Brazilian Trio Da Paz Celebrates '30' Years Together on New Zoho Music Debut [REVIEW]

By Mike Greenblatt | Feb 16, 2016 10:09 PM EST
Brazil never sounded so good: Trio Da Paz at work. (Photo : courtesy Trio Da Paz)

Thirty years in, Trio Da Paz is still making memorable experiments within Brazilian samba and bossa nova. Their seventh CD, and first for Zoho Music, is a melting pot of cultural influences, from gypsy jazz and bebop to third stream and free improvisation. The sounds they get from just guitar, bass and drums are, in a word, magic.

The CD, titled 30, is an amalgam of what they started in 1985 with their debut, Brasil From the Inside (which also featured Herbie Mann and Joanne Brackeen), only now, after three decades, they are so attuned to each other's every tic, the wave length of their improv transcends instrumental limitations.

The role of the guitar -- both electric and acoustic -- is played by Romero Lubambo. Obviously influenced by Wes Montgomery and Django Reinhardt, dig Ro go gypsy on the fast-faster-fastest "Samba Triste," an informal tribute of sorts to another guitar legend: Baden Powell [1937-2000], who set South America ablaze with his spider-like fingers on the fretboard.

On acoustic bass is Nilson Matta, a Sao Paulo native who's been a New Yorker for 30 years. It is his "Sampa 67" which starts this joyride off on a sprightly note of intense interplay with Matta's highly idiosyncratic methodology of rubato (a slowing down and speeding up) at the track's core.

The role of the drums is played by Duduka Da Fonseca who freely switches from sticks to brushes depending on the tune. On "Outono" (autumn) for instance, a lazy autumnal bossa nova fragrance permeates the proceedings with brushed aplomb. Yet on his own "Alana," written for his daughter, he sticks it up by changing the meter three times.

Never static, always moving, the kinetic 30 is gorgeous. Here's to another 30...

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