🎷 AotW: CTi Tamba 4 - WE AND THE SEA (SP-3004)

All the A&M/CTi releases

How Would You Rate This Album?

  • ***** (Best)

    Votes: 13 86.7%
  • ****

    Votes: 1 6.7%
  • ***

    Votes: 1 6.7%
  • **

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • * (Worst)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Never Heard This Album

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    15

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
nightcat said:
Its great to see all the positive remarks for "We & The Sea". When this lp was released, it received a bad rating in Downbeat. The reviewer (who was dead wrong) said they should put shorter songs on their next lp. They actually did this on their next lp, Samba Blim and ended up with a very sterile and bland lp.

I agree there: Samba Blim was to me, typical CTi/A&M fare. Only "Berimbau" had their signature sound to it, IMHO. If you listen to earlier Tamba Trio recordings, you'll see how much closer Sea is than Blim. I still stick by my assertion that the best tunes on Sea were recorded earlier at a different studio, and had the guitar overdubbed later on at Van Gelder's. Those recoridngs are mostly mono except for the guitar, and are brighter. The others have the typical muddy CTi sound ("Moca Flor", "Iemanja", "We and The Sea" and "Dolphin").
 

Brasil_Nut

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
Samba Blim and Tamba 4 came to me while searching through an old record store many years ago. Call it part interest/part inpulse buy. To say I was pleased with what I heard is an understatement.

Easy-going, with a bit of classical thrown in, I was amazed at the sound coming out of this group. Matter of fact, after having updated my Lp colletction with CDs of both Samba Blim and We and The Sea. I happen to like them both, although We and The Sea had a bit more of a hard-edge to it, it's relaxing and takes you right to Brasil on a beautiful summer day.

That's my tak eon it -- easy-listening Brasilian Jazz has always been my forte. Just wish the engineering had been a bit clearer. Otherwise, both are quite enteraining (IMHO).

Jon
 

audiofile

Member
When I got this cd from the library, a couple of weeks ago, I was expecting to hear subtle bossa nova music. Needless to say, I couldn't of been more surprised when the first track came on.

The album is brilliant. 5 stars.
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
audiofile said:
The album is brilliant. 5 stars.
Oh, my -- I've played this recording three times since last night -- it IS brilliant!

Cap'n B -- Please excuse my nearsighted rating faux pas and kindly change that unfair 3-star entry to a deserved 5-star entry.

Thanks for bringing this one off the shelf!
 

seashorepiano

Active Member
VERY interesting sound, Richard. Thanks so much for sharing this clip. Wow. The potential here is amazing. What a tantalizing clip. I really want this 45 and the unreleased album. Unlike their previous A&M albums, Tamba 4 brings in an electric piano and backing horns. It sounds like they were blending the venerable sound of the quartet with a timely late '60s horn ensemble. I saw on a picture of the 45 record that Johnny Pate arranged "California Soul."

It's a real shame this album was not released. Was it because the sales for Samba Blim were that bad?

BTW, Richard, is your current avatar your own creation, or is that another heretofore unseen Pete Turner/Creed Taylor creation, never released?
 

seashorepiano

Active Member
Nightcat: I personally want to thank you for reinvigorating several threads here in the jazz forum. There are those of us here who have been waiting for a resurrection of inspirational threads about inspirational albums! Please continue to join us!

:agree:
 

Dave

Well-Known Member
An all-around great Brasilian group and 2nd-runner to the Sergio Mendes/Brasil '_ _ legacy...

Even with two LP's and a pair o' non-LP Singles, Tamba 4 are worth the same Cult Status/Recognition/Following...



Dave
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Rudy said:
I still stick by my assertion that the best tunes on Sea were recorded earlier at a different studio, and had the guitar overdubbed later on at Van Gelder's. Those recoridngs are mostly mono except for the guitar, and are brighter. The others have the typical muddy CTi sound ("Moca Flor", "Iemanja", "We and The Sea" and "Dolphin").

Since this album has been a discussion topic of late, I decided to give it a spin this morning on the way to work. The Verve CD has a lot better mastering on it than either that old 7" disc I have or the Japanese CD from a few years earlier. There's none of the inherent muddiness that seems typical of the Van Gelder recordings - at least everything sounded bright and clean to me in the car. The percussion in the extreme right channel on "Chant Of Ossanha" was so clean and clear that I thought it was stones being kicked up into the right side of my car!

Harry
 

nightcat

Member
Seashorepiano... Thanks for the welcome. The amount of attention this topic has received in the last few days in remarkable! "We And The Sea" deserves all the praise its getting. If the folks at Verve could see all this interest in the group, they might release the 3rd album.

Richard... Thanks for posting "Califoirnia Soul". Love the electric piano.
and Harry... thanks for sharing the info regarding the improved sound on the Verve release. I have the Japanese copy and could use an upgrade.
 

Captain Bacardi

Well-Known Member
Moderator
Thread Starter
I still remember the buzz I had when I first heard this album a few years ago after finding an LP copy at a record show. This is an example of great music that just didn't sell. It never charted at all, but critics still sing praises about it. I keep a CD copy in my car all the time just in case the mood hits me to hear it again. There's not a flaw on this album at all. Not even Creed Taylor could mess this up! :D I would consider this album one of the better ones ever released on A&M. It's just that good.



Capt. Bacardi
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
I agree--it's desert island material for me.

I do have a major bone to pick about the notes, though: a handful of the tracks were NOT recorded at Van Gelder's studios. You can tell easily enough: the tracks "Moca Flor", "Iemanja" and "Dolphin" have that typical muddy Van Gelder sound that curses all the other A&M/CTi albums, and the other four are very bright and in mono...EXCEPT FOR the muddy ovedubbed guitar that made these "Tamba 4" recordings vs. "Tamba Trio". In fact, if you listen to some earlier Tamba Trio records, you'll hear the same thing--many of their trio songs have the same sonic signature.

The follow-up Samba Blim is nice enough, but it's just average at best--typical muddy sound, typical three minute soundbites, etc. We And The Sea just runs circles around it musically, and even technically: what you hear on the four "trio" tracks is VERY much in the Tamba Trio mold, where the other three have Creed Taylor's signature all over them. In fact, Taylor would NEVER allow anything this adventurous (on those four trakcs) onto any of the other CTi albums while at A&M.

I can't be the only one that hears this...
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
Cap'n B said:
There's not a flaw on this album at all. Not even Creed Taylor could mess this up!
Rudy said:
In fact, Taylor would NEVER allow anything this adventurous (on those four trakcs) onto any of the other CTi albums while at A&M. I can't be the only one that hears this...
Here, here!
 

audiofile

Member
This album is my top favorite Bossa Nova album of all time. The opener is a killer and the standout track. The rest of this record is awesome as well!
 

RichardWarner

Well-Known Member
Contributor
OK....with both of the A&M/CTI albums released on CD, why hasn't Verve released the third Tamba 4 album (with an imaginary album cover design to the left...), even if it's only on iTunes? Is it that expensive to mix it down?
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
Rudy said:
In fact, Taylor would NEVER allow anything this adventurous (on those four trakcs) onto any of the other CTi albums while at A&M.

Actually, there is one other that comes to mind. Nat Adderley's Calling Out Loud. The LP is untouched by the usual Creed Taylor pop-orchestral filler and top-40 covers -- it even clocks in at an amazing 36min (which amounts to about an extra 5 minutes over the usual tight-ass 30min standard). In fact, the LP is a conceptual brainchild of William Fisher who arranged the selections, and authored a couple as well. The moody orchestrations have zero in common with the sweetening-stylings of Don Sebesky (whose needless contributions adversely impacted many of these A&M/CTi LPs). Joe Zawinul is on board playing electric piano; he also contributed a couple sections. I've heard about 80% of all the A&M/CTi releases and this one is about as close to a true jazz LP as you'll get.
 

Moritat

Well-Known Member
Desert island material indeed! We And The Sea is one of favorite jazz lps ever on any label. The lp has great balance. long & short cuts, different tempos and moods. The music from song to song was unpredictable and interesting. Some great piano here by Luis Eca. And then came Samba Blim. What a letdown. Short, predictable, dull, lifeless tunes. Muzak! I always thought that second lp was an insult to that fine Pete Turner cover. We And The Sea on the other hand, was easily my favorite jazz lp on A&M. And yes, I'd love to see that third Tamba 4 lp released.

Excuse me, but I think I'll mix me a drink and listen to Moca Flor.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Good stuff, even for this not-big-into-jazz guy.

My first taste of WE AND THE SEA was an early eBay purchase. After some discussion here, and already having heard SAMBA BLIM and liking it, I scoured eBay for any kind of copy. This was back in the later 1990's time frame when the Japanese CD's weren't an option yet. WE AND THE SEA albums were few and far between on the eBay scene back then, and all I could locate was a jukebox little-LP of the album, featuring a few of the tracks.

Unfortunately that little-LP was rather noisy with some pits in the pressing, so I continued the search, but at least I had SOME tracks to get a sampling of the album.

Next up came the Japanese CD issue in late 1998/early 1999. POCM-5058 was the full and complete album mastered to CD (labeled "TANBA 4" on the spine and back. The mastering was probably somewhat true to the LP, rather muddy sounding.

That held me until 2000 when Verve By Request reissued the album on CD. This one sounded MUCH nicer, opening up the buried highs, cryptically listing the mastering engineer as Dihydroxyethylglycenate!

That's the version I recommend, and it should be the easiest to find.

Harry
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
Harry's got it--the Verve version is the best of the bunch to my ears also. :thumbsup: It's no sonic masterpiece, but you'll hear it at its best here.

As for the rumored third album, why couldn't someone at Verve tack those on as bonus tracks to even "Samba Blim" if not "We And The Sea"? Or release a "complete" 2-disc set?

Recommended listening:

http://www.amazon.com/Tamba-Trio-Classics/dp/B00000G9SM

41P76KQDS0L._SL500_AA240_.jpg


If you want to hear the REAL Tamba Trio sound, this 2-disc complilation covers a lot of ground. They were known for their tight three-part vocal harmonies, and of course, Eca's amazing piano work. Some of the "We And The Sea" tracks show up in a slightly rougher form here (including on or two of them from a live concert), but you'll immediately hear the sonic similarities. Overall, they played a really tight Bossa Nova with many twists and turns in the arrangements. The lead-off track, "Desafinado," is a great example with a lot of sudden tempo changes, tight vocal harmonies, and great musicianship (especially Luiz Eca's piano). It's shorter, like a pop song, but is still amazing in the same way that the tracks on "We And The Sea" are to me.

Once you hear this, and compare to the weaker "Samba Blim" album, you'll understand where I'm coming from. Not that "Samba Blim" is bad--it just sounds like a watered-down, underutilized version of Tamba Trio that just sort of lopes along at a slower pace. Only "Reza", with its accelerando coda, shows a small glimpse of the original Trio sound.

I like the original Tamba Trio enough to want to hunt down their pre-A&M albums. I know they're off the radar at times compared to their contemporaries (Jobim, Gilberto, Lobo, etc.) but they made some great music.
 

Captain Bacardi

Well-Known Member
Moderator
Thread Starter
Rudy said:

I have this as well, and it's excellent! I'll have to put it in the CD player since I haven't listened to it in a while.

I guess I'm one of the few who actually likes Samba Blim. It's nowhere near as great as We And The Sea, but it has plenty of enjoyable moments. I think Sea was so good that anything that followed it would have been disappointing.



Capt. Bacardi
 

jazzdre

Well-Known Member
The Captain and all of you are right! WE AND THE SEA is a great album! This by far one of the most creative albums to come out of the A&M/CTI label at the time. No orchestral sweetenings, no horn overdubs, just four guys playing the music they want to;their way. Also, I am amazed at just how powerful an ensemble this was, Eca's amazing orchestrations with just his piano playing alone and how the rest of the band follows him along for the ride. Amazing stuff!

Also, is it true that SAMBA BLIN has been released on CD? I've heard a few cuts on a music website but the track that stands out the most is their version of the Tijuana Brass' tune,SLICK; which was written by Herb and John Pisano. Their version in my opinion, is a bit better than the original, what with the samba beats and the vocalizations that back the song and enhances the tune.

All in all, WE AND THE SEA is a great album, and an album that fits the "end of a rough day" type of album that you listen to,well...after a rough day.Proof that smooth and creative can sometimes work together well.
 
Top Bottom