Joyce and Dori Caymmi play Jazz Alley

Jason West By

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While both Caymmi and Joyce are accomplished guitarists, their singing, especially as a duet, is what sets them apart.
Joyce and Dori Caymmi
Jazz Alley,
Seattle, Washington
November 7, 2005

Although it took place on November 7 at Seattle's premier jazz club, this wasn't a jazz show. This was a Brazilian musical event bursting with the native spirit of bossa nova, samba, tropicalia and musica popular. In attendance was Seattle's Brazilian music community, including vocalist Rebecca Paris, pianist/composer Jovino Santos Neto and KBCS radio DJ Paula Maya—all there to bathe in the one-night-only excitement generated by renowned Brazilian singers/songwriters/composers Joyce and Dori Caymmi, who performed works from their latest CD release Rio-Bahia.

While both Caymmi and Joyce are accomplished guitarists, their singing, especially as a duet, is what sets them apart. His lush, earthy baritone in harmony with her spirited, soaring mezzo-soprano covered the entire vocal spectrum and provided the ideal balance on Jobim's "Aguas de Marco and Joyce's "Rio-Bahia.

"If he does the depressive version, I do the manic version, Joyce joked with the 100-plus audience members before demonstrating that, indeed, there is some truth to her generalization. Her up-tempo vocal on "One Note Samba was highly syncopated, like a hummingbird bouncing from flower to flower, and in keeping with Jobim's original harmonic construction. In his version Caymmi transposed the harmony using oblique, diminished chord scales, thus providing a completely original, somewhat darker interpretation.

"Mercador de Siri, "Pra Que Chorar and "Aquarela Do Brasil highlighted the delicious contrast between Caymmi's shadowy lullabies and Joyce's sun-drenched affirmations. Storytellers in song, the pair's ingenuousness on stage was aided by four decades of musical collaboration (he played on and arranged her self-titled recording debut in 1968), and accompanied by veteran pianist Marco Silva and Joyce's husband/drummer Tutty Moreno.

An enthusiastic standing ovation served to emphasize that Dori Caymmi and Joyce have established places among the masters of Brazil's rich musical heritage.

(Note to Jazz Alley management: While most everyone in the audience this evening listened intently during the performance, the exception was a party of five seated in the balcony, who, after dinner and a couple bottles of champagne, distinguished themselves as inconsiderate loudmouths. A critical word to the waiter in their section proved ineffective. Ultimately the problem was solved by a large, irritated patron who left his table to confront the noisy party at theirs. But why did it have to come to that? In such instances club employees should demonstrate their ability to quiet loud talkers, or show them the door.)

Photo Credit
Bob Barry


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