His sinuous melodies and air-conditioned samba rhythms were immediately embraced by jazz musicians, most notably in the early ’60s by saxophonist Stan Getz. Ever since, Jobim’s tunes have turned up as often on set lists as ones by Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington or George Gershwin.
But how often does one get to hear these mellifluous tunes sung by a Brazilian who grew up with them? This weekend, that treat is in store, as vocalist Maucha Adnet, who toured with Jobim for 10 years, makes her Seattle debut.
The Friday, Jan. 23, show is part of the Triple Door’s continuing “Brazilian Nights” series.
Adnet, who grew up in Rio de Janeiro and first played in a group called Céu da Boca (Roof of the Mouth), was recruited for Jobim’s Banda Nova when she was 21, in 1984, and performed with him until his death in 1994.
“He was a wonderful guy,” Adnet said in a phone interview earlier this week. “Besides being this genius, he was a normal human being. I’ve seen him many times frying an egg in the kitchen, doing things we all do. He was very homey.”
Adnet, who is married to the great Brazilian drummer Duduka da Fonseca and lives in New York, appeared on several CDs with Banda Nova, including the 1995 Grammy winner, “Antonio Brasileiro.”
In 2013, she released “Milagre,” with pianist Helio Alves, which takes a luxurious, art-song approach, her plummy alto inflecting the Brazilian songwriter’s tales of love and loss with subtlety and drama.
In Seattle, she shares the bill with guitarist Romero Lubambo, whom jazz fans know from his work with Luciana Souza. Seattle’s own Brazilian kingpin, pianist Jovino Santos Neto, is also on the show, with his quintet.
Adnet generally sings in Portuguese, but on her new album, she does Jobim’s enigmatically poetic list, “Waters of March” — “a stick, a stone, it’s the end of the road, it’s the rest of a stump, it’s a little alone … ” in English, which she said was a challenge.
“At first I didn’t feel like I owned the lyrics,” she confessed. “It’s so important when you’re singing that you really feel the lyric … You have to believe and enjoy and know it well.”
She said Jobim was obsessed by the intricacies of language.
“He was always checking dictionaries, always talking about words,” she recalled. “(Like) the difference between saying ‘Close the door’ and ‘Come close to me.” A subtle difference.”
For Adnet, the Seattle show will be a happy reunion with Santos Neto, who paid his dues with composer and band leader Hermeto Pascoal.
“I met Jovino a long time ago in Brazil,” she recalled. “We went to Hermeto’s house. I must have been 18 years old. I spent the whole day with Hermeto, singing. That was an amazing experience.”
Chances are, the vibe from that early encounter will let itself be felt on Friday.
‘Brazilian Nights,’ with Maucha Adnet, Romero Lubambo and the Jovino Santos Neto Quinteto
7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 23, at the Triple Door, 216 Union St., Seattle; sold out (206-838-4333 or thetripledoor.net).