MUSiC: Arthur Verocai Blows My Gaskets

I need this 50th Anniversary Edition!

Listening to music in my car today. Itself an unusual thing these days. As I mostly prefer silence. After some Gal Costa, I went back to my recently acquired Mr Bongo Arthur Verocai reissue.

It’s not so much the fancy vinyl I’m after…

I’ve know that I liked the album for some time. And since I got it on CD, fairly recently, that’s turned from like to love. Today it all just went to 11 and beyond. I completely adore this recording. And listening to it today? It was an epiphany.

… as it is these other goodies!

I was in such a blissed out emotional overload, that I had to pull over and just stop and listen for a spell. Isn’t it odd how sometimes music suddenly just hits the mainline? Connecting with the cortex, and electrifying everything.

Verocai at work in the studio.

Everything about this recording is just, frankly, more or less perfect. In that amazing musical Goldilocks Zone. Neither too little nor too much, just the right amount

And I love the chords, the melodies, the harmonies. The timbre of the various instruments. The horn and string arrangements. The qualities of the vocals. And the magic of the instrumentals.

Arthur directs the strings.

There are so many things in the mix: it’s unmistakably Brazilian, yet it’s full of jazz, blues, pop, rock, funk and soul. Even fusion! And there are numerous moments where I’m left thinking things like: but that’s a Purdie shuffle vibe; or that’s the rambunctious 6/8 feel of The Life Divine… But this is Brazil, in ‘72!? It’s before those other things…

An alternate shot akin to the album cover.

The music here is both heir to its forebears, very much of its time, and yet also ahead of the curve. It’s an incredibly rich and heady blend. It’s kind of astonishing to think that it sank without trace, more or less, at the time.

Set the controls for the heart of the soul.

But it’s heartening to see that in time it’s come to be appreciated for the masterpiece that it is. And that other folk find it as enchanting as I do really makes me very deeply happy. Maybe there’s some hope for humanity after all?

What!? There’s also a green vinyl version!?

It’s kind of freaky, and bizarre, how so much aligns for me, around and within this release. It’s not just the music; it’s the time, the place, the spirit of it all. It’s how he looks. How the record looks. And even more so how it sounds. And then that Mr Bongo’s re-release aesthetics should also chime so perfectly!? How? Why? Maybe zeitgeist, I suppose?

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