Tres Cabeças Loucuras

Tres Cabeças Loucuras

by São Paulo Underground


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Tres Cabeças Loucuras

For a musician so indelibly linked to the Chicago avant music scene, it perhaps seems odd that one of the best places to start investigating the work of cornetist Rob Mazurek is an album rooted in São Paulo, over 5,000 miles to the southeast of the Windy City. But indeed, São Paulo Underground's Tres Cabeças Loucuras, released by Cuneiform in 2011, is one of Mazurek's most engaging efforts, readily accessible to listeners of many persuasions with just the right amount of exploratory avant-gardisms to satisfy those with an adventurous streak. Mazurek lived in Brazil from 2000 to 2005 but São Paulo Underground, a duo pairing him with percussionist Mauricio Takara, didn't arrive on disc until 2006's Sauna: Um, Dois, Tres on the Aesthetics label. An avant take on tropicalia, this opening salvo put an intriguing spin on some of Mazurek's signature sounds, including the muted late-night electronica of Isotope 217 as well as his Chicago Underground groups, with tracks ranging from abstract sound collage to rhythmic grooving, sometimes with a loose jamming quality and murky sonics. Two years later keyboardist Guilherme Granado and drummer Richard Ribeiro transformed the duo into a quartet for The Principle of Intrusive Relationships, also released by Aesthetics, and the group's deep dubby modus operandi remained intact. With Tres Cabeças Loucuras, São Paulo Underground have emerged into the daylight. Admittedly, the group's first two albums were deeply immersive listening experiences, but Tres Cabeças Loucuras makes a much stronger tropicalia connection. The album is comparatively breezy, rhythmically infectious, and even tuneful, qualities that tropicalia possessed from the start and that stand out in bolder relief here than on São Paulo Underground's first two discs. That's not to suggest the band has abandoned its previous experimentalism, but rather has shaped it into something more appealing and concise: check the brief second track "Pigeon," where the group's ear-tweaking timbres -- with wild and squelchy electronics and Mazurek's echoed horn -- are employed in a tune suggesting Weather Report's most celebratory world fusion. At least at the start, album highlight "Carambola" wouldn't be out of place in a Latin dance mix. Takara strums away on a cavaquinho (Brazilian ukulele) as Mazurek kicks out a high-spirited melody line while Granado and Ribeiro drive the rhythm with a deep buzz and half-buried clatter -- it all collapses into blurty electronic free improvisation but the quartet pulls it back together for a buoyant unison finale. There's even a take on understated tropicalia-flavored vocals with "Colibri," and genuinely crystalline clarity enters the picture when Mazurek Chicago collaborator vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz opens (along with Tortoise drummer John Herndon) "Just Lovin'," a sonic street parade complete with tuned percussion loops, and solos in "Six Six Eight," a flat-out high-flying jazzer also featuring bassist Matthew Lux. The closing "Rio Negro," with a chorus of Mazureks, deeply bent and fractured electronics, and echoing stereo-panned drums, shows that São Paulo Underground still know when to dive back into darkness, keeping the breeziness in check.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/11/2011
Label: Cuneiform
UPC: 0045775032528
catalogNumber: 325
Rank: 287369

Album Credits

Performance Credits

São Paulo Underground   Primary Artist
Rob Mazurek   Cornet,Vocals,electronics,Group Member
John Herndon   Drums,Guest Appearance
Jason Adasiewicz   Vibes,Guest Appearance
Mauricio Takara   Percussion,Drums,Vocals,Cavaquinho,electronics,Group Member
Matthew Lux   Bass Guitar,Guest Appearance
Kiko Dinucci   Guitar,Vocals,Guest Appearance
Richard Ribeiro   Drums,Vocals,Group Member
Guilherme Granado   Percussion,Keyboards,Vocals,Group,Sampling,Loops

Technical Credits

Rob Mazurek   Composer
Damon Locks   Artwork
São Paulo Underground   Arranger
Mauricio Takara   Composer
Kiko Dinucci   Composer
Fernando Sanches   Engineer
Tiago Mesquita   Composer

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