Azymuth Talk

Azymuth, Brasilian Jazz and Samba legends talk about their 40 year career as they celebrate this with a European and UK tour which ends in Liverpool on Saturday, 07 March, 2015 at District, Liverpool L1 0BW

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Date published: 7th Mar 2015

Adopting their name from one of the songs on the soundtrack, they put out the eponymous debut LP ?Azimüth? on Brazil?s Som Livre in 1975, fully exploring the new sound they had been working towards and creating a timeless classic in the process ? which, forty years on, is still drawing crowds across Europe as they take it on an anniversary tour. The album was unsurprisingly a hit in Brazil but it wasn?t until they were invited to play at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1977 that they saw the real potential for popularity outside the country.

Their follow up album ?Águia Não Come Mosca? (Eagles Don?t Eat Flies) was released through Atlantic Records that same year and the ensuing US tour firmly established them as a household name for rare groove aficionados worldwide. ?A lot of those DJs who know their big hits from the seventies and eighties see Azymuth as their favourite band? adds Davis ?it?s quite incredible.?

Releasing their next album ?Light As A Feather? through Milestone Records, the trio found a fruitful relationship with the label and by adding a heady dose of disco into the mix, their popularity skyrocketed internationally ? in 1980 ?Jazz Carnival? became the first Brazilian record to register in the UK charts. Their output for Milestone was prolific throughout the eighties; releasing more than ten albums over the decade.

However, after reaching their peak, the weight of each of their solo careers started to put a strain on the band, causing them to split in 1988. This was only to be temporary however, and as the lure of Azymuth started to prove too hard to resist, Far Out Recordings? Joe Davis came to Brazil and convinced them they needed to start making music together again, releasing their comeback album ?Carnival? in 1996.

Presenting the band in a way that appealed to younger audiences, Far Out fuelled Azymuth?s resurgence and a string of reworks and remixes from revered producers like Roni Size, 4hero, Ashley Beedle and Jazzanova did much to further cement the trio?s reputation on the modern stage.

Going from the visceral energy and wholehearted performance Sunday?s Band on the Wall gig saw, it looks like Azymuth will be plying their trade for as long as is physically possible. Before José Roberto Bertrami sadly passed away in 2012, he told Ivan and Alex that they must continue to spread the music, so lifelong fan Fernando Moraes stepped in on keys. Moraes has perfectly tapped into the band?s synergy and when all three of them are so clearly driven and energised by playing together it only makes sense to continue. ?Until god says stop; let?s go, let?s do it? Conti explains. ?If we can walk, we can play,? adds Malheiros.

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