The Art Of The Trio: Baden from Trio da Paz

by chipboaz on May 12, 2017

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Every type of instrumentation brings something new to the experience of a jazz performance, but there’s something special about a jazz trio. The intimacy of three people brings the group closer to an actual conversation, inspiring more options for improvisation throughout every aspect of the performance. There’s also less of a defined idea about the function that a musician is serving in the trio; it becomes less about accompanists or soloists and more about a collective thought. The thin texture demands more from each musician too – there’s not anywhere to hide, each musician carries the weight of the performance and they need proficient skills to fulfill their role in the group. In many ways, the trio is the perfect jazz configuration, but also one of the most challenging; as a result, very few groups master the art of the trio.

In the realm of Brazilian Jazz, there’s not a more inspiring combination of three musicians than the long running Trio da Paz. Consisting of guitarist Romero Lubambo, bassist Nilson Matta, and drummer Duduka da Fonseca – three of the busiest musicians in Brazilian Jazz – there’s an abundant level of musicianship. The group was formed in 1990, and 27 years later, the trio is a creative powerhouse. That consistency is part of the group’s core strength; after so many years performing together, there’s a daring sense of interplay, a deep connection in the groove, and an inherent trust. Each group member works outside the trio as well, serving as sidemen and leaders in their own rite, producing memberable albums such as Lubambo’s most recent release Sampa. When they return to the trio, this experience only makes for a richer experience, as they bring new elements into the mix. Trio da Paz represents the best qualities of a trio in the world of Brazilian Jazz, a fact that you can see on today’s video feature as they perform one of Matta’s compositions, “Baden.”

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