Don't think that a trio consisting of acoustic guitar, acoustic bass, and drums with a name that translates to "Trio of Peace" is going to give you a mindless smooth jazz performance without any substance of note. No, Trio da Paz drives hard along jazz's mainstream, putting all their syncopated beats and spontaneous gestures into perspective with a Brazilian feel. Together, they create marvelous interpretations that gather momentum and come alive.
Familiar melodies such as Jobim's "Look to the Sky" and Paul Desmond's "Take Five" retain their exciting allure while emphasizing cohesive interplay and virtuosic soloing. All three masters deliver crisply while allowing harmonic textures to overlap and drift gently around the room. Their performance contains contemporary variety while remaining true to tradition. You get a feeling that Django Reinhardt is looking over their shoulders.
Baden Powell's "Babel (Samba Novo)" surges ahead with thrilling solos from guitar and bass. Romero Lubambo and Nilson Matta, both masters of their instruments, have shared musical experiences with veteran drummer Duduka da Fonseca for quite some time. Trio da Paz has been together now for fifteen years.
"Winelight" purrs with an upbeat contemporary setting, while "Somewhere" lolls gently as a balladeer's dream. "Corcovado" gives the trio plenty of room for heartfelt expression as each digs deeply into the soul of this beloved piece. The trio gets upbeat and comical for "Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead," applying a fresh face to this classic tune. Contrasts from bowed bass and a quirky electronic keyboard pump up their interpretation with class.
Lubambo, Matta, and da Fonseca make Somewhere sparkle with vital energy while relying on tradition to carry us home. Their recommended performance appeals to a broad audience.
Personnel: Romero Lubambo: acoustic guitar; Nilson Matta: acoustic bass; Duduka da Fonseca: drums.