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by reception
posted 05/11/2019

Review: Anna Setton Sydney International Women’s Jazz Festival

Sunday 3 November 2019 @ Bondi Pavilion at 7pm

by Phillip James (Jammin’ Mondays)

Sao Paulo native Anna Setton was billed as aborn samba, MPB and choro performer whose style evokes the bossa nova tradition of the Brazilian greats Bilberto, Jobim and Menescal. Ms Setton lived up to this billing, and more. She chatted with us and introduced her songs in English but sang them in the original language. I don’t understand a word of Portuguese. And I’m sure the millions of fans of Brazilian music around the world don’t understand much either. But you don’t need to understand the lyrics to appreciate and be moved by music of this quality, performed with such feeling and proficiency. There is a soft yet firmly touching quality to her voice. And her acoustic guitar playing captures the seductive swing and cool progressions typical of Brazilian music with ease.

The set list was a mixture of Brazilian standards, some lesser known pieces and originals from Anna’s self-titled debut album. The most well known song, Girl from Ipanema, slipped neatly into halfway through the show, and had the many Brazilians in the audience singing, and the rest of us smiling and nodding and tapping along.

The sound and lighting were excellent all evening. Anna was accompanied by songwriting collaborator Edu Sangirardi on piano (extracting a quaint musicality from the Pavilion’s “salty” old upright) and Diego Garbini on trumpet and flugelhorn. Their solos throughout the night were short but very sweet. They shone when Anna finished the show without her guitar, allowing her to gently sway to her songs, as we had been doing all night. Anna was appearing as one of the featured artists at the 2019 Sydney International Women’s Jazz Festival.

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