You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Morelenbaum2/Sakamoto

The pairing of visionary Japanese keyboardist Ryuichi Sakamoto and the husband-and-wife team of singer Paula and cellist Jacques Morelenbaum is the kind of inspired collaboration that one would have never thought of, and yet makes perfect sense after the fact.

Cast:
Band: Ryuichi Sakamoto, Jacques Morelenbaum, Paula Morelenbaum, Luis Brasil, Marcelo Costa.

The pairing of visionary Japanese keyboardist Ryuichi Sakamoto and the husband-and-wife team of singer Paula and cellist Jacques Morelenbaum is the kind of inspired collaboration that one would have never thought of, and yet makes perfect sense after the fact. At the Knitting Factory, it was obvious that Sakamoto and the Morelenbaums — augmented by subtle touches of guitar and percussion — delight in each other’s company. Playing the piano with remarkable elegance, Sakamoto smiled like a boy in a candy store whenever he got a chance to perform bossa nova standards penned by the late Antonio Carlos Jobim.

Last year, the trio got together in the Brazilian house of the Jobim and recorded “Casa,” a melancholy, heartfelt tribute to the bossa nova pioneer. The Morelenbaums had collaborated on a number of Jobim projects before the composer’s death. Sakamoto, on the hand, has expressed his love for Brazilian music in most of his eclectic solo output.

An austere recording, “Casa” focuses on the more somber side of Jobim’s emotional universe; behind the bubbly, sunny-day-at-the-beach textures, there was a always a disquieting, mournful aspect to the maestro’s music. Add to it Sakamoto’s fixation with the French impressionists (Debussy, Ravel, et al) and the music begins to sound a bit monochromatic halfway through the album.

At first, the show followed a similar pattern, focusing on lesser known Jobim nuggets and creating a static mood of icy perfection. Had she been born in Portugal, Paula Morelenbaum would have been the ultimate fado chanteuse.

Fortunately, the group detached itself from this taciturn atmosphere, ending the show with a delightful series of bossa classics, from “A Felicidade” and “Desafinado” to “Agua de Beber.” Sakamoto’s playing became progressively jazzier, Paula showed she possesses plenty of swing and good humor, and her husband joined her for some impromptu vocalizing.

Morelenbaum2/Sakamoto

Knitting Factory; 500 capacity; $35

Production: Presented by Knitting Factory. Reviewed Sept. 7, 2002.

Cast: Band: Ryuichi Sakamoto, Jacques Morelenbaum, Paula Morelenbaum, Luis Brasil, Marcelo Costa.

More Music

  • AMAs Afterparty at Watt's with Niall

    Niall Horan, Chainsmokers, Rae Sremmurd Bring the AMAs After-Party to Beverly Hills

    The pairing of visionary Japanese keyboardist Ryuichi Sakamoto and the husband-and-wife team of singer Paula and cellist Jacques Morelenbaum is the kind of inspired collaboration that one would have never thought of, and yet makes perfect sense after the fact. At the Knitting Factory, it was obvious that Sakamoto and the Morelenbaums — augmented by […]

  • American Music Awards Alessia Cara

    American Music Awards: What You Didn't See on TV

    The pairing of visionary Japanese keyboardist Ryuichi Sakamoto and the husband-and-wife team of singer Paula and cellist Jacques Morelenbaum is the kind of inspired collaboration that one would have never thought of, and yet makes perfect sense after the fact. At the Knitting Factory, it was obvious that Sakamoto and the Morelenbaums — augmented by […]

  • Top Rock Agent at CAA Nashville

    Powerhouse Nashville Rock Agent Scott Clayton Leaves CAA for WME

    The pairing of visionary Japanese keyboardist Ryuichi Sakamoto and the husband-and-wife team of singer Paula and cellist Jacques Morelenbaum is the kind of inspired collaboration that one would have never thought of, and yet makes perfect sense after the fact. At the Knitting Factory, it was obvious that Sakamoto and the Morelenbaums — augmented by […]

  • Della Reese dead

    Della Reese, 'Touched by an Angel' Star and R&B Singer, Dies at 86

    The pairing of visionary Japanese keyboardist Ryuichi Sakamoto and the husband-and-wife team of singer Paula and cellist Jacques Morelenbaum is the kind of inspired collaboration that one would have never thought of, and yet makes perfect sense after the fact. At the Knitting Factory, it was obvious that Sakamoto and the Morelenbaums — augmented by […]

  • Get Out

    'Get Out,' 'Detroit,' Issa Rae, Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige Among Top NAACP Image Award Nominees

    The pairing of visionary Japanese keyboardist Ryuichi Sakamoto and the husband-and-wife team of singer Paula and cellist Jacques Morelenbaum is the kind of inspired collaboration that one would have never thought of, and yet makes perfect sense after the fact. At the Knitting Factory, it was obvious that Sakamoto and the Morelenbaums — augmented by […]

  • Eagles Cowboys Sunday Night Football ratings

    TV Ratings: 'Sunday Night Football' Scores Best Numbers Since Week 1

    The pairing of visionary Japanese keyboardist Ryuichi Sakamoto and the husband-and-wife team of singer Paula and cellist Jacques Morelenbaum is the kind of inspired collaboration that one would have never thought of, and yet makes perfect sense after the fact. At the Knitting Factory, it was obvious that Sakamoto and the Morelenbaums — augmented by […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content