Você Já Foi À Bahía - 03:13
Pra Machucar Meu Coração - 05:54
Ventos Do Norte - 04:33
Sem Você - 03:51
Rumo Dos Ventos - 03:40
Baião Joy - 04:53
Bem Que Te Avisei - 03:22
Quando Você Vier - 04:25
Requebre Que Eu Dou Um Do… - 03:38
Cometa - 06:00
Luciana Souza - voice
Fabio Torres - piano
Paulo Paulelli - bass and vocal percussion
Edu Ribeiro - drums
Brazilian music is held in the highest regard by aficionados throughout the world for many reasons. There are many qualities in the music that shine through from this country, with its diverse population and geography. Though there are many genres of music that have originated in Brazil, it is the overwhelming emotional content of the music that has hooked generations of listeners.
The past few years have been difficult ones for Brazil. The pandemic and a disastrous presidency led to division and depression in a country that is well known for its joy and optimism. But now with things changing, it is with a sense of purpose to find that mirthful spirit that Luciana Souza and Trio Corrente unite to present Cometa, a new recording highlighting the pleasures of community, music making, and the Brazilian songbook.
Grammy award winning vocalist and composer Luciana Souza has been a fan of the outstanding, Grammy award winning, São Paulo based piano group, Trio Corrente, since their inception. She had initially met the Trio’s drummer, Edu Ribeiro, while teaching but was reintroduced while they recorded an album with German trumpeter, Till Brönner. Pianist Fabio Torres was also on the Brönner recording and was well known as a member of guitarist Chico Pinheiro’s different ensembles, while bassist Paulo Paulelli was familiar for his work with the great Rosa Passos.
It was Torres who invited Souza to return to her native Brazil to collaborate and tour together in the Fall of 2022. It struck Souza immediately that they should make a recording that unites their collective love of Brazil’s uplifting music and jazz, an idea that was met with optimism from the Trio Corrente members.
Souza has worked in many settings playing Brazilian music, most notably with guitarist Romero Lubambo, exploring the correlation of Brazilian song and guitar. This would be her first time performing Brazilian material exclusively with a piano trio. Of course, Souza and Trio Corrente hoped to perform compositions by celebrated Brazilian composers (greats like Dorival Caymmi, Djavan, Tom Jobim, and Vinicius de Moraes are included in the program), but they were also compelled to try something new and loose.
The ensemble was inspired by the legendary Zimbo Trio and its regular collaborations with singing great Elis Regina, where they would appear performing new songs with minimal rehearsal for major, televised song competitions and festivals. The ease and joy that emanates from these performances is singular and astounding. Taking this as a frame of reference, Souza and the members of the Trio would each compose a tune of their own that they would bring in and perform, fresh, for the recording.
The songwriting collaboration was free and easy. After discussing the direction of the recording, the members began working on their own pieces, submitting them to discussion and suggestion.
A sense of optimism was palpable when Souza arrived in São Paulo, as it was the same day of the inauguration of new president Lula da Silva. The turnaround to get into the studio was quick, with one day of rehearsal and two days of recording over the first days of January 2023. Larry Klein produced the session remotely from Los Angeles, participating via Audiomovers, a software that enabled him to hear what the musicians were hearing simultaneously in the studio.
As they all come from similar places, musically and geographically, the Trio and Souza were able to perform with ease, sharing the same artistic languages, so to speak. To continue the feeling of lightness and celebration, the pieces covered and composed were performed as sambas.
The recording begins with the legendary Dorival Caymmi’s “Você Já Foi À Bahia,” an enthusiastic and dynamic celebration of the Bahia region and the treasures it presents. The quartet’s performance of Ary Barroso’s “Pra Machucar Meu Coração” contains hints of brightness, though it speaks of a heart breaking. Though Djavan’s “Ventos do Norte” compares his love to the wind, the energy of the samba mirrors the strength of his love.
A sweeping take on the Tom Jobim/Vinicius de Moraes classic “Sem Você” follows, a hint of blues mixed with the saudade, while Paulinho da Viola’s upbeat “Rumo dos Ventos” is a percussive ode to love being our guide forward, an optimistic message appropriate for the session. Bassist Paulo Paulelli’s “Baião of Joy,” a piece that turns the distinctive northern Brazilian rhythm into an elegiac samba featuring Souza’s deft, wordless vocals. Souza’s playful “Bem Que Te Avisei” sends a wry message of warning to a suitor that he shouldn’t play around with a girl and write her songs unless he plans to marry.
Pianist Torres and Vicente Tavares’s “Quando Você Vier” asks for the listener to enjoy the romantic ride as they ride the tune’s infectious groove and Dorival Caymmi’s effervescent samba “Requebre Que Eu Dou Um Doce” begs to be danced to. The recording concludes with drummer Ribeiro’s lovely “Cometa,” which contains a humble entreaty for everyone to be a celestial being of purity searching for peace.
The music on Luciana Souza and Trio Corrente’s new album, Cometa, comes from a place of love and joy. As a group, they hope to celebrate the reemergence of hope in Brazil with a collection of inspiring music highlighting the power of Brazilian song and the limitless expression of jazz.