At the height of Tim Maia’s soaring fame, he joined a radical, extraterrestrial-obsessed cult and created two plus albums of some of Brazil’s-and the globe’s-best funk and soul music. Tim Maia Racional Vol 1 & 2 by author Allen Thayer book explores the career of the man often hailed as the James Brown or Barry White of Brazil, and the time of his radical transformation from a musician notorious for hedonistic living to a devoted follower of Manoel Jacinto Coelho’s Rational Culture. After suddenly joining Coelho’s cult in 1974 (which started first as an offshoot of the mystical Afro-Brazilian religion Umbanda), Maia gave up drugs and alcohol, threw away his material possessions, and released Racional Vols. 1 & 2 in the attempt to convert the entirety of Brazil and the world to the revelation of Rational Culture. Thayer explores this strange, brief, yet incredibly prolific period of Maia’s life wherein the reigning soul and funk artist of Brazil produced two albums, an EP, and a recently unearthed tape containing almost another full album of funky jams laced with spiritual content and scripture. For just as quickly as Maia became entranced with Coelho did he become disillusioned with the cult, disavowing and destroying everything having to do with that experience and refusing to speak of it for the rest of his life.Allen Thayer is a music journalist, club DJ and radio host of the weekly “The Brazilian Beat” show on KMHD Jazz 89.1 in Portland, Oregon.