Light as a Feather is the 1979 album that put Brazil’s superstar jazz fusion trio Azymuth, on the charts. It opens with the ten-plus minute disco “Jazz Carnival,” a track which has become a club classic all over thw world and has beensampled by everyone form Madlib to Gnarls Barkley. With its primitive drum machine loops and a finger-popping, spinshe-shaking funky bassline by Alex Malheiros, it is a solid club stepper —guaranteed to send the party into overdrive. But this isn’t the only track here worth noting.
The set is quite consistent and offers a portal into the band’s 1980 smash LP Outubro that would follow it. There is the breezy, folky-jazz execution of the title track that is nearly as beautiful as Return to Forever‘s version. The set also features a fine jazz-samba number that evokes both Walter Wanderley and Tom Jobim in José Roberto Bertrami’s “Fly Over the Horizon,” and a stellar reading of Toninho Horta’s “Dona Olimpia.” In addition, Bertami’s “This Exists,” “Amazona,” “Young Embrace” are here, all of them stellar blends of jazz, laid back funk and MPB, making this set a peerless triumph. Azymuth fans need this as much as they do the band’s glorious self-titled debut, and Outubro. (On the CD version, a spaced-out, live electric jazz take of “Montreux” is included as a bonus track).