O Som Do Jazz Kick Off St. Petersburg Jazz Festival
We are indebted to FeldmanPhotocube for use of his photographs!
O Som Do Jazz got the St. Petersburg Jazz Festival off to a fabulous start on Wednesday, February 26, with a beautiful evening of Brazilian jazz in all its many flavors and colors. The St. Petersburg-based band welcomed two outstanding guests to join them in the two-hour program at The Side Door at The Palladium.
David Manson, a man who wears many hats, is the director of the Jazz Festival, runs the superb EMIT series, teaches at St. Petersburg College, directs The Helios Jazz Orchestra, and leads O Som Do Jazz, playing trombone. Andrea Moraes Manson from Rio de Janeiro is the featured vocalist.
After brief band introductions, they jumped into an uptempo song titled “Batucada.” Brazilian pianist Adolfo Mendonça took the first solo, followed by Manson on trombone, then José Valentino Ruiz on flute, and Alejandro Arenas on electric bass. Arenas and drummer Mark Feinman also form the rhythm section of great local trio La Lucha. Feinman and special guest percussionist Rafael Pereira also lit the first of many fireworks with their interplay.
Moraes Manson next sang “Samba da minha terra (Samba of My Land).” On the group’s new album GO!, most of her vocals are in English. Delightfully, this evening all of her vocals were in Portuguese. She always had one or more percussion instruments with her. And we might as well acknowledge this now: Andrea Moraes Manson could easily do stand-up comedy (featuring her straight-man husband David); she provided the audience with many great laughs.
For that song, multi-instrumentalist Valentino, best known for his flute work, showed his prowess on tenor saxophone. On many of these songs, Valentino on flute or tenor would play the melodies in harmony or unison with Manson’s trombone, creating lovely dances.
Next up was a Jobim bossa nova, “Este seu olhar,” featuring Valentino on flute and fine piano work from Mendonça, followed by “Coco,” a Manson composition from new album Go! A slow ballad, played like a bolero, followed, with Moraes Manson’s captivating vocals and a fine tenor solo from Valentino. Moraes Manson explained that “Caso sério” meant a “serious case of love.”
Manson was featured on “Deixa” before they rolled out a song by one of St. Petersburg’s favorite Brazilian ambassadors, the late Manfredo Fest: “Dig This Samba.” Feinman’s brush work was exquisite, and Pereira’s many percussion toys colored every song.
After a brief intermission, they began with a remarkable Pereira feature, beginning on Brazilian tambourine. As the band fell in on “Café com pao,” Valentino (tenor), Manson, Mendonça, and Arenas all soloed. Another Jobim tune, “Lamento a morro,” was indeed a lament, and Moraes Manson sounded great on “Batendo a porta.” They returned to Go! for “Oldulantes” with solos from Valentino (flute) and Pereira.
Manson announced a “Brazilian classic,” and they offered up “Batida Diferente” and a magical duet with Pereria on percussion and Valentino mimicking sounds on a detached part of his flute! Moraes Manson sang “Upa Neguinho.”
For the grand finale, Mendonça began on piano. Moraes Manson told us there would be audience participation — all of us, singing. There were solos all around, finally getting to Feinman and Pereira, who launched into a battle. At some point, Pereira stood up and took over Feinman’s drum kit as Feinman played percussion. They switched back, we sang, and then we all sang the praises of O Som Do Jazz!
[SET 1: Batucada, Samba da minha terra, Este seu olhar, Coco, Caso sério, Deixa, Dig This Samba; SET 2: Café com pao, Lamento a morro, Batendo a porta, Ondulantes, Batida Diferente, Upa Neguinho, Berimbau, Ê Baiana]
O SOM DO JAZZ
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