Brazilian music is always inspiring and uplifting, even the melancholy ballads about lost love. It was a special treat to hear the Australian-Brazilian ensemble at The Jazzlab, featuring music by various Brazilian composers including Baden Powell, Guinga, Vinicius de Moraes and Tom Jobim.
The ensemble was led by guest director Ken Murray, who featured on guitar, and included Darrin Archer: piano, Alastair Kerr : drums/percussion, Erica Tucceri: flute, Paloma Bica : violin, and Rodrigo Salgado: bass.
From the outset, the ensemble jumped into the rhythms, and kept it tight throughout the evening. Erica Tucceri played some fantastic flute lines with passion and energy, and Salgado created sensuous and punchy bass grooves. Ken Murray's guitar performance was evocative, with a gorgeous tone. Archer and Kerr maintained a solid, yet spacious rhythmic foundation. What was exciting for me was to be able to listen to the whole ensemble musical story, and at the same time have my attention drawn to individual instrumental lines. Murray and Salgado also contributed their own compositions to the programme.
There were so many gorgeous and exciting moments, but the stand-out piece for me was the final tune by composer Tom Ze, which was simply amazing.
After such an uplifting and joyful evening, I can only say thank you to the Australian-Brazilian Ensemble and and to the Jazzlab. We need live music more than ever. Bravo !