Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

4

Sergio Mendes with Eliane Elias at New Jersey Performing Arts Center

Ernest Barteldes By

Sign in to view read count
Jazz Meets Samba
Sergio Mendes with Eliane Elias, Lee Ritenour and Joe Lovano
New Jersey Performing Arts Center
Newark, New Jersey
November 8, 2013

On a double-billed evening dedicated to the music of Brazil, pianist Eliane Elias kicked off the first set with an up-tempo take on Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Só Danço Samba" backed by her touring band, which was rounded out by Marc Johnson (bass), Mauricio Zottarelli (drums) and Marivaldo dos Santos (percussion). After that number, she was joined by Lee Ritenour (acoustic guitar) and went straight into "Chega de Saudade," played close to the arrangement on Elias' Bossa Nova Stories (Blue Note, 2009) without stretching much. Ritenour then spoke about his longtime relationship with Brazilian music and the different musicians he has worked with through the years, followed by a contemporary jazz take on "Water To Drink," a tune featured on his A Twist of Jobim (Polygram/EMusic, 1997), swinging it hard with extended solos from both Elias and Ritenour.

Elias then went on to mention Getz/Gilberto (Verve, 1965), the historic studio collaboration between Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto. "Staying true to the spirit of that album," she said, Elias invited Joe Lovano on for a spirited take on "The Girl From Ipanema," in which the saxophonist played short riffs in response to Elias' vocals. Among the highlights was "Stone Flower," a more obscure Jobim composition with classical and northeastern Brazilian influences. That tune gave the musicians an opportunity to stretch, including a call-and-response solo between Dos Santos and Elias.

After a brief intermission, Sergio Mendes (vocal, Fender Rhodes) came on with his eight-piece band (reeds, drums, percussion, bass, guitar, vocals), beginning the set with an updated arrangement of "Waters of March," as featured on his Encanto (Concord, 2008) without being too creative with it. The group then followed directly to "She's A Carioca" (sung in Portuguese) and "The Girl From Ipanema."

Mendes repeated many of the tunes on Elias' set, but his arrangements were far more commercial, more in tune with the career revival that began with his collaborations with the Black Eyed Peas in 2006. Many songs featured rapper H2O, including a cringe-inducing version of Jobim's "Surfboard" in which the rapper did his improvisations over Mendes' piano solo. The set was not without its positive moments, especially when the group revisited tunes from Brazil '66 (A&M, 1967), including hits like his covers of Jorge Ben's "Mas Que Nada" and John Lennon & Paul McCartney's "The Fool on The Hill." The best part of the set came when vocalist Gracinha Leporace sang the lead vocal on Chico Buarque's "O Que Sera" as a soulful ballad. At the end of the show, percussionist Meia-Noite, Elias, Ritenour, Dos Santos and Zotarelli joined Mendes for a loose version of Ben's hit "País Tropical," a song that speaks of the wonders of being from Brazil.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Jan23Wed
Sergio Mendes
McCallum Theatre
Palm Desert, CA
Jan29Tue
Sergio Mendes
Belly Up Tavern
Solana Beach, CA
May5Sun
Sergio Mendes
Southbank Centre
London, UK
May5Sun
Sergio Mendes
Royal Festival Hall
London, UK
May8Wed
Sergio Mendes
Tivoli/vredenburg
Utrecht, Netherlands
May10Fri
Sergio Mendes
Het Depot
Leuven, Belgium

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Live Reviews
Darrell Grant Black Art @ 25 Quartet at Birdland Theater
By Mike Jurkovic
January 18, 2019
Live Reviews
Odean Pope Quartet at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
By Victor L. Schermer
January 15, 2019
Live Reviews
Denise Donatelli at Mezzrow
By Nicholas F. Mondello
January 10, 2019
Live Reviews
The Los Cabos Jazz Experience 2018
By Wendy Ross
January 5, 2019
Live Reviews
Rene Marie With Experiment In Truth At The Jazz Corner
By Martin McFie
January 3, 2019