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Zimbo Trio portrait The Zimbo Trio -- drummer Rubens Barsotti, bassist Luiz Chaves, and pianist Amilton Godoy -- was one of the countless jazz trios that dotted the Brazilian nightlife during the bossa nova boom of the early 1960s. The Trio was also the house band on the TV musical variety show, O Fino Do Fino, which starred MPB diva Elis Regina. Zimbo Trio backed Regina on some of her early recordings, and also worked with samba-bossa singer Elizeth Cardoso on several late-'60s albums. Afterwards, they devoted themselves to their won work, and have ever since steadily recorded a stream of bossa-jazz albums. The members of the Trio also recorded prolifically with other Brazilian jazz and pop artists, and pop up as studio musicians on countless albums.


Luiz Chaves e Seu Conjunto "Projecao" (RGE, 1963)
Bassist Luiz Chaves and pianist Hamilton (Amilton) Godoy in a set of swank, nightclubby big band versions of recently-minted bossa nova standards. This is well-performed, though unoriginal -- still, it's a good example of how high-class Ellingtonian jazz motifs filtered into the Brazilian scene. Like Ellington, Chaves straddled the classical, jazz and pop worlds, although modern listeners may find his approach little more than competent and professional. The tinkly piano work by Hamilton Godoy is the most distracting element, otherwise this has some nice moments, in a "Harlem Nocturne" kinda way. In 1964, along with drummer Rubens Barsotti, Chaves and Godoy went on to co-found the long-lived Zimbo Trio.

The Zimbo Trio & Elis Regina "O Fino Do Fino" (Philips, 1965)
The official recording debut of the Zimbo Trio, backing MPB diva Elis Regina, the host of the TV show, O Fino Do Fino, where the Trio also worked as the house band. This disc makes a pretty convincing case for Elis as a straight jazz singer, in a live gig that is met with great enthusiasm by the early '60s audience. It sounds pretty hammy and ham-fisted to me, though, and ultimately it ain't my cuppa tea. Plus, when the band really gets to banging away, the recording overmodulates horribly. Still, you can't deny Elis's fiery spirit and the strong connection with her audience... It's probably worth checking out, but there are other Elis Regina records that are much more subtle.

Zimbo Trio "Zimbo Trio" (RGE, 1965)

Zimbo Trio "Zimbo Trio, v.2" (RGE, 1966)

Zimbo Trio "Zimbo Trio, v.3" (RGE, 1967)

Zimbo Trio/Various Artists "Ao Vivo No Teatro Joao Caetano" (Museu De Imagem E Do Som, 1968)
The bossa-jazz combo called the Zimbo Trio, in a live show, recorded along with Elizeth Cardoso and the band Epoca de Ouro, led by mandolinist Jacob Do Bandolim.

Zimbo Trio/Various Artists "Ao Vivo No Teatro Joao Caetano, v.2" (Museu De Imagem E Do Som, 1968)

Zimbo Trio "E Tempo De Samba: Zimbo Trio & Cordas" (RGE, 1968)

Zimbo Trio "Zimbo Trio & Cordas, v.2" (RGE, 1969)

Zimbo Trio "Zimbo Trio & Metais: Decisao" (RGE, 1969)

Zimbo Trio & Elizeth Cardoso "Balancam Na Sucata" (Copacabana, 1969)
A live album of jazzy, loungey performances from 1969. Cardoso's voice and phrasing seem a bit rough here, though she is clearly a model for the torchy, cabaret-tinged stylings of Maria Bethania, Gal Costa, and the like. The Trio are very jazz oriented, and in some ways more interesting than she is. Plenty of "potpouri" medleys, though they don't sound forced... The percussion is superior, although the piano is a bit cheesy.

Zimbo Trio & Elizeth Cardoso "E De Manha" (Copacabana, 1970)
With the Zimbo Trio...

Zimbo Trio "Strings And Brass Play The Hits" (Phonogram, 1971)
Includes a couple of early compositions by Ivan Lins, "Madalena" and "Agora."

Zimbo Trio "Opus Pop: Classicos Com Bossa" (Phonogram, 1972)

Zimbo Trio "Opus Pop #2" (Phonogram, 1973)

Zimbo Trio "F. M. Stereo" (Phonogram, 1974)

Zimbo Trio "Zimbo" (RGE, 1976)

Zimbo Trio/Various Artists "Fragamentos Ineditos Do Historical Recital No Teatro Joao Caetano Em 19 De Feveriro De 1968, v.3" (Museu De Imagem E Do Som, 1977)

Zimbo Trio "Zimbo" (Continental/Clam, 1978)

Zimbo Trio & Sonny Stitt "Zimbo Convida Sonny Stitt" (Continental/Clam, 1979)

Zimbo Trio & Sebastiao Tapajos "Sincopando: Zimbo Convida Sebastiao Tapajos" (Clam, 1982)

Zimbo Trio "Zimbo Convida" (Clam, 1982)

Zimbo Trio "Trocando Em Miudos A Tristeza Do Jeca..." (Clam, 1983)
Unenthralling nostalgic bossa nova instrumentals from this much-vaunted '60s combo. Mainly standards -- Jobim and Buarque -- but with a few modern twists, such as a tune by Egberto Gismonti and one by Djavan. Doesn't do much for me, I'm afraid.

Zimbo Trio "...Interpreta Milton Nascimento" (Clam, 1986)

Zimbo Trio "Zimbo Trio E As Criancas" (Clam, 1989)

Zimbo Trio "Cla Do Clam" (Movieplay, 1992)

Zimbo Trio & Canhoto Da Paraiba "Instrumental No CCCB" (Tom Brasil, 1993)

Zimbo Trio "Aquarela Do Brasil" (Movieplay, 1993)

Zimbo Trio & Claudya "Entre Amigos" (Movieplay, 1994)

Zimbo Trio "Caminhos Cruzados: Zimbo Trio Interpreta Tom Jobim" (Movieplay, 1995)

Zimbo Trio & Mauricio Einhorn "Brasil Musical" (Tom Brasil, 1996)
(Re-released as Viva Musica?)

Zimbo Trio "35 Anos Ao Vivo" (Movieplay, 1999)

Zimbo Trio "Tributo A Elis Regina" (Movieplay, 2003)


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