Absolutely essential Brazilian jazz funk from Arthur Verocai. What was a rather deep cut at the beginning of this century has become an indispensable piece of music for fans of jazz, psychedelic funk and Brazilian music. Verocai's eponymous 1972 album has been seeing regular play in the office since we got this version in. Here's what Greg Caz had to say when this lost classic was first reissued back in 2005:
Arthur Verocai is a name which was previously known to only the most hardcore collectors of Brazilian albums. He's a guitarist-composer-producer-arranger whose tasty charts have graced albums by Jorge Ben, Ivan Lins, Celia (not Cruz!) and MPB-4 among many others, but this is the only album he ever released under his own name, an album that was a mere rumor to me until I actually saw it in Brazil a few years ago. Unfortunately, the guy who had it simply refused to sell it at any price, so the reissue is most welcome (ed's note: Greg was asking us every day for two weeks if it came in) as we all get a chance to hear this amazing album. It doesn't hit you viscerally, instead insinuating itself by stealth and finally winning you over with its timeless sound qualities. If you're a fan/student of the great lost art of arranging (as opposed to today's programming) you'll find a lot here to sink your teeth into. "Pelas Sombras" and the brilliant "Presente Grego" constitute the LP's funkiest moments, the latter sporting the kind of horn chart that was once standard sample fodder in hip hop. "Na Boca Do Sol" sounds like a Charles Stepney arrangement, as does most of the album, in fact. Check out the spaced folkiness of the album's first cut "Caboclo," one of multiple Stereolab-like moments here. The all-instrumental trippy jazz jam in 3/4, "Karina" must be heard to be believed, evoking everybody from Sun Ra to Mingus to Gil Evans. After several listens, the various reasons why this was worth reissuing become clear as day. Expand your horizons!" Released by Mr Bongo on black vinyl housed in a gatefold sleeve. Recommended.
- gatefold sleeve
- music label: Mr Bongo 2017
reviewed by Greg Caz 2005