7

Baby do Brasil at Blue Note Jazz Club

Ernest Barteldes By

Sign in to view read count
Baby do Brasil
Brasil Summerfest at Blue Note Jazz Club
New York, NY
July 21, 2014

On her second performance as part of the lineup for the 2014 edition of Brasil Summerfest (she performed the previous evening at the South Street Seaport), legendary Brazilian singer Baby do Brasil was backed by a stellar band. Rounded out by Skoota (drums ), Mike Ciro (guitar), Jon Deley (keyboards), Ze Grey (bass ) Daniel Sadownick (percussion), Julie Acosta (trumpet), and Mark Miller (trombone), they kicked off the set with a Portuguese-language gospel-meets-funk tune featuring strong northeastern Brazilian influences, followed immediately with an up-tempo take on do Brasil's 1980s hit "Telurica," sung with great energy and enthusiasm.

The audience (many who probably hadn't seen her perform since she temporarily withdrew from secular music in 2003 and dedicated herself to religious songs) expected to hear her famous hits, and she did not disappoint. The band was well-rehearsed, but also let loose at times, allowing several moments for free improvisation. An example was "Sem Pecado e Sem Juízo," which featured fluid solos from Acosta and Miller. There was also plenty of space for audience participation—for instance, hundreds sang along to "Menino do Rio," a tune penned in the late 1970s by Caetano Veloso that was included on the soundtrack of a Globo TV nighttime soap.

The best part of the show came when the band stepped off stage and do Brasil was joined by Edgar de Almeida on acoustic guitar and Marivaldo dos Santos for a short acoustic set that included "Brasil Pandeiro" (a tune she recorded with Os Novos Baianos in the early 70s) and a medley of Ary Barroso's classic compositions "Aquarela do Brasil" and Dorival Caymmi's "Samba da Minha Terra." Almeida played with elaborate chords, while dos Santos responded with clever touches to his hand drums. As the tunes ended, the lead singer began improvising on Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Desafinado"— clearly unplanned, as Almeida scrambled to find the key do Brasil was singing in (he admitted to it later when asked privately about it). The song went on without a hitch, and as the band returned with a loose version of "Stand by Me" you could see Grey looking at Almeida's fingers to figure out what key the tune was being played in.

The two guest musicians left the stage and the band closed with a Bahia- inspired take on an English-language gospel song and double tempo take on Os Novos Baianos' "A Menina Danca"—originally a laid- back acoustic number, played here with a rock- meets-samba arrangement.

Baby do Brasil has lost none of her incredible stage energy—she still has the same vocal range, singing in the original keys and launching into her trademark scat between verses—especially when the audience took over a song. The band had great chemistry (Skoota mentioned that this was 'a band of friends'), interacting well with do Brasil, who communicated with fans in both English and Portuguese. This was no 'oldies' set, since many of the tunes she revisited were played in new arrangements with only hints of the original (like the inevitable guitar intro on "Menino do Rio"). This is Baby do Brasil today, not a reflection of times passed, decades ago.

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Bob James Trio with Randy Brecker at the Blue Note Live Reviews Bob James Trio with Randy Brecker at the Blue Note
by Tyran Grillo
Published: August 21, 2017
Read The Songs of Scott Walker (1967-70) at Royal Albert Hall Live Reviews The Songs of Scott Walker (1967-70) at Royal Albert Hall
by John Eyles
Published: August 19, 2017
Read Bryan Ferry at the Paramount Theater Live Reviews Bryan Ferry at the Paramount Theater
by Geoff Anderson
Published: August 19, 2017
Read Newport Jazz Festival 2017 Live Reviews Newport Jazz Festival 2017
by Timothy J. O'Keefe
Published: August 18, 2017
Read FORQ at The World Cafe Live Live Reviews FORQ at The World Cafe Live
by Mike Jacobs
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Mat Maneri and Tanya Kalmanovitch at Korzo Live Reviews Mat Maneri and Tanya Kalmanovitch at Korzo
by Tyran Grillo
Published: August 18, 2017
Read "Balé Folclórico de Bahia at Zellerbach Hall" Live Reviews Balé Folclórico de Bahia at Zellerbach Hall
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: March 19, 2017
Read "Hyde Park Jazz Festival 2016" Live Reviews Hyde Park Jazz Festival 2016
by Mark Corroto
Published: October 4, 2016
Read "Grand Union Orchestra at Wilton's Music Hall" Live Reviews Grand Union Orchestra at Wilton's Music Hall
by Duncan Heining
Published: June 20, 2017
Read "Mat Maneri and Tanya Kalmanovitch at Korzo" Live Reviews Mat Maneri and Tanya Kalmanovitch at Korzo
by Tyran Grillo
Published: August 18, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.