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Helio Alves Brings His Brazilian Jazz Quartet to Zinc Bar
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Helio Alves Brings His Brazilian Jazz Quartet to Zinc Bar

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Helio Alves Brazilian Jazz Quartet
(Helio Alves Website)
With:
Helio Alves on Piano
Ben Allison on Bass
Alex Kautz on Drums
Rogerio Boccato on Percussion

At Zinc Bar
www.zincbar.com
82 West 3rd Street
(btw. Thompson & Sullivan)
New York NY 10012
212-477-ZINC (9462)

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
August 16, 2011


Program:
“Bebe” (Hermeto Pascoal)
“Duality” (Helio Alves)
“Bala com Bala” (João Bosco)
“It's Clear” (Helio Alves)
“Vera Cruz” (Milton Nascimento)
“Angel Eyes” (Matt Dennis, Earl Brent)
“Kathy” (Moacir Santos)
“Sambetinho” (Helio Alves)
“Sombra” (Helio Alves)
“Coisa #10” (Moacir Santos)


It was great returning to Zinc Bar, in the Village, with its exquisitely designed Sauter piano. Helio Alves was onstage, with his own quartet. This was Brazilian jazz at its finest, as Helio has an eclectic background of straight jazz, Brazilian, Latin, and ballads. He created an amazing pulse, especially as the room filled, late into the night. Among tonight’s guests in the audience were musicians, Duduka Da Fonseca, Maucha Adnet, and Paul Peress, all friends and collaborators with Helio. I stayed for two sets (Zinc Bar runs very late into the wee hours), and the music was thrilling.

Helio makes the piano sound like dual keyboards, with energy, and full, tonal dynamics. Two percussionists were onstage with Helio, Alex Kautz on standard drums and Rogerio Boccato on Latin percussion. Rogerio often used exotic, percussive instruments that shake and shimmer. Also onstage was Ben Allison on bass, who told the audience he’s from Connecticut and Brazil, a great combo. When I arrived, the first set was in motion, and I was struck by the vibrancy of the solos, with cymbals and congas and bass adding depth and dimension to Helio’s keyboard concoctions. The music sometimes echoed between piano and percussion or bass, as the themes became intertwined and reinvented. The Brazilian burnish sizzled within the melodies, adding Samba and Bossa dance beats. But, sometimes a riff would go on forever, meshing into straight jazz in overdrive. The final piece in the first set had a powerful pulse, with Helio’s piano riff punctuated with clavé rhythms. It was poignant and intriguing.

The next set took “Angel Eyes” and twisted it inside out with luscious South of the Border rhythms, presenting the original theme as a thematic bookend to improvisational riffs. Helio took the Sauter piano on a wild ride to Rio. The set proceeded with repetitive piano chords that elicited duo percussive riffs on drums and congas. Alex and Rogerio made the music momentous with drumsticks, hand pulse, and shimmering-shaking ornamentations. Sometimes they echoed each other and sometimes they played as one. The results brought cheers from the audience. Some of those cheers were directed to Ben, as his bass solos were sumptuous. Soon more Brazilian Samba themes appeared, but with fusion and percussive fireworks. Helio embellished the motif with undulating intonations. During the evening Helio informed the guests about the origins of the music. He was quite gracious and thanked the crowd often. You can catch future events at Zinc Bar by checking this current calendar.



The Renowned Sauter Piano
at Zinc Bar
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Duduka Da Fonseca and Friend
Greet Helio Alves at Zinc Bar
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Helio Alves, Ben Allison,
Alex Kautz, and Rogerio Boccato
at Leisure at Zinc Bar
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Helio Alves Greets the Crowd,
Ben Allison on Bass
at Zinc Bar
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Helio Alves, Ben Allison,
Alex Kautz, and Rogerio Boccato
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Helio Alves on Sauter Piano
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Helio Alves on Piano,
Ben Allison on Bass
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Ben Allison on Bass,
Alex Kautz on Drums,
Rogerio Boccato on Percussion
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Alex Kautz on Drums,
Rogerio Boccato on Percussion
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Helio Alves and Paul Peress,
Guest, at Leisure at Zinc Bar
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



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