in the early days, was a fusion pioneer who participated in the most important projects, has recorded some superb albums under his own name. When you think Miles, Weather Report, Chick Corea - think Airto. This album is one of his very best, for its subtlety, depth of feeling and lush arrangements with flute, piano, guitar, electric piano, lots of percussion, voices as well. You get a superb rendition of Return To Forever, gorgeous Flora's Song, the wild, almost savage Free, the rest of the album some pretty elegant and hip Brazilian fusion with a variery of rythms. Dreamy, exotic music.

Having left Weather Report and now being a member of Return To Forever, Airto didn’t stop making his own solo album, and this one is contemporary of his RTF days, and just in case you didn’t catch it the first time around, he included the opening track to remind you of it. Actually, you’ll find the whole of RTF guesting at one point or another in the course of the album, even if wife Flora is the more discreet of the quintet. Among the better-known other guests are Jarrett, Carter, Laws, Benson and Berliner. As was the case with some fellow Brazilians (Deodato comes to mind), Airto found refuge on Creed Taylor’s CTI label, for better or worse.

Opening on the superb and epic Corea-penned RTF, the album promises to be a superb fusion album, the cover having more spunk than the original eponymous tune on the debut album as the whole group delves deeper in themselves. Well the ECM production might have also something to do with that as well. The following Flora’s self-penned Song has a definite Latin sound, partly due to Berliner’s near-flamenco guitar, but it develops into an enjoyable but gentler fusion piece, where Laws’ flute contrasts with Farrell’s winds and the brass section in the background providing great depth.

The flipside opens with another lengthy title track that opens rather free and dissonant, as if we were in the jungle at dawn either in Africa or in the Amazon and later develops in a lengthy African-raga-jam, but nothing dissonant. Definitely not my fave, but interesting enough if not played repetitively. The short Jarrett-penned Lucky Southern (featuring Keith himself) sticks out a bit from the rest of the album, but it’s more a production thing (loudness) than a non-Latin feel, which it has. The closing Creek is again gentle Brazilian bossa that is rather pleasant, but it fails to match the energy of the fusion of the A-side or the transe set in the title track.

Two bonus tracks have been tagged on the original album for the first CD reissue, the Jarrett-penned first So Tender being some kind of fast-paced little sister to the Lucky one, while the latter is more linked with the bossa of Creek. As is often the case with the CTI label, Free is relatively soft-sounding, but in this case, the music is not always safe semi-elevator jazz. Definitely worth the investigation for the first side, the flipside might have you pondering on the investment. A schizophrenic album.