TRIO DA PAZ, Sheraton City Center, Dec. 7

A big laugh came from the audience when Trio Da Paz guitarist Romero Lubambo tried to equalize his monitor.

After talking to the sound engineer, Lubambo tested the sound with a few notes from Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven."

That's when drummer Duduka Da Fonseca chimed: "He always does this during the second act."

Humor and hot-shot musicality was the theme of the evening when Trio Da Paz played its own blend of acoustic Brazilian jazz at the Sheraton City Center.

Da Fonseca, Lubambo and up-right bassist Nilson Matta quickly established a great rapport with the audience through between-song banter.

However, it was the music that caused a few jaws to drop.

The three, all of whom were born and raised in Brazil and moved to the United States to pursue a career in music, were seemingly telepathic as they wild-moused through two sets of brilliant, syncopated music.

"Baden," from the 2002 CD "Cafe," and "P'ro Flavio," from 1998's "Partido Out," were some of the sweet tunes to fill the venue.

Lubambo's classically inspired guitar playing meshed with Matta's lower end fingering while Da Fonseca kept time with brushes and sticks.

Each was able to take time during each song to demonstrate their musical prowess.

Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Wave" and the Trio's own "Paraty" displayed the trio's knack for dynamics.

At times the music was soft as a whisper and at other times it was seat-shaking explosive, which thrilled the audience to no end.

The reverent "Look to the Sky" and jazzy "For Donato" set up the Da Fonseca piece "Dona Maria," which was written for his aunt.

The audience appreciated how the musicians seemed to create a musical sculpture by starting off with minimalistic notes and working with them until the rhythm and melody emerged.

Then with a loose frame, the three were able to add their own touches to the composition and flesh out the theme.

"For people who come from a city that has 'Salt' in its name, you all are sure sweet," said Lubambo as he thanked the GAM Foundation — the Jazz at the Sheraton concert producer — at the end of the performance.

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