Trio da Paz Brings the Brazilian Heat
by Dee Dee Bridgewater, NPR Music
June 5, 2008
Trio da Paz comes from a vital music tradition: Duduka da Fonseca came to the U.S. in the mid-'70s, and Romero Lubambo and Nilson Matta arrived a decade later. Together since 1993, the "samba jazz" band represents the cream of expatriate Brazilian musicians in the U.S., as well as a vital link to the bossa nova years. The seminal composer Antonio Carlos Jobim loved da Fonseca's drums, and in the 1980s, "The Girl from Ipanema" vocalist Astrud Gilberto had Lubambo in her band. More recently, cellist Yo-Yo Ma used Matta on a Grammy-winning Brazilian album.
Kenny Barron — whom Dizzy Gillespie discovered in the 1960s and Stan Getz hired 20 years later — crossed Trio da Paz's path in Manhattan at the Coffee Shop, a brunch scene for lovers of Brazilian food and music. Trio da Paz played there on weekends whenever it was in town; Barron became a regular and even sat in on multiple occasions. Then, in 2002, he invited Trio da Paz to record the CD Canta Brasil together. This set from Jazz Standard is a reunion, performed on Dec. 31, 2007.
The show opens and closes with the incomparable samba drums: rhythmic, seductive, a touch martial. Trio da Paz plays original music, Barron joins for songs by Jobim and himself, and there's a composition by Fonseca. After a long night of great music, the drums come back to get listeners on their feet and point them toward the door, sending them home in style.
Obrigado to artistic director Seth Abrams at Jazz Standard in New York, with Zak Szyszko and Martin Goodman. Music mix by Jim Anderson with Aurasonic Limited, Steve Remote, John D'Uva, and Robert Carvell. Our crew is WBGO's producer Josh Jackson, technical director David Tallacksen, and Katie Simon. Recording engineer Manou Mach at Studio-Line in France. JazzSet technical director is Duke Markos, producer Becca Pulliam, and executive producer Thurston Briscoe III at WBGO Jazz 88 in Newark N.J.