Top positive review
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Not a moment too soon.
on 12 October 2012
At last, after years of wrangling with the estate of Tim Maia, Luaka Bop have finally been able to release this compilation. My hard-to-find promo copy (minus front cover) was issued in 2008, but the issue ran into licensing difficulties with Tim's heir, Marcelo. The resentment from the estate about David Byrne & Luaka Bop's attempts to release this album (see the comments in Racional Vol 3 of the Abril edition headed "gringo cara dura") appear to have been finally sorted out.
It's been worth the wait, however. Featuring tunes from Maia's classic 70s period, including tracks from the Racional phase, this is an excellent introduction to one of the giants of Brazilian Soul. This is great music in any language, with a line-up of fantastic players, including Paulinho Guittara, Oberdan Magalhaes, and the sadly under-appreciated Robson Jorge on keyboards. The Racional stuff is truly wonderful, and the other tracks are a well-chosen selection of his best work from the early to mid 70s. My only quibble is with the version of Do Leme ao Pontal, which appears to have been remixed to edit out the singalong chant "tomo guarana, suco de caju, goiabada para sobremesa" It's such a integral part of the song, I can't imagine why they did that.
The packaging echoes the format of the recently released Tim Maia box-set from Brazil's Edicoes Abril - a gatefold sleeve containing a booklet with lyrics and other information. Typos & mistakes apart, it's really well presented. I don't know if this CD is being released in jewel case format as well, but the cover of my gatefold version differs slightly from the image in the advert. Maybe there are going to be variations to tantalise the collectors. Count me in!
In an ideal world Tim Maia would have the recognition outside of Brazil that he truly deserves. He stands amongst the greats of Soul. Hopefully this compilation will open a few more minds to his crazy, glorious music.