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Azymuth: Butterfly

You know that Azymuth, a Brazilian band fashioned more than 35 years ago, is as popular as ever when the chill and electronica crowd lovingly pumps up many of their tunes with new rhythms and 21st-century groove. I first heard “Linha do Horizonte” in 1975 as a kid trekking in Brazil; the song was a part of daily life due to its inclusion in a popular novela, or soap opera. To groove to a Mr. Beatnik remix of that classic now is sublimely sunny.

But what we have on Azymuth’s new CD, Butterfly, is a new group of songs from Jose Roberto Bertrami, Alex Malheiros and Ivan Conti that the cool remixers no doubt are tuned to already. The title takes its name from the Herbie Hancock classic, and Azymuth caresses it into a quiet groove with strings. Fans of the band’s late-1970s disco hit “Jazz Carnival” can sway to “Os Cara La” and the funky “Hole in One,” while fans of the band’s softer side will crave “Meu Doce Amigo,” its flutes and vocals as light as a feather, to borrow the name of the band’s best-selling 1979 CD. But the best tunes are the sweetest: the light samba of “Caititu” and the stunning, relaxed vibe of the vocalese charms of “New Dawn,” “Morning” and “Next Summer in Rio.” If these don’t get you on a plane to Rio, nothing will.

Originally Published