The Existential Soul Of Tim Maia

Our friends over at Sounds And Colours have reviewed Luaka Bop's new Tim Maia compilation, available now on CD, vinyl LP and download

At the height of the hippie counterculture years (1963-75) funk, soul and jazz carried rhythms of love, peace and unity across borders. In the United States discos, drugs and cocktails produced a recipe that injected life into the music scene. In Brazil the football-crazed encapuzados were battling political oppression, and protesting through song. As a product of this period Tim Maia formed a bipolar musical self.

A hefty man with a powerful voice, Maia was a pioneer of soul, funk and disco music in Brazil. He began at an early age with a group called The Sputniks, which included himself and Roberto Carlos, among others. As the group’s chemistry fizzled out, they split and Maia left for New York City.

He spent four intense years in the city that never sleeps, bouncing from job to job as an illegal immigrant while pursuing music and consuming just about everything. It was well known Maia ingested his share of illegal substances, and in 1963 he was caught smoking weed in a stolen car and was deported back to Brazil.

He returned with new perspectives and different angles on love-making music. He fused the popular Brazilian romantic music with the funk, soul and disco he discovered in New York. The physical presence of Maia drew crowds, only to be blown away by his almighty voice. Captivating his Brazilian audience with a cool, smooth-spoken charm and rhythms to shine your shoes to, Tim Maia continued his success in Brazil until his death in 1998.

Some of Maia’s greatest hits can be found on this album, Nobody Can Live Forever: The Existential Soul of Tim Maia, an anthology exposing this musical anthropologist compiled by Luaka Bop Records. It’s an album that slides fluently from English to Portuguese and tackles serious political issues, as well as sets the mood for love. The end product: a musical biography that you can spin at a retro disco or put on for some alone time with that special someone.

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