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Album Review

Cry Babies: Cry Babies

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History hasn't left behind many traces of Cry Babies—its 1969 debut has until now been extraordinarily difficult (and expensive) to find on vinyl—other than these sounds. Most musician credits only list first names except for organ player Sérgio Carvalho and producer Durval Ferreira, whose career also includes work with Eurmir Deodato and Sergio Mendes. Saxophonist Oberdan Magalhães gets credit for the arrangements and for playing on them.

Cry Babies throws itself so quickly and passionately into "It's My Thing" (The Isley Brothers) that the musicians seem to forget what time it's written in, driving it hard and fast into punkish R&B, like an early version of The Who, instead allowing the rhythm to breathe into the original's swivel-hipped funk. The band likewise launches into "Kool And the Gang" so fast that you can barely hold onto the melody as it rockets past. These first two tunes radiate a gloriously rough and tumble, no-holds- barred 1960s spirit.

Led by the '60s classic Hammond B-3 organ sound but still featuring the horn arrangement, "Questions 67/68" simultaneously suggests the original version from Chicago's 1969 debut Chicago Transit Authority (Columbia) and a cover version by '60s Memphis soul legends Booker T. & the MGs. In the subsequent "Blás, Blás, Blás Soul," the bass line coaxes irresistible funk rhythms of New Orleans into this soulful B-3 sound, which opens into a round of instrumental solos where the trombone, trumpet, and guitar players wail their hearts out.

"Caminhos Diabólicos" reprises "Evil Ways" into three minutes of Latin boogaloo and funk, with the psychedelic guitar, drums and especially congas mixed up front so it sounds fuller, more Afro-Cuban and vibrant.

Cry Babies ends with the same lowdown and dangerous spirit in which it began, tearing through "Good Golly Miss Molly" as if trying to frantically scratch out a James Brown rhythmic itch. Ensemble horns singing the melody in waves part like the Red Sea to allow the trumpet and trombone soloists to burn through with soulful jazz fire.

Track Listing

It's My Thing; Kool And The Gang; Daydream; Hey, Blood; Questions 67/68; Blás, Blás, Blás Soul; More Today Than Yesterday; Caminhos Diabólicos; I'll Never Fall In Love Again; Midnight; Good Golly Miss Molly.

Personnel

Additional Instrumentation

Oberdan: arrangements, saxophone; Oswaldo: bass; Carioca: congas; Luíz Carlos: drums; Ovid: guitar; Sérgio Carvalho: organ; Moacir: piano; Serginho: trombone; Paulinho: trumpet; Aldo: vocals; Rosana: vocals.

Album information

Title: Cry Babies | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: Far Out Recordings

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