Sunday, March 15, 2020

Concert Review: Luciana Souza, Chico Pinheiro and Scott Colley at the Folly Theater

After hearing me excitedly rant about the rare opportunity to hear a Brazilian luminary perform in Kansas City as we made our way to the Folly Theater on Saturday, March 7, my date wondered why Brazilian music was being presented in a concert series dedicated to presenting jazz.  A stupendous genre-transcending performance answered her question.

Guitarist Chico Pinheiro and bassist Scott Colley joined bandleader Luciana Souza in a wondrously sublime rendering of jazz and Brazilian sounds.  In a pre-concert talk moderated by Doug Auwarter, Souza praised Colley as “a great architect on bass.”  The elegant foundations he constructed verified Colley’s reputation as one of the top bassists in jazz.  Souza also insisted Pinheiro has secured his place in “the pantheon” of indispensable Brazilian musicians.  The sublime guitarist added beautiful embellishments to Colley’s frameworks.

Standing between her collaborators, Souza provided light percussion and vocals.  (My Instagram clip.)  The arty conceits that occasionally mar Souza’s recordings were entirely absent in the spare setting for audience of about 400.

Because the trio’s musical interpretations of Leonard Cohen’s poetry and the classic works of Brazilians including Luiz Gonzaga and Milton Nascimento were squarely in my sweet spot, it’s difficult for this dazzled observer to be impartial.  The namechecks of personal favorites Bertolt Brecht and Hermeto Pascoal were just icing on a deliciously rarified cake of a concert.

(Original image of Chico Pinheiro, Scott Colley, Luciana Souza and Doug Auwarter by Plastic Sax.)

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