Piri ‘Vocês Querem Mate?’ CD/LP/DIG (Far Out) 5/5

The latest in the ongoing series of classic Brazilian re-issues from the rare as hen’s teeth Quartin label on original vinyl, longer-term fans of the Far Out label will have fond memories of the mid-1990s compilation that featured several tracks from the group Piri. This complete album now provides the whole story behind a stunning early 1970s slice of Brazilian psychedelic folk with jazz tinges into the mix. Setting the scene to stunning effect is the opener, ‘Reza brava’, which could just as easily be off a long-lost Quarteto Novo album and the wordless vocals lead into a berimbau breakdown of distinction. Equally good is the introspective, ‘Lágrimas’ with a flute solo that fits the mood to perfection. Arguably, strongest of all is the repetitive and ultra-catchy riff of, ‘Cupido esculpido’, with a piano vamp that on less than Sergio Mendes would be proud of and again featuring some tasty flute soloing.
Band members were something of a Brazilian instrumental super group and these included percussionist Wilson das Neves and Juquina, while the double pairing comprised Danilo Caymmi from the first family of Brazilian folk music and another family of international repute, Paulinho Jobim. Little wonder the music is so compelling in this calibre of company. The name Piri is actually the first name of male singer Piri Reis who combines on a male-female joint vocals on the lovely uptempo groove of, ‘Chão vermelho’. Of note is that Reis has collaborated with some of the Brazilian jazz greats including guitarist Egberto Gismonti and drummer/percussionist Robertinho Silva. Furthermore, the music of Reis has been covered by musicians of the calibre of bassist Charlie Haden and multi-reedist Jan Garbarek. Another uptempo winner in the Quarteto Novo vein is, ‘Espiral’, while for those of a more leisurely persuasion, the folk-influenced, ‘As incriveis peripécias de Danilo’. is sure to please on the ear.

The iconic front cover of the album with four band members in a tipped wheel barrow like cart virtually says it all and sums up the relaxed and rootsy atmosphere present on the album. With sunny summer days and night now seemingly the norm at present, this is your ideal musical accompaniment. Roll on more Quartin re-issues when the listening experience is as enjoyable as this!

Tim Stenhouse