Chris Walker, L.A Jazz Scene

 

Duet Natalie Cressman-trombone/vocals and Ian Faquini guitar/vocals based in New York with roots in the San Francisco Bay Area showcased songs from their recently released Setting Rays of Summer CD at the downtown LA adjacent Mayfair Hotel. The venue with a bar about 15 feet from the performance area provided a noisy backdrop for the musicians who had minimal amplification. Nonetheless, Cressman and Faquini persisted to sing and play beautiful songs in Portuguese, French and English influenced by Brazilian bossa nova, samba and MPB, with tinges of baião and ijexá mixed in. Forlorn and alluring “Sereia” was the opening song that showcased the duet’s and Cressman’s gorgeous vocals, along with her pristine trombone solo.

Gentle and sweet sounding “Debandada” continued more so featuring Faquini singing smoothly and his partner in the backing vocal role. Leaning slightly to jazz with trombone playing the introduction was “Lenga Lenga,” with the guitarist maintaining the lead vocal position and Cressman spryly soloing. From a different perspective was torch song “My Heart Again Will Rise” sung in English, which in the singer/trombonist hands became a soothing ballad garnished with easy flowing guitar. Cressman also sang a bossa tune sweetly and soloed solidly. Faquina returned to the forefront singing “Terê” coolly, while his partner jammed away. During the closing moments of the set the pair totally switched things up by having a harmonica playing friend join them on stage for bluesy and bossa jam pieces that blew the audience away. For more info go to: www.nataliecressman.comand www.ianfaquini.com.

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