Last fall British label Far Out launched a reissue program devoted to overlooked Brazilian imprint Quartin, giving listeners another chance to hear the stunning 1970 album Obnoxius by José Mauro. The short-lived label was the project of producer Roberto Quartin, who’d released some of the most sophisticated Brazilian pop and jazz of the late 60s on the Forma imprint before selling it to Polygram in 1969. It’s hard to tell exactly how many albums the Quartin label put out, since some were aborted and reissued later. In February, Far Out rereleased Toca Antonio Carlos Jobim by saxophonist Victor Assis Brasil, and additional reissues by Mauro and Brasil are on deck.
Last Friday, Far Out reissued Vocês Querem Mate?, the 1970 debut album by a largely unknown singer named Piry Reis, billed here as Piri. (He’d later work with guitarist Egberto Gismonti and percussionist Robertinho Silva, and in 1979 the international trio of Gismonti, bassist Charlie Haden, and saxophonist Jan Garbarek tackled his tune “Bailarina” on the album Magico.) Vocês Querem Mate? is another stunner, its exquisite harmonies and breezy melodies teetering gorgeously between jazz, psychedelia, samba, and what would soon be called MPB (musica popular Brasileira).
The most arresting elements in the album’s arrangements are the seductive polyrhythms of masterful drummer Wilson das Neves and percussionist Juquinha, but in a close second place are the dancing flutes of Danilo Caymmi (youngest son of legendary singer Dorival Caymmi) and Paulinho Jobim, whose spry lines dart gracefully through the grooves, providing much of the songs’ melodic content. Piri plays guitar and contributes mostly wordless singing, while Tita (wife of prolific bassist Edson Lobo) adds lovely harmony vocals. Today’s 12 O’Clock Track is the alternately driving and serene “O Som do Roberto.”
Ruby Braff With Dave McKenna, Complete Original Quartet/Quintet Sessions (Gambit)
Albatrosh, Mystery Orchestra With Grenager & Tafjord (Inner Ear)
Frederieke Saeijs, Eugène Ysaÿe: Six Sonatas for Solo Violin, Op. 27 (Linn)
Maja S.K. Ratkje/Eugeniusz Rudnik, Maja S.K. Ratkje in Dialogue With Eugeniusz Rudnik (Bolt)
Lord Kelvin, Dances in the Smoke (Jazzland)