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Monday, August 08, 2005

Brazilian Jazz Super Group Trio Da Paz Releases Somewhere :: : The Number One Jazz News Resource On The Net :: Jazz News Daily

Brazilian Jazz Super Group Trio Da Paz Releases Somewhere :: : The Number One Jazz News Resource On The Net :: Jazz News Daily Brazilian Jazz Super Group Trio Da Paz Releases Somewhere
Posted by: eJazzNews Readeron Monday, August 08, 2005 - 03:46 PM
Jazz News Brazilian Jazz Super Group Trio Da Paz Releases Somewhere --
A Captivating CD of Bossa and Samba Jazz Masterworks

After a three-year absence from the recording studio that must seem like an eternity for their followers, Trio Da Paz returns with Somewhere, to be released September 20 on the Blue Toucan label. It’s a celebration of the famed trio’s singular artistry, loaded with the kind of exquisite, virtuosic and illuminating performances that have made them one of the world’s most popular exponents of Brazilian jazz of the past two decades. The 13-track program ranges from bossa nova classics of their homeland to modern jazz standards, well-known motion picture themes and even the Brazilian National Anthem. Although the works represent different cultures and time periods, all are linked through the trio’s highly intuitive readings via the common language of jazz samba and bossa.

It was in New York City in 1985 when guitarist Romero Lubambo and drummer Duduka Da Fonseca, both natives of Rio De Janeiro, and Sao Paulo-born bassist Nilson Matta, all who had relocated to the U.S. to advance their careers, began to rehearse together. Initially, it was just for their common joy and relaxation. But it didn’t take long before the three musicians realized that their collaborative effort held a greater promise that just the camaraderie that was nurtured by their informal sessions. The inner peace they discovered making music together led to the name they picked for the group, and Trio Da Paz, the “Trio of Peace” was born.

Four critically lauded albums for three different labels between 1992 and 2002, including a date with pianist Kenny Barron, kept them in the vanguard of the Brazilian jazz movement in the U.S. and expanded their fan base. At the same time, all three members pursued their own careers, recording albums under their own names and participating in dozens of high profile jazz, popular, classical and Brazilian music recordings.

Since the mid-1980s, the three trio members have been among the most in-demand musicians for recordings and live performance in the U.S. The breadth of their individual professional experiences is nothing less than astounding. When, for instance, the son of the late composer Antonio Carlos Jobim wanted the best drummer in the world to record the bossa nova icon’s masterworks with the Sao Paulo State Symphony Orchestra, it was Da Fonseca who was tapped for the project, Symphonic Jobim, which earned a Latin Grammy Award. Likewise, Matta and Lubambo were both handpicked by Yo-Yo Ma to join an all-star roster for the cellist’s Obrigado Brazil album.

Those credits, however impressive, only hint at the degree to which the talents of Lubambo, Matta and Da Fonseca have been embraced by the elite of the music world in the U.S. Lubambo’s resume includes countless recordings and performances with the likes of Astrud Gilberto, Jobim, Herbie Mann, Dave Douglas, Kathleen Battle, Luciana Souza, Paquito D’Rivera, Dianne Reeves, Jane Monheit and countless others. Matta’s talents have been lavished on recordings that range from avant-garde pianist Don Pullen and bebop saxophonist Joe Henderson to such jazz stars as Gato Barbieri, Oscar Castro Neves, and Claudio Roditi, while his associations with Brazilian musicians have included such notables as Joao Gilberto, Hermeto Pascoal, Chico Buarque and Nana Caymmi. Da Fonseca, whose arrival in the U.S. in 1975 predated that of his cohorts by a decade, has worked with an eclectic group of jazz and Brazilian artists, including Antonio Carlos Jobim, John Scofield, Gerry Mulligan, Tom Harrell, and Dom Salvador, among many others. All three have been extensively involved in music education, from authoring method books to teaching at prestigious conservatories.

On Somewhere, the trio challenges itself by tackling a repertoire that includes songs never before treated to Brazilian-style interpretations. Included in the left-field entries are such gems as “Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead,” from The Wizard of Oz, the title tune, from West Side Story, and their country’s national anthem. From the ranks of jazz standards come two treasures that demand the most skilled of interpreters, “Seven Steps To Heaven,” written by pianist Victor Feldman and Miles Davis; and Paul Desmond’s “Take Five,” of Dave Brubeck Quartet fame. Lubambo, Matta and Da Fonseca even test themselves when delving into the music of their own culture. Other than Jobim’s well-known “Corcovado,” they’ve chosen intriguing works that are largely unknown to North American audiences, including two classics by guitarist Baden Powell, Jobim’s “Look To The Sky” and the group Azymuth’s torrid “Partido Alto.”

Four decades ago, during the reign of bossa nova in Brazil, jazz-influenced instrumental trios were the all the rage, but virtually all such groups sported a piano, not a guitar, as its lead voice. Trio Da Paz embraces this venerated format and retains its driving, highly interactive character while spotlighting the golden tone of Lubambo’s guitar and his stunningly effective improvisational skills. Matta’s occasional solo forays add another delectable texture to the trio’s sound, while Da Fonseca’s constantly shifting rhythmic patterns, always delivered with utmost sensitivity, insure that the proper Brazilian flavor permeates every note.

Those familiar with the group‚s other recordings will quickly discover that Trio Da Paz has attained a new plateau of creativity on Somewhere. And for good reason, it’s been 20 years in the making.

Release Date: September 20, 2005 - Blue Toucan Music

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