Antonio Adolfo – Samba Jazz Alley – AAM Music 

by | Jul 24, 2019 | Jazz CD Reviews | 0 comments

Antonio Adolfo – Samba Jazz Alley – AAM Music AAM7013 46:58****

Jazz and the samba may not always be top of mind to the jazz listener, but it generally keeps percolating under the surface. Antonio Adolfo, who grew up in Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana district, has kept the tradition alive with his latest release Samba Jazz Alley by capturing the vibrancy and longevity of Samba Jazz.

Adolfo has surrounded himself with some top of the line Brazilian jazz musicians who play with a passion for the music and a deep understanding of its roots. With all arrangements by Adolfo, the band starts the session with a Johny Alf number “Céu E Mar” which opens with some interesting unison brass figures. The number has a propellant beat with Adolfo’s piano interjections that are both vigorous and glistening.

Antonio Adolfo and Tiberio Gaspar wrote “Hello, Herbie” as a tribute to Herbie Hancock. A close listening will pick up a musical nod to one of Hancock’s signature compositions Maiden Voyage. Trumpeter Jess Sadoc is given lots of solos space to feature his biting tone which is followed by guitarist Lula Galvao with some nifty picking. All in all, the number has a number of captivating passages bound in a samba beat.

A lovely bossa nova ballad entitled “Tristeza De Nos Dos” features two harmonica players. Firstly Brazilian legend Mauricio Einhorn is in the company of the current Brazilian sensation Gabriel Grossi. They both demonstrate a splendid adaptability as their skittering solos add to the searching melody.

The name Antonio Carlos Jobim is so intertwined with Brazilian sound that it would be almost impossible to execute an album without the inclusion of his compositions. In this instance the compositions are “Passarim” and “Corcovado”. The former number refers the way in which the people of the Minas Gerais area call a little bird. The soprano sax of Marcelo Martins is used effectively to convey this calling refrain.

The latter number is probably one of the most recognized compositions of the bossa nova period. Alfonso treats the number with the respect it deserves with own piano solo effectively delicate. The alto flute of Marcelo Martins has a quiet energy that is attached to the scintillating bossa beat.

The album is a delightful testimonial to the birthplace of Brazilian Jazz.

Antonio Adolfo – piano & arranger
Lula Galvão – acoustic & electric guitars; Jorge Helder – double bass
Rafael Barata – drums; Dada Costa & Rafael Barata – percussion #2,4,6,8; Jesse Sadoc – trumpet & flugelhorn #1; Marcel Martins – soprano, tenor saxophones & alto flute #9; Rafael Rocha – trombone; Special Guests: Serginho – trombone #8; Mauricio Einhorn & Gabriel Grossi – harmonicas #1; Claudio Spiewak – shaker #1,5,8; Claudio Spiewak – acoustic guitar #1

Céu E Mar
Hello, Herbie
So Por Amor
Casa Forte
Tristeza De Nos Dois
The Frog

—Pierre Giroux


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