THURSDAY 9/5. 8 p.m. South on Main. $35-$46.
The relationship between Brazilian-born guitarist Romero Lubambo and St. Louis pianist Peter Martin has an easy way about it. In interviews, like the one AETN documented for its “On the Front Row” series, mutual admiration between the two longtime collaborators shows forth, effortlessly. Onstage, though, that shared respect turns into something more like shared mischief. “If I play and change something — give him a surprise or something,” Martin said in the behind-the-scenes footage from that same Oxford American Jazz Series concert, “he’s gonna hear it and then change it around and throw it back at me … There’s a lot of surprises, and that’s really the essence of what we’re doing. It’s based around improvisation.” Laughter peppers their cheekier chordal transitions, Lubambo looking over at Martin after a particularly maverick skylark, and a song’s acceleration toward climax often feels like a stockpot on the verge of boiling over, as if the whole tune is about to fall apart. (It won’t.) Happily, jazz vocalist Erin Bode crashes that party this time around, adding the most honeyed of wild cards to the ensemble. Call 800-293-5949 or head to metrotix.com for tickets, and get details at oxfordamerican.org/events, where you’ll find that Martin and Lubambo follow this Little Rock concert with an appearance in Fayetteville on Saturday, Sept. 7, as guests of the NWA Jazz Society, in partnership with Oxford American and the Fayetteville Roots Fest.