He wasn't a particularly likeable chap by all accounts - but man, could this Brazilian soul and funk brother sing and play. As the album notes of this new 15-track reissue say, as well as being a talented and boundary pushing musician, Tim Maia will also be "remembered as a fat, arrogant, overindulgent, barely tolerated, yet beloved man-child".
This collection, the fourth in the World Psychedelic Classics series, which has also included fellow Brazilian ground breaker Os Mutantes, has been put together to show the impact Maia's songs had on popular Brazilian music. He took the American soul music he heard while living in the US during the late 50s and early 60s, and later the funk he was hearing in the 70s, and melded it with classic Brazilian styles like samba, bossa nova and tropicalia to become the Brazilian Soul Funk Godfather. Basically, it's soul music, and quite often very funky stuff. But he also has the ability to reign the songs in to play a simmering and tranquil singer-songwriter style of soul, like on the sweaty yet somehow seductive, Let's Have A Ball Tonight, and the brilliant Brother Father Mother Sister, which is a sunny sounding civil rights anthem.
Still, it's fair to say Maia was more about partying and having a good time. And it's not surprising that he died aged 55 given his penchant for the rock star excesses of drugs and the high life. But as songs like O Caminho Do Bem, which owes a nod to Stevie Wonder's Superstition, the entrancing and wild electric psychedelia of Quer Queira, Quer Nao Queira, and sprawling 12-minute groover and shuffler Rational Culture prove, he was a master musician with the power to captive as well as rattle your rump.
- TimeOutBy Scott Kara @scottkara Email Scott