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Nilson Matta’s Brazilian Voyage at Dizzy’s Club "Coca-Cola"
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Nilson Matta’s Brazilian Voyage at Dizzy’s Club "Coca-Cola"

- Jazz and Cabaret Corner


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Nilson Matta’s Brazilian Voyage
(Nilson Matta Website)

With:
Nilson Matta on Bass,
Percussion, and Berimbau

Helen Sung on Piano
Craig Handy on Saxophone and Flute
Fabiana Masili on Vocals and Percussion
Mauricio Zottarelli on Drums and Percussion

At
Frederick P. Rose Hall
Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola
Broadway at 60th Street
NY, NY
212.258.9595
(Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola Website)
Roland Chassagne, Manager
Jason Olaine, Director of Programming & Touring
Desmond L. Prass, Asst. Manager
Michael Mwenso, JALC Curator & Programming Assoc.
L.A. Thompson, Venue Manager, Great Performances
Zooey T. Jones, Director, Public Relations
Danielle Bias, Asst. Director, Public Relations

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
October 17. 2015


Nilson Matta, an exceptional bassist from Brazil, has been favorably reviewed on these pages on numerous occasions, for his recordings, for live events with his Brazilian Voyage ensemble, and for live events with other bands. On each occasion, Mr. Matta has performed with warmth, energy, and mesmerizing tonality. His comments, to the usually sold-out crowds, are always gracious and witty. It was a pleasure to catch his Brazilian Voyage quintet tonight, at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, second set. Along with Mr. Matta on bass, tropical percussion, and the fascinating berimbau, onstage were Helen Sung on piano, Craig Handy on sax and flute, Fabiana Masili on vocals and tropical percussion, and Mauricio Zottarelli on drums and percussion.

“Para Ti”, which Mr. Matta told us was a tribute to Rio, opened with sax, bass, and drums, followed by Ms. Sung on lyrical, upbeat piano, for a fused jazz-samba tune. Mr. Handy’s intense, tenor sax solo held the Club’s attention, on the heels of Mr. Zottarelli’s propulsive drum riff. But, Mr. Handy was the focus of this first piece, and his professional poise and style were notable. Mr. Handy has also been favorably reviewed on these pages, including his solos in the Mingus Big Band. Next, Ms. Masili, a lovely relaxed vocalist, appeared, and her chemistry with the band helped create some breezy, Brazilian ballads. Her South of the Border style was enhanced with Mr. Handy’s flute accompaniment, before the sax returned with a soaring solo, in a one-breath flourish. Ms. Sung, praised in the past on these pages, added a reconfigured take on Ms. Masili’s vocal theme, with trills evocative of Gershwin. When it was time for Ms. Masili to return to song, the piano lured her in. A slower, mellow ballad followed, as sultry and smooth as my Courvoisier VSOP, enhanced by a breathy, sax embellishment.

Mr. Matta and Mr. Handy presented a bass-flute duet, with the bass taking a bouncy, buoyant rhythm. Mr. Handy followed with a resonant flute melody, which was then turned into a rambunctious bass variation. A trio of piano, bass, and drums then played “Aguas Brazilianas”, about the waters of Mr. Matta’s native Brazil. The theme was soft and introspective, with a poignant piano introduction and Mr. Zottarelli’s quiet brushes. The trio next tackled a Samba-infused work by Hermeto Pascoal, with a wild, winding piano theme, driven drums and bass. I envisioned a ballroom-styled Samba performance, amidst the trio’s tonal fireworks. The electrified drum riff brought hoots and applause, before the frenetic finale. In the mix of increasingly fervent harmonies, Mr. Matta took out his berimbau, to the crowd’s amazement, and added a few buzzing bars of deep intonation.

In the set’s finale, Astrud Gilberto’s “Berimbau”, the ensemble, including Ms. Masili, rocked the Club, transporting us all to Rio with the pulse of Samba. Ms. Masili brought out the full aura of the lush, Portuguese lyrics and rolling, rhythmic tune, while Mr. Handy morphed the swirling vocals into a staccato sax sensation. Mr. Zottarelli, in the mix, made the most of his vivacious drums, and Ms. Sung let loose on keyboard trills. On bass, Mr. Matta owned the moment. Kudos to Nilson Matta’s Brazilian Voyage.



Nilson Matta's Brazilian Voyage
at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola
Nilson Matta on Bass
Helen Sung on Piano
Mauricio Zottarelli on Drums, Percussion
Craig Handy on Saxophone
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower




Nilson Matta's Brazilian Voyage
at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola
Nilson Matta on Bass
Helen Sung on Piano
Craig Handy on Saxophone
Mauricio Zottarelli on Drums, Percussion
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower




Nilson Matta's Brazilian Voyage
at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola
Nilson Matta on Bass
Helen Sung on Piano
Craig Handy on Saxophone
Fabiana Masili on Vocals, Percussion
Mauricio Zottarelli on Drums, Percussion
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower


For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at zlokower@bestweb.net