Saturday, November 27, 2010

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
A Romero Lubambo sampler

As noted in this space last week, a number of fine jazz guitarists have visited St. Louis this fall, and the mini-trend will continue next week with Pat Martino returning to Jazz at the Bistro for a four night stand. In addition, the Brazilian guitarist Romero Lubambo is coming to town next Saturday, December 4 to perform at the Sheldon with Peter Martin as part of the pianist's eponymous concert series.

Lubambo, born in 1955 in Rio de Janeiro, studied guitar at the Villa-Lobos Music School. He moved to the United States in 1985, and his credits include work with singers and musicians such as Astrud Gilberto, Dianne Reeves, Michael Brecker, Al Jarreau, Kathleen Battle, Herbie Mann, Ivan Lins, Flora Purim and Airto, Paquito D’Rivera, Harry Belafonte, Grover Washington, Jr., Luciana Souza, Dave Douglas, and Trio da Paz, who have recorded for the St. Louis-based MAXJAZZ label.

Today, we've got four video clips that show off Lubambo's considerable skills in several different musical contexts. First up is a solo rendition of "Song for Kaya," taken from Lubambo's Bossa Nova Guitar DVD, that serves as a very nice example of his playing in the familiar Brazilian style.

Down below, Lubambo teams up with pianist Cesar Camargo Mariano to perform "Curumim," and shows off some very tight, rhythmically accurate playing that contrasts nicely with the looser, laid-back feel of the first clip. The third video shows the guitarist backing singer Dianne Reeves in a duo version of "You Taught My Heart To Sing." Unfortunately, while the audio is quite good, the video, shot by an audience member with a handheld camera, shakes badly. However, the performance still is well worth hearing for how Lubambo creates a sparse yet compelling backdrop for Reeves' voice.

The fourth clip, recorded in 2007 in São Paulo, shows Lubambo jamming on the song "Equinox" with fellow guitarist Mike Stern (who coincidentally was here in St. Louis just last week). It's noteworthy in part for the chance to hear the contrast in their styles, and in part because it's a comparatively rare example of Lubambo playing electric guitar on a tune with a blues chord progression.

(Edited 11/30/10 to clean up some typos.)

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