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Tim Maia’s Seroma Years (1972-1977) : Aquarium Drunkard

Tim Maia’s Seroma Years (1972-1977) : Aquarium Drunkard

I’d been a fan of Tim Maia’s flavor of Brazilian soul years before I was requested by the editor of the Brazilian sub-series of Bloomsbury’s 33 ⅓ to contribute a e-book regarding Tim Maia’s Racional albums. In case you don’t know anything about these, let’s simply say they’re kinda like if The Isley Brothers’ mid-seventies albums have been all about Scientology. If you want to know more, I invite you to learn my ebook. I assumed I knew my topic fairly nicely already, but writing a guide about someone (or something) deepens your relationship with the topic in such a approach that you simply start to notice small details which may hint at something extra profound–something recognized to most who have been there, but by no means really spoken out loud or written about. I started to see these two-plus albums (and a posthumous Vol. three) because the centerpieces of Tim’s most prolific, artistic and influential part, what I’d wish to call his “Seroma” part, named after the rehearsal area and production firm of the identical identify. The following essay is essentially comprised of excerpts from my ebook: Tim Maia Racional Vols. 1 & 2.

Tim’s profession took off in 1970 together with his first album on Polydor, but as Tim turned more snug within the recording studio, nevertheless it by no means compared to the camaraderie and ambience of the almost nightly musical jams at his or pals’ pads. With some encouragement from his good friend Tibério Gaspar (Antonio Adolfo’s songwriting companion from A Brazuca), Tim founded his own production company like his soul brother idols up North: Curtis Mayfield (Curtom), The Isley Brothers (T-Neck), James Brown (Individuals), and so on. He referred to as it “Seroma” from the primary two letters of his full identify: Sebastião Rodrigues Maia. Taking his cue from the self-contained rock n’ roll bands in Brazil and abroad, Tim organically began to tug together a workforce of musicians and associates to rehearse and compose with, and ultimately take into the studio with him as an alternative of relying on the inhouse producer to hire and direct the session musicians on Tim’s songs. One of the first to hitch was the teenaged guitarist and bandleader, Paulinho Guitarra, beginning in 1972,  joined shortly thereafter by pianist and singer, Carlos Dafé and upon the dissolution of Dom Salvador’s legendary Abolição group, Tim picked up Oberdan Magalhaes (saxophone), Serginho Trombone (duh), and Luiz Carlos (drums, and all three went on to found the seminal Brazilian funk band: Banda Black Rio).

Tim’s albums have been usually sparse on details or liner notes, however beginning in 1973, for his fourth self-titled solo album, he made some extent of noting that the music was “rehearsed at the Seroma studios.” From 1973 to 1977, all seven albums have been either launched on his unbiased label, Seroma, or included a word like this one from the final “Seroma” album, Tim’s self-titled 1977 launch on Som Livre: “The songs have been composed, arranged, and rehearsed on the Seroma studios in entrance of the Rodrigues de Freitas Lagoon, 100 meters above sea degree. What a magnificence!”

The “Seroma Studios” have been little more than a shack on the aspect of a hill that Tim and his band fondly referred to as “o barracão” or “the shed.” Tim needed a spot to escape to, where he might rehearse at any hour and have sufficient area for his menagerie of canine (later reaching up to 32 canines), too many for his foremost residency, a luxurious house in Copacabana. The shed had two primary rooms and a small kitchen with only probably the most primary plumbing and electricity. “He put a mattress and a few pillows in one room and crammed the [larger] room with guitars, tumbadoras, drums, amplifiers, microphones, Hammond organ, electric piano and a soundboard,” his pal and biographer, Nelson Motta, describes. “The boys – a few of the greatest musicians of Rio: Luiz Carlos Batera, Paulinho Guitarra, Serginho Trombone and saxophonist Oberdan Magalhães – performed all day. Junior Mendes, Solange and Viviane did the backing vocals just like the black back-up singers from Motown. Two big canine roamed free in the yard, the German Shepherd Kaleche and Dick, a Brazilian Mastiff, the dimensions of a calf, with whom Tim had great affinity. The periods have been lengthy, but no musician left before Tim completed the rehearsal and secured the canine.”

The Seroma headquarters, or “The shed” [o barracão] as it will come to be recognized, was constructed totally of wooden. “I was one of many few individuals that would go there to Seroma when he was rehearsing, to play with them,” Tim’s close pal and an important musician within the rising Brazilian soul scene, Hyldon, explains. “Tim constructed his Seroma studio on Vitória Régia Road based mostly on a document of mine by Lee Michaels [Barrel, 1970 A&M records]. It’s an incredible document, this album that I bought in america; it was a gatefold album with a cabin on the duvet made solely of wood. I confirmed it to Tim . . . and I never received that document again, did I? I misplaced that report. He made the studio based mostly on the duvet of that document, identical to the photograph, utterly of wooden.”[1] This album proved so influential to Tim, his second and third solo albums from 1971 and 1972 of their unique deluxe gatefold editions function collages of photographs across their gatefold sleeves clearly inspired by Barrel’s design and format.

However there was just one drawback with the shed, as Hyldon explains: “[Tim] built the studio half on his land, half on his neighbor’s land,” in his rush to complete the venture. Someday Hyldon visited Tim at Seroma, shortly after receiving the horrible information from the neighbor whose land half of the shed sat on. “They’re gonna reduce my studio in half,” Tim informed Hyldon, furious with the corporate that gave him notice, Aveplan. “I’m gonna write a samba, a revenge music and it’s gonna be a huge hit, I’m gonna really fuck them!”

Aveplan é maldosa [Aveplan is evil]

Aveplan é gulosa [Aveplan is gluttonous]

Aveplan (mumbles)Cuidado Aveplan! [Watch out Aveplan]

Tim’s real estate revenge music by no means materialized, however the shed was demolished, and another studio was built squarely on his property where the jam periods resumed as quickly as attainable.

From 1972 to 1977, Paulinho Guitarra anchored
the legendary Seroma band, which was less a band than a troop of
interchangeable musicians. He’s a brief, white man from Rio de Janeiro’s
sister-city, Niteroi, who speaks softly, but was one of many few musicians whom Maia
persistently heeded. The shed was the unofficial headquarters of the nascent
Brazilian soul music scene and a every day assembly place for pals of Maia’s like
Brazilian soul’s two princes Cassiano and Hyldon, Tim’s bandleader and
right-hand man Paulinho Guitarra, lyricist Tibério Gaspar and any number of the
rotating forged of Tim’s go-to studio and reside gig musicians. “[It was] the
cradle of Brazilian soul music,” Paulinho Guitarra reminisces. “Each musician,
Serginho Trombone, Oberdan, these soul, jazz, musicians of that point floated
around Tim Maia, like mosquitos, ever present, ready to play if [Tim] needed

Being pressured to self-produce, manufacture and distribute his Racional albums, Tim turned the unintentional founding father of Brazil’s unbiased report business, regardless of the popular opinion that Antonio Adolfo kickstarted the unbiased motion in 1977 together with his self-produced and launched album, Feito Em Casa. Adolfo advised me in an interview from 2017: “Tim Maia gave me plenty of recommendations on how to do that, how to try this, an inventory of all the stores that might purchase my albums, as a result of he’d executed this with the [Rational Culture] group . . . He was very useful.”

One other close good friend of Tim’s (and fellow
Brazilian Soul pioneer) Eduardo Araújo stated it greatest when talking with Veja
journalist Sergio Martins, “We didn’t make American soul; we brought soul to
Brazil in a method, like Tim stated, ‘with swing.’” Tim’s first 4 albums built to
a business and important peak before he actually gave all of it up to be a part of
Rational Culture in 1974 on the eve of releasing his triumphant double album,
that have been ultimately released as Tim Maia
Racional Vols. 1 & 2. On his subsequent albums his sound drifted more
deliberately in the direction of American soul and funk and his subsequent evolutions
never really returned in any notable strategy to the samba soul hybrid. The
continuation and evolution of this excellent hybrid sound may be heard clearly
on releases by “Seroma period” band members and associates of Maia’s on their solo
releases like Hyldon, Cassiano, Banda Black Rio, Carlos Dafé and the
productions of Robson Jorge and Lincoln Olivetti.

With the current addition of all the Tim Maia Racional trilogy on Spotify, almost the whole thing of the “Seroma” years are finally obtainable by way of streaming. The notable exception is Tim’s rarest album, the notorious and ill-advised, self-titled “English” album recorded in late 1975, but not released (independently and ineffectively) till 1978 on his Seroma label. One track from this album (“Let’s Have a Ball Tonight”) came out on Luaka Bop’s Existential Soul of Tim Maia compilation and is included on this playlist which collects 33 of my favorite songs from 1972-1977 from eight albums and one single that present Tim Maia at his most artistic, collaborative and progressive.

The next Spotify playlist is like the Rosetta Stone of Brazilian soul and funk. Throughout the 2 hours of “Tim Maia’s Seroma Years” you’ll hear the roots of recent Brazilian soul and funk, from Cassiano’s clean and complicated funk, to Hyldon’s rootsy samba-soul, to the memorable brass arrangements that outlined most Lincoln Olivetti and Robson Jorge productions from the 1980s, to the angular funk of Banda Black Rio, Tim’s shadow is lengthy and funky. Regardless of the drama of Tim’s character and private decisions during this yr, in the long run it was all the time concerning the music as his good pal, former roommate and piano player, Don Pi, reminisces about making music with Tim and associates in the course of the Seroma years:

The music was just so great. We had a great time there even with this spiritual cult, but no one cared . . . I didn’t care [about Rational Culture] once we have been rehearsing there [at the shed] with an enormous view of Ipanema, the lagoon, Leblon and Jesus Christ [Cristo Redentor statue] there. The rehearsal area was all open and he had like 32 canine there and the canine have been operating free in the again and the entrance yard, and all the windows and doorways open and this lovely, big view.

Los Angeles Denizens: Allen Thayer will probably be studying from his Maia guide and enjoying data at Artform Studio on Thursday, June 6th, 7pm in Highland Park (with an after-party to comply with at Gold Line).

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