When trombonist Ian McDougall became unavailable to open for the Spokane Jazz Orchestra at Saturday’s concert at The Met, a local group stepped in.
That might normally be bad news, but this is no ordinary local group. Desafinado is an excellent, new nine-piece outfit that specializes in Brazilian jazz.
Does the name Antonio Carlos Jobim ring any bells? Louis Bonfa? “The Girl from Ipanema?”
Yes, the sultry, sensuous sounds of Brazilian jazz are on the comeback trail, and no wonder. The lovely, lilting music is fun to dance to and a treat to hear.
Unfortunately, the two men who did the most to popularize Brazilian jazz with North American audiences - Stan Getz and Antonio Carlos Jobim - are dead, but their legacy lives on in bands such as Desafinado.
Led by saxophonist Gary Edighoffer and flute and sax player Pam Meyer, Desafinado is made up of some of Spokane’s best jazz musicians - Andy Plamondon, trumpet/fluegelhorn; Dave Stultz, trombone; Paul Landsberg, guitar/ vocals; Paul Raymond, percussion; Eugene Jablonsky, bass; and Rick Westrick, drums.
Newcomer Laura Landsberg recently joined on vocals, replacing Robin Reynolds.
Desafinado played a sharp set at the Jazz Society’s First Jazz show in January and has filled the house at Hobart’s more than once. Edighoffer said the group already has received invitations to perform at a number of summer festivals.
Edighoffer, who also plays in the SJO, said the big band will close the show with a set that he described as “challenging.”
There’s a new Airmen of Note arrangement of “Jeannine” that features the sax section, a reggae/ funk piece called “M.O.T.,” a Stan Kenton/Hank Levy arrangement of “Pegasus” and a Don Menza chart called “Samba de Rollins.”
Laura Landsberg will join the SJO, singing “Almost Like Being in Love” and “I’m Beginning to See the Light.” She’ll also do a couple of tunes with a combo.
A percussionist new to Spokane will make his debut Saturday. Conga player Bob Vasquez “really adds a lot to the big band,” Edighoffer said.
Tickets for the 8 p.m. show are $16 for adults and $14.50 for students and seniors. Call 325-SEAT.