"(...)bastavaapenasumolharesabíamosondealcançarovoodenovossucessospelomundo.(...)Chegouaumpontoquenadanosseparava.E de maneira nenhuma a sua maestria e sua amizade vai nos deixar... Foram 45 anos juntos. Eu e Alex, os seus eternos companheiros de Azymuth. Vá em paz. Vá com Deus."
Ivan Conti (Mamão)
Review: Blue Wave.Dreams Are Real
Brazilian keyboardist, pianist and organist (born February 21, 1946, in Tatuí, São Paulo; died July 8, 2012, in Rio de Janeiro aged 66)
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson
By Michael G. Nastos
José Roberto Trio - Farroupilha, 1965
Organ Sound, Um Novo Estilo - Polydor, 1970
Blue Wave - Milestone, 1983
Dreams Are RealFantasy / Milestone, 1990
Things Are Different - Far Out Recordings, 2001
Aventura - Far Out Recordings, 2009
In 1999, Milestone/Fantasy reissued two albums that José Roberto Bertrami had recorded in the 1980s, Blue Wave (1983) and Dreams Are Real (1984), on a single 73-minute CD. When the albums were first released on LP, they came as a major surprise to those who knew Bertrami for his work with Azymuth, a band that had been offering a very accessible and melodic style of Brazilian pop-jazz. Quite a departure from Azymuth's albums, Blue Wave and Dreams Are Real found the keyboardist/pianist taking a more cerebral and complex jazz-fusion/post-bop approach. Like Azymuth's recordings, pieces such as "Parati," "Chorodo," and "Nova Ipanema" are quite melodic and have a definite Brazilian flavor. They aren't nearly as groove-oriented as Azymuth's work, however, and they're definitely more intellectual. When Blue Wave and Dreams Are Real came out, some Azymuth fans wondered if Bertrami was getting ready to leave the band permanently. But in fact, he recorded several more albums with the band before leaving in the late 1980s (though he would rejoin the outfit for sporadic appearances in the 1990s). With the recordings on this CD, Bertrami had a chance to express another side of himself, and he did so with challenging and impressive results.
José Roberto Bertrami was best known as the keyboardist with the group Azymuth, but he also carved out a substantial career as a sideman and solo artist away from the band. Born February 21, 1946, in the Tatui district of São Paulo, Brazil, he was classically trained but gravitated toward the music of jazz pianist Bill Evans. The keyboardist for the combo Tamba 4, Luíz Eça, was a mentor and influence closer to home. Initially, Bertrami worked with Flora Purim and Robertinho Silva before meeting drummer Ivan Conti at a bowling alley, and they recruited bassist Alex Malheiros to form Azymuth (whose members, as it turned out, were all born in 1946). While also recording in the music studios of Rio, Azymuth were a working band from 1977 to 1988, touring with Airto Moreira and Purim, as well as on their own. Over time, they built a discography of some 40 albums, but Bertrami split from the group in 1988, and Azymuth carried on with Jota Moraes. Reuniting with Azymuth in the early '90s, Bertrami played with the ensemble only occasionally while he forged his solo career. He worked with a number of major artists, including Elis Regina, Eddie Palmieri, Marcos Valle, Jorge Ben, Sarah Vaughan, Jim Capaldi, Milton Nascimento, Toninho Horta, Mark Murphy, Vinícius de Moraes, Ithamara Koorax, and Chico Buarque. As a leader, Bertrami made several recordings, going back to 1965 with Trio, The Organ Sound in 1970, Blue Wave in 1983, Dreams Are Real in 1990, Things Are Different in 2001, and Aventura in 2009. He passed away on July 8, 2012. His son Victor Bertrami is an aspiring world fusion musician.