QUESTION THREE - The Ideals featuring Tim Maia?
I'm a huge fan of Brazilian soul music (yes, it does exist with quite a catalogue to support the claim too) and the giant in this field is known as Tim Maia. He spent several years in the U.S. before returning to Brazil and launching his career in earnest. During this time in the states he sang with a couple of vocal groups. This was the early 1960s. He claims to have founded a multi-racial group called "The Ideals" during this time, either living in Tarrytown, NY or maybe even NYC. He claims to have recorded a song he later re-recorded in Brazil, called "New Love."
I have never found anything to confirm the existence of this record other than Tim Maia's insistence that he recorded it during his time in the US. He is also known for saying, "I don't burn, I don't snort, and I don't drink. My only problem is that sometimes I lie a little." (Often said with a joint in hand)
The style of the group was probably Doo-wop and Tim may or may not have sung lead with his deep voice and possible portuguese accent.
There is a Tim Maia compilation coming out on Luaka Bop next year that I helped work on. See it here: www.timmaia.com
OK, detectives, you really have to check out the Tim Maia story...
This guy was indeed larger than life, and personally responsible for importing real soul music to Brazil. He was also an absolute trip! The Ideals 45 is kind of like a 'holy grail' to fans of this music... let's see what we can find out!
OK folks, we've had some input here (although some of it is in Portugese), and it looks like Tim's son Carmelo will be joining us in our quest. In the meantime, Allen Thayer (the guy who started us on all of this) has submitted the Brazilian remake Maia did of the Ideals' song back in 1973:
As Allen said, "it's not my favorite song of Tim's," but maybe it will jog somebody's memory. Taken from Maia's fourth solo LP, it's got this whole lounge thing happening... break out the Caipirinhas, baby! I'll tell ya, this whole inquiry has been an eye opener for me. I had read Allen's article 'Black Rio' in Waxpoetics back in April of last year, but never really dug any deeper than that. This is getting interesting!
Be sure to check out Soul Spectrum, 'the Ambassador's' new Brazilian Soul site where he's 'cross-posted' our investigation.
It's all good.
OK folks, I'm not sure if you've been following the 'comments' here, but there's been a major breakthrough in this case. As reported by Allen over on Soul Spectrum, he was able to track down the co-writer of 'New Love' (and original member of The Ideals), Roger Bruno, through the (continually amazing) internet...
"Hello Intrepid Investigators -
I met with Roger Bruno and his lovely partner Ellen in Tarrytown last night and talked with them for an hour and a half about Tim Maia. There's a lot to share here, but I don't have my notes in front of me and the best stuff is still yet to come. But let me share with you that indeed a recording exists of "New Love" but its an acetate in the possession of a past girlfriend of Roger's. The song was never released commercially. The Ideals were planning on shopping it around to different labels, but Tim got arrested and deported before they had a chance! Roger confirmed that the famous Brazilian drummer Milton Banana played on the session as did well-known jazz and rock bassist Don Payne (look him up). Roger said that this song was an attempt to get in with the then burgeoning appreciation for Brazilian Bossa Nova, but fused with a soul vocal harmony sound. He's in the process of tracking down the acetate and he'll get me a copy as soon as he is able...."
How cool is that? I can't wait to hear the record!
In the meantime, you can check out the full details of their meeting at Allen's site, but I just couldn't resist putting up the cool photo Roger gave him of The Ideals in the studio back in the day...
That's our man Tim (aka 'Jimmy the Brazilian') there in the middle.
Allen says he's working up an article about this whole amazing story for Waxpoetics.
You can't make this stuff up.