Leny Andrade, Eighth Blackbird | Museum of Contemporary Art | International | Chicago Reader
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Leny Andrade, Eighth Blackbird 

When: Sat., April 4, 7:30 p.m. 2009
Price: $25, $20 members
Joao Gilberto, the father of bossa nova, sang in a near whisper, and in the late 50s that hushed quality was part of the template for the genre. Before long it opened up to a much wider variety of approaches, though, and bossa nova’s indebtedness to jazz created a natural opportunity for vocalists like Leny Andrade. On her 1961 debut, A Sensacao, she borrowed heavily from the phrasing of American jazz singers like Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan, ingeniously transplanting many trademarks of their improvisational styles into her urban Brazilian grooves. Over the years her voice has deepened and her performances have grown somewhat more sedate, but even at its most relaxed her music never sounds sleepy—the ebullient rhythms of her homeland permeate every syllable. And recent duo recordings with pianist Cesar Camargo Mariano prove that her mastery of both jazz and bossa nova is still so complete that few singers can aspire to match it. For this rare Chicago performance she’s joined by her working trio: pianist Dario Eskenazi, bassist Kip Reed, and drummer Helio Schiavo. Eighth Blackbird opens. —Peter Margasak

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