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Trio da Paz at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola

Nick Catalano By

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Trio da Paz

Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola

New York City, NY

August 27, 2013

There can be no doubt that Trio da Paz is the hottest jazz group working in Gotham these days. In the last week of August the band was booked for an extended two-week engagement, once again featuring "friends" Harry Allen, Joe Locke and Maucha Adnet. This is the umpteenth time in the past couple of years that the group has performed at Dizzy's—each occasion a sellout. It is difficult to recall the last time such repeat bookings of one group occurred in a New York jazz club.

What is perhaps most interesting is the group's constant unveiling of new improvisational adventures, innovative rhythmic excursions, harmonic flourishes and other musical experiments. This has never been a formula for fan retention, but at Dizzy's the SRO audiences keep coming back, never quite sure what the latest performance will reveal. The billing says that the music will be that of "Jobim and Getz," but to the group's credit it is clear that the people are there because of these spectacular musicians. They have heard "The Girl from Ipanema" countless times but expect daring new expressions of the standard, and are always rewarded.

The Trio da Paz musicians—guitarist Romero Lubambo, bassist Nilson Matta, drummer Duduka Da Fonseca—perform as cohesively as any rhythm trio on the scene. They have worked together in various group incarnations for over a decade and their knowledge of each other's improvisational nuances is total. At Dizzy's, when the band launched into "Chega de Saudade" (a tune by Jobim and de Moraes with the English title "No More Blues," often thought of as the first recorded bossa nova song), its exchanges melted into the unison sound of some unknown single instrument.

With such outstanding sidemen as Allen and Locke, it is a wonder that the stage has enough room for the virtuosic displays of these giants. But the cohesiveness of Trio da Paz is infectious and when these guests joined in the celebration, the delicate balance proceeded apace.

The finale, "Garota de Ipanema" (it seems sacrilegious to use English in this context any longer), sung by Adnet, contained fresh new strains from everyone in the band. I would never have thought that this tune could garner any additional improvisational subtexts, but somehow the performers discovered new territory.

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