Double LP version. On a balmy Brazilian night in February, 1981, a crowd gathered in Rio de Janeiro’s Gávea neighbourhood under the iconic dome of the city’s Planetário (Planetarium). Alongside musicians like Helio Delmiro and Milton Nascimento (who were in the audience that night), they were there to see the great “Bruxo” (sorcerer) Hermeto Pascoal live in concert, with his new band formation which would become known simply as “O Grupo” (The Group). On the Planetário Da Gávea recordings, Hermeto is cast as the “sorcerer” or the “cosmic emissary”, exhibiting an intuitive sense of harmony and melody beyond that of our own world. “Tudo e Som” (All is Sound). It’s an understanding of the universe as being in a state of constant movement, forever vibrating at the quantum level, like the string of a guitar, or a saxophone’s reed. The series of concerts at the Planetário marked the birth of “O Grupo” which would last with the same line-up (apart from Zé Eduardo Nazário) for the next eleven years. Every member of O Grupo was a phenomenal musician in their own right. It was one of saxophonist/flautist Carlos Malta’s first gigs with the group, and the concert unusually featured two drummers, Zé Eduardo Nazário and Marcio Bahia. Nazário, from São Paulo, had played with Hermeto during the mid-70s. Acclaimed keyboard player Jovino Santos Neto was on keyboards, piano and organ, and the great Itiberê Zwarg, played bass. Rounding the group off was the percussionist Pernambuco. During this period (up until the early ’90s) the group would rehearse for hours on end, virtually seven days a week, with a total dedication to music and Hermeto’s musical vision. Most of the compositions performed that night at the Planetário had never been recorded before, and many are unique to this album. The show also features the first recorded performances of “Era Pra Ser e Não Foi” and “Ilza na Feijoada” (inspired by Hermetos’ wife Ilza’s famed black bean and meat stew), which Hermeto later recorded on his 1984 studio album Lagoa Da Canoa Município De Arapiraca. Dubbed by Miles Davis as “one of the most important musicians on the planet”, a Hermeto Pascoal live show was (and still is) an experience like no other. Across the recording of the Planetário concert, wild improvisation meets groovy, virtuosic vamping on progressive, extended psychedelic jams. The tracks are generally built around a beautiful, transcendent melody; instantly recognizable as being Hermeto’s, and for the most part, the musicians then solo over extended two chord vamps. There’s a plethora of powerfully delivered rhythms, wild solos and the performances are punctuated by Hermeto’s unpredictable, at times comical sonic antics.