Ed Motta exudes swing and good humor in new show

The musician's remarks make the audience laugh, while he manages to balance the sophistication of jazz and the need to make people dance

Carlos Calado
He's an admitted glutton on a daily basis, so why should it be different on stage? In the show As Segundas Intenções do Manual Prático, named after his latest album, Ed Motta sings, plays and talks with the audience for over two hours. Still, as voracious as the singer/songwriter himself, his fans beg for more. Pretty much at home, the soulman seems to have finally met some balance in his music: without letting go of his creative obsession about jazz and 50s-thru-70s black music, he knows how to please those who prefer dance music.

With an attractive disco punch, Mágica de um Charlatão (written with Chico Amaral) takes over the audience from the very start. It is followed by the samba-funk Dez Mais Um Amor (written with Ronaldo Bastos) and by the funk Lady (written with Fabio Fonseca and Mathilda Kóvac), dedicated to Ed's wife, Edna.

Vamos Dançar, a major Motta hit from the 80s, comes up with a Steely Dan-like arrangement. The influence of the American group is felt again, later. "I got into Brazilian music because of Steely Dan", claims Ed, right before introducing Suddenly You, a homage to the legendary group.

In a great mood, Ed introduces most of the songs with some kind of comment or remark, usually with a humorous effect: "If you ask me the line up for the Horace Silver Quartet in 1960, I'll tell you right there and then, whereas I can't remember my own lyrics", he tells, while holding sheets of paper with the lyrics printed in big letters in front of him.

The arrangements deserve special attention: the brass section heats up the dance-driven numbers, such as Solução (written with Bombom) and Entre e Ouça, and also sounds like a big band in the sophisticated ballad Outono no Rio (lyrics by Ronaldo Bastos), for instance.

Showing maturity after a period of oblivion, Ed Motta proves that his persistence granted him a privilege: without making concessions, he keeps producing top quality music in a devastated, major label-oriented music market.