Last Sunday, the Beloved and I had a lovely experience while having brunch at the Antique Garage Restaurant, 41 Mercer Street, New York City. Good food and pleasant service in a comfortable environment would have been enough — but add to it the lilting improvisations of the Banda de Antique Garage, and the afternoon was a memorable one.
The Banda de Antique Garage plays lovely Brazilian music — its secret is that no member of this casually accomplished trio is from South America, but you’d never notice. From the left, you’ll see Debbie Kennedy on bass, Davy Mooney on guitar, and Laura Dreyer on alto saxophone and flute.
The three members lead the active lives of free-lance New York City jazz musicians: I hadn’t known Laura’s work before, but her musical associations are wide-ranging (visit http://www.lauradreyer.com). Debbie first impressed me sometime in 2005 when she was a charter member of Eddy Davis’s Wednesday night band (eventually called WILD REEDS AND WICKED RHYTHMS) at the Cajun in New York City. Davy Mooney knocked me out when I heard him performing with Gordon Au’s Grand Street Stompers.
Brazilian music is entrancing and hypnotic, but it’s also difficult to float through in the same way one of these musicians could comfortably deal with I GOT RHYTHM changes . . . so the music stands in the videos testify to this band’s desire to expand their already large repertoire. Each member of the trio brings new songs and new arrangements to every gig, with very pleasing results.
Here are four videos from last Sunday afternoon by a compact little group that makes the warm breezes of Brazil come to New York City. Although they call themselves the Banda de Antique Garage (not the same thing as a garage band) I am sure that they are available for gigs elsewhere . . .
Here’s the rhapsodic, rocking MENINA FLOR:
Jobim’s INUTIL PAISGEM (“Useless Landscape,” the song of a broken-hearted lover who says the landscape means nothing without the departed one):
QUEM TE VEM, QUEM TE VAO, sinuously winding:
And the ruminative FROM THE LONELY AFTERNOONS (by Milton Nasciamento):
No afternoon would be lonely spent listening to this band: catch them in person when you can!