Airto Moreira & Flora Purim - A Celebration: 60 Years - Sounds, Dreams & Other Stories / 3CD set

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A multi-disc retrospective showcasing Brazilian percussionist /composer/producer Airto Moreira and vocalist Flora Purim was long overdue, as they've profoundly influenced the world and jazz fusion scenes. They met in Rio in 1964 when Purim cut Flora e M.P.M. Purim then joined his Sambalanço and Sambrasa trios. After they married, Flora emigrated to New York in 1968 and began working immediately. He followed, working first with Cannonball Adderley, then Miles Davis, before the pair co-founded Return to Forever. He delivered 1970's, Natural Feelings and 1971's Seeds on the Ground, and Purim released Butterfly Dreams for Milestone. These recordings -- and most since -- feature both musicians. Here, 37 remastered tracks from 1965 to 1998, and either a 44 or 20-page booklet (depending on format) containing bios and stories from Paul Bradshaw alongside rare photos.

"Jeito Bom de Sofrer" from 1965's Flora e M.P.M. showcases her innovative approach to jazzy samba. "Papa Furado (Jive Talking)" is a delirious acoustic jam from Seeds on the Ground with Moreira's vocals and followed by the acoustic "Andei" from Natural Feelings. The glorious Afro-Cuban and Brazilian polyrhythms in "Back Streets of Havana" showcase the 1992 underrated masterpiece, The Other Side of This. "Flora's Song" from 1972's Free, is balanced by two excellent selections from Purim's Stories To Tell in '74 -- the Latinized samba of "Vera Cruz," and the furious, propulsive "Casa Forte."

Disc Two focuses on Purim, though Moreira plays a key role and is represented by two tracks. Highlights include her read of "Black Narcissus," the mysterious "Summer Night," and "Light as a Feather." "O Canto da Sereia" offers gloriously wrought modern Brazilian jazz, fueled by piano, fretless electric bass, and layers of drums and percussion as she sings into the azure above the arrangement.

Disc Three flips the script for Moreira with two selections from Purim. The burning "Hot Sand" is drawn from 1974's Virgin Lands. "Parana" from 1973's Fingers, balances choro, Americana, and folk sounds with the funky fusion pouring through futuristic samba and jazz, while "Toque de Cuica" joins samba, electric jazz-funk, and pop. 1989's frenetic, syncopated "Samba de Flora" is drawn from an album bearing the same title. Moreira's "Happy People," was the title track on Adderley's 1972 Brazilian album. The composer recorded this vocal version for 1977's I'm Fine How Are You? Purim delivers George Duke's swirling, funky "What Can I Say?" with passion and class. The pair meld klezmer, funk, jazz, and Hebrew ceremonial music in Milcho Leviev's "Peasant Dance," and "Dom-Um Good Friend," with its improvised percussion-and-effects orgy, is a fitting tribute to late master drummer Dom Um Romao (with whom Purim lived when she met Moreira) using traditional instruments.

The bounty of Airto & Flora 60 Years - Sounds, Dreams & Stories could only be improved by adding more discs with highlights from the last 23 years (there are many). As it is, it stands close to perfection. Thom Jurek ~ AllMusicGuide


SKU 196292699876
Barcode # 196292699876
Brand BBE - Barely Breaking Even Records

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