I love it when I discover a new (old) band…

Last night I couldn’t sleep so put on my radio walkman and headed downstairs to listen to some of my favorite late night shows. Wolfman Jack on 1150 CKOC AM, etc. But when the inevitable ads came I wandered across the dial and arrived at a strange channel… strange because I’m pretty sure it was called EZ FM but broadcasting on the AM dial.

Anyhow, I thought I recognized the music this mystery channel was playing. A really nice smooth jazz. (I know, you’re thinking “smooth jazz… yuck!” But this stuff wasn’t schmaltzy). It’s got to be John Klemmer, I thought. Off the Touch lp, or maybe Arabesque. Such a nice, soft touch on the keyboards, I continued to muse. Geez, this guy plays like I do… or rather, like I would LIKE to play.

Then the DJ came on, talking over the music (very rare for the AM band), and said (so it sounded) the track was by “Adamas from Brazil.” So off I went to Wikipedia and searched for Adamas. Nothing came up, so I went to Jazz Bands from Brazil under the letter A.

Sooner or later I found it. Azymuth.

Wow. What a cool band. Reminds me of going out for coffee after class in the 70s with my high school sweetheart and friends. Yeah, it’s definitely old school. But if you ask me, bigger stars like Pat Metheny probably heard Azymuth and tried to mimic their style. I like Metheny a lot but always felt that his South American stuff fell flat. Well, this certainly doesn’t. It flies… like, I imagine, the soul of leader and keyboardist Jose Roberto Bertrami who unfortunately died last July.

Long live late night radio… and the music of jazz greats like these guys!

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