On a balmy Brazilian night in February 1981, a crowd gathered in Rio de Janeiro's Gávea neighborhood under the iconic dome of the city's Planetário (Planetarium). Alongside musicians like Helio Delmiro and Milton Nascimento (who were in the audience that night), the crowd was there to see the great "Bruxo" (sorcerer), Hermeto Pascoal, live in concert with his new band formation, which would become known simply as "O Grupo" (The Group).
On the Planetário Da Gávea recordings, Hermeto is cast as the "sorcerer" or the "cosmic emissary," exhibiting an intuitive sense of harmony and melody beyond that of our own world. "Tudo e Som" (All is Sound). It's an understanding of the universe as being in a state of constant movement, forever vibrating at the quantum level, like the string of a guitar, or a saxophone's reed.
The series of concerts at the Planetário marked the birth of "O Grupo" which would last with the same lineup (apart from Zé Eduardo Nazário) for the next eleven years. Every member of O Grupo was a phenomenal musician in their own right. It was one of saxophonist/flautist Carlos Malta's first gigs with the group, and the concert unusually featured two drummers, Zé Eduardo Nazário and Marcio Bahia. Nazário, from São Paulo, had played with Hermeto during the mid-'70s. Acclaimed keyboard player Jovino Santos Neto was on keyboards, piano and organ, and the great Itiberê Zwarg, played bass. Rounding the group off was the percussionist Pernambuco.
During this period (up until the early '90s) the group would rehearse for hours on end, virtually seven days a week, with a total dedication to music and Hermeto's musical vision. Most of the compositions performed that night at the Planetário had never been recorded before, and many are unique to this album. The show also features the first recorded performances of "Era Pra Ser e Não Foi" and "Ilza na Feijoada" (inspired by Hermetos' wife Ilza's famed black bean and meat stew), which Hermeto later recorded on his 1984 studio album, Lagoa Da Canoa Município De Arapiraca.
Dubbed by Miles Davis as "one of the most important musicians on the planet," a Hermeto Pascoal live show was (and still is) an experience like no other. Across the recording of the Planetário concert, wild improvisation meets groovy, virtuosic vamping on progressive, extended psychedelic jams. The tracks are generally built around a beautiful, transcendent melody, instantly recognizable as being Hermeto's, and for the most part, the musicians then solo over extended two chord vamps. There's a plethora of powerfully delivered rhythms, wild solos and the performances are punctuated by Hermeto's unpredictable, at times comical sonic antics.
Note: These are live recordings and were not recorded in a professional studio, therefore the sound may differ from other releases by Hermeto Pascoal. The concert was recorded onto cassette and is the only surviving audio source. The best care has been taken in the mastering and restoration of these recordings.
This soundboard tape is more than 40 years old. Daniel Maunick's restoration is remarkable....[The] fidelity is excellent. He went to great pains to preserve the gig's raw atmosphere and the band's knife-edge drama.... Planetário da Gávea is a grail for fans of Pascoal and vintage Brazilian jazz. This music is presented as wooly, raw, joyous, and virtuosic. This band not only fired on all cylinders here, they created wildly inventive new directions for electric samba, Brazilian jazz-funk, and '80s fusion.
- Double LP
- Many Tracks Unique to this Album
- Recorded at Planetário Da Gávea, Rio de Janeiro, February 1981
- Original Tape Transfer by Gabriel M. Yazbeck
- Additional Tape Restoration by Daniel Maunick
- Mastered by Lelo Nazario at Utopia Studio & Pete Norman at Finyl Tweek
- Made in the EU
|Hermeto Pascoal||piano, baritone horn, tenor saxophone, flute, vocals|
|Carlos Malta||soprano saxophone, flute, piccolo|
|Zé Eduardo Nazário||drums, percussion|
|Marcio Bahia||drums, percussion|
|Itiberê Zwarg||acoustic & electric bass, piano|
|Jovino Santos Neto||piano, electric piano, clavinet, harmonium|
- Samba Do Belaqua
- Era Pra Ser e Não Foi
- Vou Pra Lá e Pra Cá
- Säo Jorge / Ilza na Feijoada
- Duo de Bateras Part II
- Homônimo Sintróvio
- Homônimo Sintróvio Part II