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Nilson Matta: EastSideRioDrive

Read "EastSideRioDrive" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Many a bassist is renowned or applauded for the way they serve as ballast in a band, but what of the bassists who go the other way, providing lift instead of weight? There are precious few of them out there, but Nilson Matta is one one of them. Matta, whether working with the collectively-operated Trio Da Paz, backing cellist Yo-Yo Ma, playing with any number of legendary jazz figures, or working his own projects, tends to do something that few ...

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Nilson Matta: Nilson Matta's Black Orpheus

Read "Nilson Matta's Black Orpheus" reviewed by Edward Blanco

Brazilian bassist Nilson Matta has, like all artists, has drawn inspiration for his music from a variety of sources--of which a play and a movie serve as the influence for the moving Black Orpheus. Antonio Carlos Jobim's compositions for the 1957 Vinicius de Moraes Brazilian play Orfeu da Conceicao and the 1959 Black Orpheus movie that went on to win an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, is beautifully and tastefully reimagined here with the benefit of an all-star ...

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Nilson Matta: Nilson Matta's Black Orpheus

Read "Nilson Matta's Black Orpheus" reviewed by Dr. Judith Schlesinger

This CD is the culmination of Nilson Matta's lifelong dream: to record his interpretation of the Orpheus music from the Brazilian play and movie of the 1950s. To make it happen, Matta enlisted fifteen superb players from Brazil and the United States, building his ensemble up from the rhythmic, native heart of the music. The result is a stunning accomplishment: a fresh translation of the timeless classics from Antonio Carlos Jobim, Vinicius De Moraes, and Louis Bonfa, set in a ...

NEW YORK BEAT

Nilson Matta and Leny Andrade at Dizzy's

Read "Nilson Matta and Leny Andrade at Dizzy's" reviewed by Nick Catalano

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 Alex 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, ...

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Nilson Matta: Nilson Matta's Black Orpheus

Read "Nilson Matta's Black Orpheus" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

The story of Orpheus and Eurydice has been told and retold in various mediums and manners throughout the ages. Claudio Monteverdi used opera as his means of transmitting the tale, alt-rocker Nick Cave tackled it head-on in song and author Neil Gaiman revisited the story in comic book format, but the list doesn't stop there; any decent rundown of Orpheus remakes has to include Brazil's two most famous contributions: the play Orfeu da Conceição and its subsequent film offspring, Black ...

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Nilson Matta's Brazilian Voyage: Copacabana

Read "Copacabana" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

Brazilian music is given a shot of verve and vivacity by bassist Nilson Matta, as he succinctly captures the imperatives of the music through originals and standards. The music of his native land courses strongly through his veins, and his compositions blood that presence. He sets up several moods, encompassing them in arrangements that draw the nectar without forsaking the tang.

Matta turns on the seduction from the time he sets the tempo on bass for “Baden," a tribute to ...

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Nilson Matta / Ze Luis / Paulo Braga: Green Heart

Read "Green Heart" reviewed by Ernest Barteldes

"Antonio Carlos Jobim was concerned about the environment way before anyone else was talking about it," said Brazilian-born reedman Zé Luis halfway through his mini-set at New York's Joe's Pub, in December 2007, during the release concert for Green Heart, dedicated to the preservation of the Amazon Forest. With that thought in mind, Luis went on to play “Caminhos Cruzados," an early Jobim-Newton Mendonça tune whose original lyrics say that the only cure for a broken heart ...

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Nilson Matta: Walking With My Bass

Read "Walking With My Bass" reviewed by Ken Dryden

Nilson Matta has long been considered one of the best bassists to emerge on the Brazilian music scene, primarily as a member of Trio de Paz. Although he has had few opportunities to record as a leader, he has been widely utilized as a sideman. On this collection of studio sessions, he repays the debt to some of them by recruiting nearly two dozen different musicians with whom he has worked over the past three decades. As a result, Matta ...