Brian Molley & Mario Caribe’s Brazilian Quartet, Salon Elegance, Saturday July 28th ***
Taking refuge in a tent where warm, Brazilian music was on the bill was the only sensible option in the early part of Saturday evening, when a monsoon was raging over Edinburgh. The unpredictable and often downright abysmal weather has played a significant part in this year’s jazz festival experience: whereas during the glorious sunshine of last year’s event, the George Square Gardens was a bustling hub last year, where you could meet and mingle, this year, spending any time there has been a calculated risk.
So it was an appreciative – if soggy – crowd which settled down for the music of Brian Molley and Mario Caribe’s Brazilian Quartet. Saxophonist Molley and bassist Caribe are well known on the Scottish music, but the other half of the band comprised two of Caribe’s fellow Brazilians, Fabio Torres (piano) and Edu Ribiero (drums), flown in from Sao Paolo for this project which featured almost exclusively original compositions.
These musicians may not be regular collaborators but they made up a tight unit, and are clearly of a similar state of musical mind. The numbers played may have been penned by different members of the band but there was a flow to the programme of the concert because of the stylistic similarities.
What seemed to be missing, unfortunately, was the classic Brazilian jazz vibe – the way in which the great Stan Getz recordings of the 1960s delivered the balmy bossa or sultry samba feel with a breezy coolness. This was less warm, but very dry – and a bit too repetitive. Which is perhaps why, once the rain eased up outside, there was something of a minor exodus from the concert…
First published in The Herald, Monday July 30th