Monday, July 31, 2023

Trombonist Ryan Keberle's Collectiv Do Brasil presents "Considerando" the music of Edu Lobo

Ryan Keberle's Collectiv Do Brasil Considerando 

The trombonist Ryan Keberle has always had a deep connection to the music of Brazil. He claims to have been smitten by it when he first heard music from the Brazilian singer Elis Regina decades ago. Regina became renowned for her song "Arrast
√£o" written by Edu Lobo and Vinicius de Moraes. 

Elis Regina in Teatro da Praia 1969 (photo credit unknown)

These songwriters, along with other trailblazers,- Ivan Lins, Milton Nascimento, and Toninho Horta- were making music that was an amalgam of Brazilian folk and pop music with jazz sensibilities. The results were creative and captured the soul of many worldwide musicians as well as the general public who fell in love with their sensuous beauty.  

Keberle first met the Brazilian members of his first Collectiv do Brasil back in 2017 when he took a trip to Brazil and ran into three musicians- pianist Felipe Silveira, bassist Thiago Alves, and drummer Paulinho Vicente-who all had a passion for this moving music and found a kindred spirit in the trombonist. In 2019 they released the first album Sonhos da Esquina, which drew from the music of Milton Nascimento and Toninho Horta. On Keberle's latest release, his current Collectiv do Brasil continues with Keberle on trombone and arrangements, Felipe Silveira on piano and arrangements, drummer Paulinho Vicente, and the bass chair now being held by Felipe Brisola. This time the music is predominantly based on the music of Edu Lobo, still going strong at the age of seventy-nine. Of the ten compositions, six are from Lobo, "Blackbird" by Lennon and McCartney is given a Brazilian take, "Be" is by drummer Vicente and "Edu," written specifically for this album and a homage to Lobo, and "Gallop" a song formerly played with Keberle's Catharsis group, are both from the trombonist.

The music is performed with authenticity and reverence. These four musicians find common ground in their ability to fluidly improvise on this music with eerie intuition. This is Keberle's musical love letter to Lobo. His trombone is agile, voice-like, at times plaintive, and always emotive in a way that brings life to this music. Silveira creates some gorgeous waves of piano work that are perfectly responsive to his bandmates and add depth to the music.  Brisola's bass pulses with a throb-like humanity and Vicente creates a gorgeous canopy of rhythm over the melodies.

One of the highlights of this album is the title cut, this group's languishingly beautiful version of Lobo's "Considerando."  Keberle plays with superb restraint. He is a master of tone and attack, and here his artful trombone creates an air of wistful melancholy that can make the listener's heart simply break. Silveira's minimal piano solo is equally played with reverence and feeling and Brisola's bass bellows with large, full, accentuated notes. 

Keberle's "Edu" is another joy. A dynamic joining of Brazilian lyricism with a jazz treatment. The music has a driving pulse on which Keberle improvises in a creatively bellowing way throughout. The three Brazilians create a pushing, probing rhythm that has a dancing flow to it. Then the group segments the flow with rhythmic breaks and Keberle's trombone navigates through it all with the facile aplomb of a capoeirista.

"Zanzibar" is a spectacular display of how precisely conversational these four can be. The music has an infectious rhythm to it, some spicy tradeoffs, and there is a wonderful piano solo by Silveira and some boisterous percussion from Vicente. 

"Casa Forte/Canto Triste," which means strong house/sad corner, was written by Lobo, Lani Hall, and Vinicius Demoraes, and has a memorable melody that is played beautifully by Keberle's ascending and descending trombone lines. Silveira again shows his deep understanding of this music in both his accompaniment and soloing.

You will find your favorites in the above or in the remaining music like the ballad "Toada," Keberle's Brazilinized "Gallop, "Pra Dizer Adeus," "Even Now," "Be" or this group's take on the Beatles "Blackbird." No matter, if you enjoy well thought out and played Brazilian music there is something here in Ryan Keberle's Collectiv Do Brasil"s Considerando for everyone to savor and enjoy. 


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