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Live Reviews

Third Annual Chivas Jazz Festival

By Published: March 8, 2004
a contemporary, "post-modern" idea of Brazil as an indefinable and confuse "Third World" country (without an identity of its own, even if dynamic), represented by a collage of elements associated to "world music" associated both with sophistication and spontaneity/sensuality/exoticism: use of the elegance of the poetry by the Chilean Pablo Neruda in versions/music by herself ("Yo Volveré"/ "I'll Come Back" and "Soneto XLIX", from the "100 Sonnets of Love "), and solo performances in which the only accompaniment was Sousa's herself playing the gourd or the kalimba - adding therefore an African zest to her world cuisine.

Having this landscape configurated a quite clear intention of introducing herself somewhat humbly through the association to a certain not realistic image of Brazil, some pieces executed by her stayed out of these stereotypes and may indicate possible directions towards the finding of a persona capable of disputing space in the main arena without the resort to the exotic: the beautiful ballad "When Your Lover Has Gone" (Swan), "Docemente" (another composition by her parents Walter Santos/Teresa Souza, here rendered as a ballad transformed in a beautiful modinha, the sensual and delicate Brazilian genre form the 18th century that is still alive), the melodically complex composition of her musical godfather Hermeto Pascoal, "Ginga Doida", the translation of the samba-canção "Suas Mãos" (Antônio Maria/Pernambuco) in a delightful ballad, and "Doce de Coco" (a choro by Jacob do Bandolim/Hermínio Bello de Carvalho).

Next, the energetic Dave Liebman (saxophones/flute), accompanied by his quartet (Vic Juris, electric/acoustic guitars, Tony Marino, bass and Marko Marcinko, drums) closed the festival on a high note. Evidencing his preference for the free style, and supported by the unusual harmonization by Juris, in which triads almost never showed, just the superior extensions, Liebman had excellent vehicles to communicate his personal view of modern jazz, with highlights to the tribute to Coltrane's quartet of the 60's with "My Favorite Things" (over 20 minutes of full-blown sound!), and by the renovating version of the standard "On A Clear Day", in which a simple harmony built over a suspensive atmosphere in 7/4 time signature served as support for completely free extemporizations. While Liebman made of ebullient and ecstatic solos the core of his presentation, Juris' oscillated between the most complete evasion of the melodic-harmonic structures and the adhesion to a quite primal bluesy phrasing. Joined by the Brazilian pianist Antônio Adolfo in "Luíza" (Jobim), the quartet moved itself within a tonal dimension of marked romantic scent, with Adolfo bringing to the mix Belle Époque Brazilian composer Ernesto Nazareth's overtones with room for an excellent solo by Marino. Having also interpreted "O Morro Não Tem Vez" (Jobim/Vinicius de Moraes), this time on a Chinese flute, Liebman brought another Jobim tune for the encore, "Por Toda Minha Vida", also more traditional harmonically but equally lyric, in which Liebman shone at the soprano, leaving the bandstand under the enthusiastic applause of the audience. By its turn, the organizing team of the Chivas Jazz Festival also deserves the critic approval of the audience, confirming itself as a festival in which the attention is turned to quality jazz.

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