Before his immigration to the U.S. in 1968 -- and subsequent collaborations with the likes of Miles Davis, Chick Corea, Joe Zawinul, and Wayne Shorter -- the percussionist Airto Moreira had worked with a number of talented musicians at home in Brazil. Among Airto's cadre of Brazilian cohorts were Mariano Octet, Lennie Dale, Trio Novo, Joyce Moreno, Raul De Souza, Quarteto Novo, and Geraldo Vandre. Among his many bands, there existed one particular trendsetting act that undeniably influenced Brazilian jazz acts to follow: the Sambalanço Trio.
Formed in 1964, the Sambalanço Trio consisted of Airto on traps, Cesar Camargo Mariano on piano, and Humberto Clayber on bass. With unrelenting rhythms, sweet melodic contours, and a tightly rehearsed set, the trio became a favorite among impassioned fans at Sao Paulo's Joao Sebastiao Bar. In total, the band recorded five albums: three on their own, one with Raul De Souza, and one with Lennie Dale. Motivated by a desire to have a family and avoid touring pangs, pianist Cesar Camargo Mariano eventually quit the band. Following his departure, Airto and Humberto Clayber joined forces with Hermeto Pascoal and formed the Sambrasa Trio.