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.

Shop

More Articles

Read Collegiate Jazz at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola New York Beat Collegiate Jazz at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola
by Nick Catalano
Published: March 31, 2017
Read John Pizzarelli Soars at Birdland New York Beat John Pizzarelli Soars at Birdland
by Nick Catalano
Published: September 16, 2016
Read Joey DeFrancesco at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola New York Beat Joey DeFrancesco at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola
by Nick Catalano
Published: August 18, 2016
Read Clifford Brown and Max Roach in 1954: New Research New York Beat Clifford Brown and Max Roach in 1954: New Research
by Nick Catalano
Published: June 13, 2016
Read Pat Martino at The Jazz Standard New York Beat Pat Martino at The Jazz Standard
by Nick Catalano
Published: February 9, 2016
Read "Joey DeFrancesco at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola" New York Beat Joey DeFrancesco at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola
by Nick Catalano
Published: August 18, 2016
Read "John Pizzarelli Soars at Birdland" New York Beat John Pizzarelli Soars at Birdland
by Nick Catalano
Published: September 16, 2016
Read "Clifford Brown and Max Roach in 1954: New Research" New York Beat Clifford Brown and Max Roach in 1954: New Research
by Nick Catalano
Published: June 13, 2016
Read "Collegiate Jazz at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola" New York Beat Collegiate Jazz at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola
by Nick Catalano
Published: March 31, 2017
Read "The Blues: Why It Still Hurts So Good" Book Reviews The Blues: Why It Still Hurts So Good
by Doug Collette
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Artistry in Rhythm: Afro-Cuban Epiphany to Haitian Voodoo" From the Inside Out Artistry in Rhythm: Afro-Cuban Epiphany to Haitian Voodoo
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: July 29, 2016
Read "Thomas Marriott: Balance in Life and Music" Interview Thomas Marriott: Balance in Life and Music
by Paul Rauch
Published: September 21, 2016
Read "Barranquijazz Festival 2016" Live Reviews Barranquijazz Festival 2016
by Mark Holston
Published: November 15, 2016
Read "U2: Innocence + Experience: Live in Paris" DVD/Film Reviews U2: Innocence + Experience: Live in Paris
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: July 17, 2016
Read "Stan Getz: Stan Getz And The Oscar Peterson Trio" Getting Into Jazz Stan Getz: Stan Getz And The Oscar Peterson Trio
by Mark Barnett
Published: September 16, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, and provide read access to our future articles.