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Hermeto Pascoal: Planetario Da Gavea

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Hermeto Pascoal: Planetario Da Gavea
Planetario Da Gavea is an enormous, sprawling document from a February 1981 outdoor performance series by Brazilian jazz wizard Hermeto Pascoal recorded under the stars in the Gávea neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro, within the dome of the city's outdoor planetário (planetarium).

Ten pieces, most never recorded before and several never performed again, stretch across two hours of gloriously inspired, indulgent sound featuring the composer, instrumentalist, and sorcerer who Miles Davis once famously called "one of the most important musicians on the planet" and what became his legendary O Grupo: The leader on piano, baritone horn, tenor saxophone, flute and vocals, with second keyboardist Jovino Santos Neto, second reed player Carlos Malta, bassist and keyboardist Itiberê Zwarg (still in Pascoal's band), and percussionist Pernambuco 3ío with two drummers, Marcio Bahia and the acclaimed Ze Eduardo Nazario. Except for Nazário, who was already famous when this was recorded from his earlier work with Pascoal, Egberto Gismonti, and Milton Nascimento, all the other performers remained members of Pascoal's O Grupo for eleven years after these performances.

Pascoal blows a howl through a horn to call "Era Pra Ser e Não Foi" to order, then the ensemble bounds into their long and winding collective melody, extended and angular, definitely jazzy if not a jazz song. Zwarg's bass solo seems to tie and untie the rhythms and boundaries, tumbling into a syncopated round of drum explosions that eventually transition into "São Jorge / Ilza na Feijoada."

"São Jorge" opens this medley with a keyboard solo (or perhaps dueling keyboards) that somersaults between bright acoustic (piano) and electric sounds, tumbling further upward and outward into improvisational, Return to Forever or Chick Corea soundalike Brazilian jazz piano space. When bass and drums enter to kickoff "Ilza na Feijoada," the sound violently explodes, more like rock 'n' roll than anything else, and the ferocious dynamics between the horns and drums and keyboards keep erupting into a Brazilian jungle sound. These are the first recorded performances of "Era Pra Ser e Não Foi" and "Ilza na Feijoada."

The curtain draws closed with the dancing samba "Jegue." Even though in quicksilver 7/4 time, every horn, reed, keyboard, and drum seem to assemble and then move out in the same direction, as if caught up in the magic of Disney animation, painting the picture of these musicians dancing offstage under the cover of the flutist's colorful airy dance as the music slowly fades to black silence.

Planetario Da Gavea hurls a ball of confusing sound with long instrumental and vocal solo passages and even longer solos splattered over reeling and rocking two-chord vamps. It might have made a better concert film, so you could both see and hear this freewheeling performance, than only this soundtrack to it.

Track Listing

Disc One: Paz Amor e Esperança / Homônimo Sintróvio; Samba Do Belaqua; Vou Pra Lá e Pra Cá; Bombardino. Disc Two: Era Pra Ser e Não Foi; São Jorge / Ilza na Feijoada; Duo de Bateras; Duo de Bateras II; Ferragens; Jegue.

Personnel

Additional Instrumentation

Itiberê Zwarg: acoustic bass, electric bass, piano; Jovino Santos Neto: piano, electric piano, clavinet, harmonium.

Album information

Title: Planetario Da Gavea | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Far Out Recordings


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