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Tamba 4 "California Soul" LP coming for Black Friday

typecrazy789

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From reissue co-producer Zev Feldman's Facebook page:

IT'S TAMBA TIME for BLACK FRIDAY!

Back in 2015, my good friend DJ Greg Caz told me about this long-lost studio album by the legendary Brazilian jazz-bossa group TAMBA 4. I've known Greg for nearly 25 years, going back to the good old days when he was writing for High Times and working at Tower Records in Greenwich Village. Considering Greg is one of the most knowledgeable music guys I know and my being a big fan of Brazilian music, I was immediately struck with intrigue and wanted to track down this album that had been sitting in the vaults for the past 50 years. It seemed like a creative and fun opportunity to celebrate a period in the music from a bygone era, not to mention the fact that it was recorded by Rudy Van Gelder at his studio in New Jersey and was produced by the legendary Creed Taylor for A&M/CTI. With the help of our friend Harry Weinger we were able to uncover the tapes in the UMG vaults.

Once we had the tape, I knew I wanted a striking and evocative album cover that would have the same look and feel as those classic CTI covers of the 60's. My über-talented designer John Sellards extensively researched the archives of the iconic photographer Pete Turner, whose photographs have graced many a classic CTI album cover, to come up with just the right shot. Then invoking the spirit of the great art director Sam Antupit, we were able to re-imagine what the cover would have looked like back in 1969.

The music on the album features arrangements by the renowned arranger Johnny Pate, and kicks off with the title track "California Soul" penned by Motown legends Ashford & Simpson and made popular by the Fifth Dimension and Marlena Shaw.

I want to give my sincere thanks to Harry Weinger, Gene Zacharewicz and Paul Hall at Universal Music Enterprises and everyone at Elemental Music for putting this record out. Thanks to Michael Kurtz and Carrie Colliton at Record Store Day for their continued support too! Limited-edition of 1,500 180g LP copies, sound restoration and mastering by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio, LLC and pressed by Memphis Record Pressing. More info at
www.elemental-music.com

 

Rudy

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Paging @RichardWarner .

A shame it's going to be part of Record Store Day though. I am strongly against the money grab that occurs during these RSD sales, including the hype and false exclusivity claims. Hopefully there will still be some left a few months after the greed-rush happens, as the work by Kevin Gray on this title would be worth hearing. If there's a high-res digital version, I would get that instead, as I don't care to directly support RSD.
 

Bobberman

Well-Known Member
If they release it in digital form or CD I'm Totally in I have "We And the Sea" and I love it. I would love to hear this long lost sequel. We will see what happens
 

Rudy

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If they'd released it with that cover, Tamba 4 would have gone Top 20.
No doubt! :D I have to admit that is a Pete Turner photo I've never seen before.

If they release it in digital form or CD I'm Totally in I have "We And the Sea" and I love it. I would love to hear this long lost sequel. We will see what happens
We and The Sea is probably the best of their work as Tamba 4, as (despite what so-called experts are saying elsewhere), the album is partly recorded in mono elsewhere, with some muddy overdubbed guitar (probably at Van Gelder's), on the best tracks. It's easy to tell, since the muddy sounding tracks ("Moça Flor," "Iemanja," the title track and "Dolphin") are the typical sound they were getting at Van Gelder's for the rest of these CTi albums, and have none of the energy of the other three tracks (where the group actually sounds like itself)--these exact arrangements on the three remaining tracks were recorded elsewhere before Creed Taylor worked with the group. I am not as fond of Samba Blim as the CTi touch was too heavy--all the tracks are short and not exploratory like the previous album, or their work prior to Tamba 4. Their instrumental talents are pretty much subdued, in other words, and they sound more like a lounge act. Tamba Trio was not a covers band, yet that is what they were doing as Tamba 4 on Samba Blim. Listening to the Tamba Trio records is where you can really hear what these musicians were all about. Great music, and it was more influential in Brazil than we have been led to believe--they were a big part of the Bossa Nova movement but never really did much here in the US.

From the listing I saw, it is getting a release only on vinyl as part of the dysfunctional Record Store Day event. But, we'll see. Releasing this digitally costs the label very little. Maybe interest in the record will get them to release it digitally (if they haven't already planned it). I'll wait a few months--by then, there will be unsold copies and the remaining dealers with stock will have them priced where they should be. I've purchased a few former RSD titles under $18 that originally sold for $25-$30. Shows you how much price gouging goes on during RSD, and how gullible some vinyl buyers are for putting up with such a money grab.
 

Rudy

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Were the original analog master tapes for Tamba 4 destroyed in the 2008 Universal Music fire?
Nobody knows for sure what was lost. But since this was never released, chances are there were no backups for it, so this might actually be cut from the original tape. Only the title track was released to a 45 RPM record (and if I'm not mistaken, only as a promo).

I'm keeping an eye on a few indie record stores to see if I can score one of these outside Record Store Day. One of them says they will begin selling online the Sunday after Black Friday. We have a new little record store within walking distance--I could head over there and see if they even get new product in, or just sell used records. I have a few dozen to donate as well--I may give them what I have, just to give their business a boost.
 

Harry

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Track list:

A1California Soul
A2Travessia (Bridges)
A3Na Onda Do Berimbau
A4Light My Fire
A5Hey Girl
B1Você e Eu
B2Miss Balanço
B3Guitar By Moonlight (Viola Enluarada)
B4Value Of Love
B5Sambinha
B6Here, There & Everywhere
 

Harry

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I'd love to have a copy of this, but the closest record store is 30 or 40 miles away.
 

Rudy

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I've been meaning to see if the new little store a few blocks away from me would be able to get it. They're so small that I doubt they would order this title normally.
 

Rudy

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Networking is a plus! One of my pals found the last copy at a local RSD sale this morning and picked it up for me. I'll probably have it Sunday or next week some time, as we'll probably grab lunch during the week.
 

4mc

New Member
At least as far as per the OP there were only 1500 pressed.
Paging @RichardWarner .

A shame it's going to be part of Record Store Day though. I am strongly against the money grab that occurs during these RSD sales, including the hype and false exclusivity claims. Hopefully there will still be some left a few months after the greed-rush happens, as the work by Kevin Gray on this title would be worth hearing. If there's a high-res digital version, I would get that instead, as I don't care to directly support RSD.
I have a copy, I paid $26 from Barts Record Store in Boulder CO. I'll respectively disagree with you on albums like this as part of RSD. This was never going to be a big seller. In order to get it pressed and issued, pay royalties for the Turner photograph etc. there would have needed to be a market for it, otherwise it would have never happened. As per the OP, there were only 1500 copies pressed and I know where 4-copies are, and Barts sold their 3.

In general though I agree, many of the RSD releases are just repacking of existing tracks and not worth the money.
 

Harry

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My copy is currently in transit as I had to find an online source. Estimates are that it'll be here sometime Monday. After waiting for a lot of years, a few days won't make a difference.

I'd never really paid any attention to Tamba 4 until logging into the Corner here, and back then, finding WE AND THE SEA and/or TAMBA BLIM was problematic. The first thing I ever located was a 7" jukebox album of WE AND THE SEA.

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Next, I found, languishing in the record library at work, a mono copy of SAMBA BLIM with no cover.

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Then, the Japanese released WE AND THE SEA on CD and I was thrilled to finally hear the whole wonderful thing. Shortly thereafter, they also put out SAMBA BLIM on CD, and then Verve improved on the WE AND THE SEA disc.

Somewhere online, I found a stereo version of "California Soul", the single, but have never found "Berimbau", the b-side, so this album will be a welcome addition to my collection.
 

Bobberman

Well-Known Member
I see the Samba Blim album is availible for downloading on Amazon I better get that one soon its just a sad shame they can't issue California soul digitally but as they say " You can't have it all"
 

Rudy

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In general though I agree, many of the RSD releases are just repacking of existing tracks and not worth the money.
I think what bothers me most is that it was designed to be a day to celebrate our local record stores, and it has turned into a money grab for the record labels instead. Many friends of mine who collect vinyl fall into the hype, buy one or two dozen titles visiting a few different stores during RSD, and listen to them maybe once, not even all the way through. And for a band like Tamba 4, these specialty releases get buried among all the rock and jazz releases. My buddy across town picked one up for me, and I'll have it in my hands tomorrow. But there are plenty available on Discogs...
 

Rudy

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Got it at lunch today, and doing a needle drop for the car. Can't say it's all that good musically--it's more like a typical CTi album with the Tamba 4 group as guest vocalists on their own record. It's about as far removed from the Tamba Trio sound as possible. I think I might hear some of Luiz Eça's keyboard work on the keyboards (especially the Rhodes), but it has none of the fire that the first Tamba 4 album had on its best tracks, and any CTi artist could have filled in the lead "voice" (saxophone a la Stanley Turrentine, trumpet a la Freddie Hubbard...you get the point). The sound is excellent, the record is a nice pressing, but otherwise if you haven't heard this record, you're not missing much--there's a reason it was shelved. It's not bad, but it's achingly average. Pretty much a musical dud--beyond the vocals here, there is nothing left of what made Tamba 4/Tamba Trio unique, beyond the lead vocals (which are quite subdued).

I'll have a more official review next week. But this one won't get much play. I'd only recommend it for completists, or for those who want every last note ever recorded for CTi. This is no lost masterpiece.
 
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