115

Sao Paulo Underground: Tres Cabecas Loucuras

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Sao Paulo Underground: Tres Cabecas Loucuras Três Cabeças Loucuras (Portuguese for "three crazy heads") is the third release from São Paulo Underground to explore the furthest fringes of Brazil's revolutionary Tropicalia movement. Updating the renowned genre's patented psychedelia with free improvisation, laptop-driven electronica and musique concrete, the album unveils a spectrum of kaleidoscopic sound that pushes the bounds of each style to its limits, creating a new, unclassifiable amalgam in the process.

The group was originally co-founded by Chicago-based cornetist Rob Mazurek (Chicago Underground Duo, Exploding Star Orchestra) and Brazilian multi-instrumentalist Mauricio Takara, whom Mazurek met while living in Brazil. They recorded their debut, Sauna: Um, Dois, Tres (Aesthetics, 2006), as a duo, eventually recruiting keyboardist Guilherme Granado and occasional drummer Richard Ribeiro for their sophomore release, The Principle of Intrusive Relationships (Aesthetics, 2008).

Expanding upon their previous endeavors, Três Cabeças Loucuras plumbs the limitless possibilities of the post digital age. A self-styled sound scientist and former student of the late trumpeter Bill Dixon's vanguard concepts, Mazurek's imaginative approach encompasses limitless sonic possibilities—all of which are entertained in this unrestrained environment. The group casually integrates computer generated loops and samples into its heavily amplified live performances, generating hypnotic electro-acoustic collages; despite the heavy processing, stereo-panning and studio manipulation, the lively rapport transcends mechanical limitations that often plague similar efforts. Takara, Granado and Ribeiro's mastery of traditional Brazilian forms like samba and maracatu lends stylistic authenticity to their excursions, providing a strong rhythmic and melodic basis for the quartet's freewheeling explorations.

The record's prevailing mood is one of celebratory innovation and bold experimentation. Blurring the line between electronic abstraction and acoustic formalism, "Carambola" is indicative of the ensemble's unfettered creativity; supported by understated percussion, the coruscating timbres of the cavaquinho (Brazilian guitar), reverb-laden brass and overdriven keyboards weave harmonious counterpoint into a new fusion of rural and urban tonalities. Underscored by an infectious polyrhythmic shuffle, "Jagoda's Dream" features some of Mazurek's most striking cornet work, while the celestial balladry of "Colibri" spotlights his mellifluous lyricism. Guest vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz and drummer John Herndon lend their estimable talents to the iridescent anthem "Just Lovin'" and the brooding "Six Six Eight," which also includes Matthew Lux on electric bass guitar. The latter number extends the post rock ambience of Herndon's primary band, Tortoise, into a roiling bitches' brew of polyphonic furor.

Brazil's Tropicalisimo movement has come a long way since the seminal efforts of Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil. Sired by the inspired verve of like-minded souls, Três Cabeças Loucuras is more than just a jazz-based extrapolation of a venerable form—it's a fascinating new hybrid.

Track Listing: Jagoda's Dream; Pigeon; Carambola; Colibri; Just Lovin'; Lado Leste; Six Six Eight; Rio Negro.

Personnel: Rob Mazurek: cornet electronics, voice; Mauricio Takara: cavaquinho, drums, percussion, electronics, voice; Guilherme Granado: keyboards, loops, samplers, percussion, voice; Richard Ribeiro: drums, voice; Kiko Dinucci: guitar, voice; Jason Adasiewicz: vibraphone (5, 7); John Herndon: drums (5, 7); Matthew Lux: bass guitar (7).

Title: Tres Cabecas Loucuras | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Cuneiform Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Day After Day CD/LP/Track Review Day After Day
by John Eyles
Published: July 21, 2017
Read We Know Not What We Do CD/LP/Track Review We Know Not What We Do
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 21, 2017
Read Slade Alive! CD/LP/Track Review Slade Alive!
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 21, 2017
Read Hope CD/LP/Track Review Hope
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 21, 2017
Read The Better Angels of Our Nature CD/LP/Track Review The Better Angels of Our Nature
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 20, 2017
Read What Brought You Here? CD/LP/Track Review What Brought You Here?
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 20, 2017
Read "Solstice" CD/LP/Track Review Solstice
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 27, 2016
Read "House Of Waters" CD/LP/Track Review House Of Waters
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 14, 2016
Read "@etude" CD/LP/Track Review @etude
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 17, 2017
Read "Tribute to Ndouga Dieng" CD/LP/Track Review Tribute to Ndouga Dieng
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 10, 2017
Read "The Chicago Plan" CD/LP/Track Review The Chicago Plan
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 16, 2017
Read "Songs Of Bacharach And Manzanero" CD/LP/Track Review Songs Of Bacharach And Manzanero
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 12, 2016

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!