Brazilian jazz invades The Edye
On Friday night, tenor saxophonist Robert Kyle and his band filled the concert hall of Santa Monica College's Edye Second Space with the hybrid sound of Brazilian music fused with American jazz. Enhancing the intimate atmosphere of The Edye, the small concert room that hosted an audience of approximately 40 people was softly lit with a few overhead lights focused on the stage.
Kyle was accompanied by his band, which consisted of vocalist Carol Bachiryta, drummer Walter Rodriguez, bassist Hussein Jiffry, and guitarist, who goes by Capital.
Kyle and his band played two sets, a total of three and half hours, creating a time capsule where various sounds from across the years came to life.
The band took pieces and lyrics from influential American jazz musicians like Charles Mingus, combining them with traditional Brazilian music.
The music ranged from exhilarating to moody and joyful to melancholy with various fusions of Afro-Brazilian rhythms, tribal percussion and classic jazz melodies by American musicians. The band set the room on fire with a piece by jazz pioneer Dizzy Gillespie, to which Bachriyta sang passionately, while Rodriguez was pounding the snare and bass drum like a man playing for his life. But while American icons were resurrected in sound and rhythm, it was the Brazilian music that always overshadowed.
"There's a world of goodness to get out of Brazilian jazz," Bachiryta said in between sets. "It's a very alive form of art. It's not like a pop song where you do it the same way every single time."
"These are live drums, live musicians listening to each other, we never do a song the exact same way twice," she added.
Kyle said that Brazilian jazz has a versatile quality.
"Brazilian jazz is very subtle and there are many layers to it, every time you listen to the same song you will find new things," he said. "It can be very complex and very simple."
In an interview during the break after the first set, Kyle advised music students to have an open mind to different genres and types of music, and said that pursuing music as a career required full attention and hard work.
"If you're a student of music, you want to open your mind to all different styles of music, different flavors, different rhythms, different harmonies, all that can inform what you do with your music," he said. "If you're driven do it, don't have something to fall back on. If you want to play music, work your ass off."
SMC student Christopher Washington appreciated the entertainment aspect of the show and also the learning experience.
"The music was elegant and had luxury," he said. "It gave me more variety in music and reminded me of finer living."