Ana Mazzotti

11/10/2019Far Out Recordings Reissue Two Sensational Albums By Late Brazilian 'Super-Musician'

A few weeks ago we were caught off guard by an Instagram ad from Far Out Recordings, teasing two upcoming and now released re-issues of Brazilian artist Ana Mazzotti. The ad was accompanied by an incredibly catchy track that instantly struck a chord and led us to mark the release day in our calendars. As we now know, the track in question was "Agora Ou Nunca Mais", the opener of her 1974 debut album "Niguem Vai Me Segurar". We had never heard of Mazzotti before and so we rely heavily on the album notes, to be able to share some of the backstory. 

Hailing from Caixas in Brazil's Rio Grande do Sul municipality, Ana Mazzotti came to music at an early age. At age five she started playing the accordion, then moved on to piano and by age twelve was already conducting her school's choir. "When rock and roll hit South America in the sixties, a young Mazzotti was one of the early adopters, fronting various guitar groups including an all female Beatles cover band, and an eclectic, eight-piece psychedelic group Desenvolvemento." And then she met drummer, producer and fellow music educator Romildo Santos, who later became her husband and who would introduce her to jazz. 

In 1974 Ana Mazzotti recorded her first album "Ninguem Vai Me Segurar", backed by cult Brazilian jazz-funk combo Azymuth's "original keyboard maestro" José Roberto Bertrami as well as Azymuth's bassist Alex Malheiros and percussionist Ariovaldo Contestini, with Romildo Santos on drums and production duties. The album was even recorded in the same studios that Azymuth recorded their very own debut full-length. Ana Mazzotti returned to the studio in 1977 to re-record her debut and release the album with a new title, running order and cover art, "ostensibly another crack at commercial success following the small scale of the independently funded first release."

Tragically, Ana Mazzotti lost her battle with cancer in 1988 at age 37, having never recorded another album, which was partly due to financial constraints as well as "the prejudice she faced as a female songwriter in a fundamentally sexist society." Brazilian icon, multi-instrumentalist, composer and arranger Hermeto Pascoal dubbed her a "super-musician" and rightfully so. 

While Ana Mazzotti's "two gems of spellbinding samba-jazz, lysergic funk and trippy bossa have remained relatively obscure" in the past, Far Out Recordings are now making sure these Brazilian treasures reach a wider audience. You can listen to "Ninguem Vai Me Segurar" (1974) in the player below and "Ana Mazzotti" (1977) on Bandcamp. You can also check out an Vinyl Factory exclusive on her life and work on Mixcloud.

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom