With the addition of Karlsson, Perpetuum Jazzile surely will continue developing their rich sound and ability to cover jazz, R&B, rock, world music, and pop. Just listen to their powerful yet delicate vocals on Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are," or inciting the crowd to dance during their Earth, Wind, and Fire Medley. Stevie Wonder's "As," whose refrain seems tailor-made for a chorus, receives a joyous, percussion-filled makeover. Interestingly, the lead vocalists' duet seems borrowed from George Michael and Mary J. Blige's cover rather than Wonder's original recording. Brazilian jazz fans will enjoy their gorgeous versions of "Mas Que Nada," "Baroque Samba," "So Danco Samba," and "Aquarela Do Brasil"—all are particularly impressive due to the group's effortless singing in Portuguese.
Included below is my favorite Perpetuum Jazzile number—their medley of George Benson favorites "Masquerade," "Turn Your Love Around," and "On Broadway." Note the close harmonies and lead singer Nino Kozlev?ar's scatting on the sultry "Masquerade;" clearly Kozlev?ar closely studied Benson's scatting style, and nicely incorporates it in his performance. "Turn Your Love Around" showcases the group's love of R&B, and it's easy to forget that English is not Kozlev?ar's native tongue, as his singing is almost flawless. Finally, the group finishes on a strong note with "On Broadway," which they gradually turn into a rhythmic Latin number. Sašo Vrabi? shines in a featured solo, displaying his considerable vocal percussion skills.
Ideally Perpetuum Jazzile's world tour, including America, will expose their intelligent, sophisticated yet joyful style to a wider audience. If they are appearing near you, make the effort to seek them out and experience their vocal prowess live. On their website, the group defines Perpetuum Jazzile as "vocal ecstasy." Track down their albums and watch their YouTube videos, and you will be inclined to agree.
The Cutout Bin will be on vacation for a few weeks, but will return in late May with more musical buried treasures.