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Brazilian Voyage Trio at The Kitano New York

- Jazz and Cabaret Corner

Brazilian Voyage Trio
The Kitano New York
And 441 Records
66 Park Avenue @38th Street
New York, NY

Produced by Gino Moratti

Nilson Matta, Bass
Helio Alves, Piano
Marcello Pellitteri, Drums
Special Guest: Anne Drummond, Flute

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
December 1, 2006

Jazz at The Kitano New York is presented Wednesday through Saturday nights, and tonight’s trio included the renowned Brazilian bassist, Nilson Matta, the internationally recognized Brazilian pianist, Helio Alves, and the powerful Italian drummer, Marcello Pellitteri. The space is intimate, acoustics are splendid, and the bar menu is diverse and delicious. The leather chairs and private tables allow the listener his/her own space.

The second set began with Jobim’s Passarim, with exotic percussion, before the bass took over with impassioned energy. Nilson’s solo bass used staccato strings, while Helio worked the melody. Steady percussion ensued as cymbals and piano played as one. The second piece, a Samba sensation, took the lounge crowd on a rambunctious ride to Rio. A “Happy Birthday”, Samba style, brought the birthday girl to the stage with her flute, a striking Anne Drummond. This instrumental embellishment added pizzazz to the festive ambiance, and I heard a hint of Herbie Mann. Marcello has command of the Brazilian genre, and his drums were perfectly timed. Helio kept the theme pulsating and dancing, while bass and drums created percussive punctuation. Ms. Drummond returned to finish the finale, as piano and flute joined in a whisper.

Next, Brazilian Bach was heard, as Ms. Drummond led on flute, for one of Nilson’s original pieces. Zingaro, another work by Jobim, exuded a mournful piano lead, picked up by flute, with Helio’s theme maintaining the soulful, steady sound. Helio found the highest piano registers, and the finale was elegant. When the trio resumed on its own, Helio took the lead for straight jazz, with the soul of Samba, but the pulse of Park Avenue. Nilson’s solo was bubbling and buoyant. Ms. Drummond then joined in on flute, dancing in place. Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars followed, and Marcello enhanced the song with a percussive shaker. Nilson’s solo added a surreal quality to this exotic music, while the finale, Para Ti, went wild. Marcello was showcased in an endless, pulsating solo, as the trio turned flamboyant and frenetic. This was all Samba all the time.

Helio Alves on Piano
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Nilson Matta on Bass
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Marcello Pellitteri on Drums
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Helio, Nilson, Marcello
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Gino Moratti, Kitano Jazz Producer
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at