During the heady days of the early seventies in Rio de Janeiro, with the Brazilian dictatorship in full-swing, creative musicians like Hyldon, Marcos Valle and the trio that made up Azymuth indiscriminately mixed influences from João Gilberto’s sauve samba to Stevie Wonder’s melodic funk to Herbie’s Headhunter fusion, helping to create a new sound that drew equally from North American soul and funk and South American samba, let’s call it Soul Brasileiro.
To hear Ivan “Mamão” Conti, drummer and founding member of Azymuth, talk about these times, the community of musicians in Rio de Janeiro was pretty small and promiscuous. If you were good enough, which Mamão and his friends Alex Malheiros (bass) and José Roberto Bertrami (keyboards) certainly were, producers would invite you to play sessions and then later that night you’d see the same people partying at a friend’s house. This is how Mamão met Hyldon, when their mutual friend Tim Maia brought Hyldon to Mamão’s place to listen to the latest Stevie Wonder album that he’d brought back from his trip to the U.S. Hyldon, who was a young producer at the time, instinctively called on Mamão, Alex and Bertrami to flesh out his own songs a couple years later for his breakout solo album Na Rua, Na Chuva, Na Fazenda. For the rest of the decade and the next three albums Hyldon always included this trio on his records because of their fluent facility with funk, samba and soul.
Marcos Valle met the trio when his producer suggested they play on a soundtrack album about Brazilian Formula 1 star, Emerson Fittipaldi and later they collaborated on Valle’s masterwork Previsão do Tempo. Independent of their work backing friends like Marcos Valle and Hyldon (among many others), on their own, the trio of Azymuth modernized the sound and style of Brazilian jazz with their electronic instruments, angular arrangements and ingenious synthesis of jazz, funk, rock and samba.For the first time in the U.S. Azymuth will back Marcos Valle and Hyldon, who has NEVER previously performed in the U.S. for a special night of Brazilian Samba Soul.