We're moving!

All About Jazz is moving to a new location. Please refrain from submitting content, updating content, sending messages, placing orders, etc. until we remove this notice. Thanks for your patience.

3

Nilson Matta and Leny Andrade at Dizzy's

Nick Catalano By

Sign in to view read count
Celebrating the release of Black Orpheus (Motéma, 2013), bassist Nilson Matta brought his band into Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola on February 13, 2013. Along with pianist Klaus Mueller, percussionist Fernando Saci, drummer Alexander Kautz and saxophonist Steve Wilson the show featured legendary singer Leny Andrade, who also performs on the CD.

Although Brazilian music has enthralled American audiences for decades, they rarely encounter the pioneering authenticity that Matta brings to a performance. The producers at Dizzy's have, in recent months, frequently headlined Trio de Paz, also featuring Matta, and that group has given Gothamites real insight into the bossa nova and tropicalismo origins which initially connected Brazilian music and jazz. The rhythmic subtleties and harmonic lines that Trio de Paz delivers provide a healthy measure of the original techniques that have made samba jazz so compelling.

Similarly, when Andrade took to the stage, singing familiar tunes like "Felicidade" and "Corcovado," a fresh energy entered the arena. Her lugubrious Brazilian Portuguese phrasing deepens our awareness of the melodic texture. The resonance of Portuguese diphthongs delivers meaning that no English translation can render, and Andrade's articulation and range manages the task as few others can. Tony Bennett called her "the Ella Fitzgerald of Brazilian music" and, at age 70, she is at the top of her game. Her patter in halting English gave the patrons at Dizzy's chuckles as she recounted memories of composer Vinicius De Moraes's nightly meanderings. And her mastery of the great composers—Jobim, Bonfa and de Moraes—had the audience riveted.

Matta's sidemen also deserved notice. Mueller, a pianist somewhat new to the scene, brought new excitement to "Frevo de Orfeu," as did the exchanges between Saci and Kautz. Wilson wisely featured whole note sequences, which optimized the melodic predominance of the Brazilian hits.

Although listening to these hits here in New York was invariably pleasurable, Matta and his group made the evening feel as if it were taking place somewhere in the back alleys of Sao Paulo or curbside on Ipanema beach. And that was a rare musical transformation, indeed.

Tags

View events near New York City
Jazz Near New York City
Events Guide | Venue Guide | Get App | More...

Shop Amazon

More

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.