Jazz, Lounge, & Cabaret

Con Brio

When: Fri., July 13, 9 p.m. 2012

With its blues-influenced melodies and chunky brass section, local quintet Con Brio recalls soul bands of an earlier era, though it's also emblematic of a current revivalist movement that shows no sign of waning. The best in this new crop of nostalgia-based outfits are the ones who don't try to evolve, but rather imitate their antecedents to the sharpest degree possible. Con Brio's five members must have realized that, even if they pay lip service to the idea of adding "new-school sophistication" to a decidedly old-school sound. Their instrumentation -- stand-up bass, electric organ, clavinet, two horns, and traps -- harks back to garage bands of the Sixties and Seventies; meanwhile, singer Xandra Cooper bends her notes in a sweet, almost drawly way. That said, the band doesn't rely on mimesis alone. It's also got an infectious stage presence, and the musicians play together so well that their sound rivals anything created in a digital recording studio -- except that it's live and analog. Con Brio plays at Disco Volante (347 14th St., Oakland) on Friday, July 13. 9 p.m., free. DiscoVolanteOakland.com

Rachel Swan

Price: free

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