Monday, 23 February 2009

Azymuth - Butterfly

Far Out is a record label that I deeply respect. The knowledge, dedication and passion in which they operate, support artists and provide music is exemplary. Far Out have a great depth of respect, appreciation and knowledge of Latin and Brazilian music, and have supported many classic names in recent years such as Joyce, Marcos Valle and Azymuth among others. Far Out can be depended upon to release quality and nothing but quality. So, it's about time props were given and a nod made towards all concerned and in doing so put their latest release, “Butterfly” by the evergreen and highly talented Brazilian combo Azymuth. Well known for their vibrant 70s flavours such as “Tamborim, Cuíca, Ganzá, Berimbau” and “Manhã”, the guys come back for their EIGHTH Far Out recording and deliver yet another quality album. The album is one to knock you out. A heady mix of real instruments, tight rhythms and their trademarked vocals, nothing on here will disappoint.
The fact they have recorded one hell of a version of one of my favourite Herbie Hancock tunes, “Butterfly”, is beside the point! The drums are REAL, the guitar and flute at the forefront, and it has an atmosphere which envelopes you in aural cotton wool and the strings simply are the business. IF this was the only good track on here, I would have no hesitation in buying the album for this alone! Slap bass and quirky keys rule the waves of “Os Cara La” making is a perfect drivetime jam, and as for “Meu Dolce Amigo” - all I can say is WOW! The 70s are back! God, isn't the soul and jazz scene vibrant and buoyant again today?! “New Dawn” is simply beautiful, again the strings add a rich, velvety quality and the guitar and 70s keys are just what the doctor ordered! Excited as I was by this juncture, “Triagem” totally gripped me furthermore and helped really get me excited about this release. To which we add “Morning” and “Next Summer In Rio” for good measure. I hear albums like this and my heart swells, and to see that it is a British label championing this material is something I am doubly proud of.

Barry Towler