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Hermeto Pascoal - Slaves Mass CD (album) cover


Hermeto Pascoal


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.16 | 29 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This is multi-instrumentalist Hermeto Pascoal's third studio album released in 1977. He's from Brazil and to say he's very talented would be an understatement. The Brazilian husband and wife team of Flora Purim (vocals) and Airto Moreira (drums) are here and might be known to some for being on RETURN TO FOREVER's debut. Airto would play with Miles Davis and many others. For me the shock was seeing that the legendary Ron Carter is playing bass here making this a formidable rhythm section on all but the opening track. Who's playing bass and drums on the other track ? It's the opening song by the way. None other then Chester Thompson on drums and Alphonso Johnson on bass. What ?! Johnson was in WEATHER REPORT and played with Cobham, McLaughlin and many more. And we all know Chester. The music is for sure Jazz / Fusion but the Avant vibe is quite strong.

"Mixing Pot" is led by a beat early as the keyboards join in. It kicks in before 1 1/2 minutes with flute, guitar and bass. It's jazzy after 2 1/2 minutes with percussion and electric piano joining in. The horns are crazy late. "Slaves Mass" opens with gentle guitar then we can hear pig noises (haha). Percussion and bass join in then the tempo picks up with vocals. Solemn stuff. It turns experimental before 3 1/2 minutes. So much going on including laughter. "Little Cry For Him" is uptempo with piano, drums and bass leading. This is upbeat and reminds me of Zappa. "Cannon (Dedictaed To Cannonball Adderley)" opens with melancholic flute as these chipmunk-like spoken words can be heard pretty much throughout. Weird but funny especially when you consider this is supposed to be a dedication (haha). There are mumbled words too.

"Just Listen" is piano only throughout but man this is impressive especially after 2 minutes when he becomes a little insane. Check it out 5 1/2 minutes in. Fast paced is the word. Vocals and expressions arrive before 6 minutes along with yelling etc. "That Waltz" is jazzy with horns, bass and drums. The tempo picks up a minute in and we get vocal sounds after 2 minutes. "Cherry Jam" opens with electric piano, atmosphere and more. Dissonant horns join in. Horns, bass and drums start to lead in a relaxed manner. It picks up before 2 1/2 minutes and the electric piano replaces the horn. The horn is back. Distorted keys along with bass lead 4 1/2 minutes in. Horn replaces the keys. The electric piano is back 7 1/2 minutes in. The horn is intense almost Elton Dean-like around 9 minutes to the end.

That was different ! Just a really interesting album with top notch players. Highly recommended.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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