La e Ca: Here and There (AAM Music) was one of the highlights of 2010. She returns as headliner on Belezas: The Music of Ivan Lins and Milton Nascimento again, supported by Adolfo and his very fine quartet. Composers Lins and Nascimento represent a late '60s answer to bossa nova, which had dominated Brazilian (and a good bit of American jazz) in the late 1950s and early '60s. Called MPB (Musica Popular Brasileira), this music was less a musical genre and more a combination of original songwriting and updated folk themes.
The twelve-song recital is sung in Portuguese and English with splendid musical direction by Adolfo and accompaniment by guitarist Claudio Spiewak, whose clean lines and elastic chording properly dress up- tempo pieces like "Tres Pontas" and ballads like "Doce Presenca," which features the excellent Hendrik Meurkens
proves a master of musical barometric pressure, manipulating a song's humidity to effect just the proper sensuousness to complement Saboya's well-balanced soprano.
In what seems an endless flood of Latin jazz, excellence always finds its way and is properly manifested in Saboya and Adolfo. The pair's specific choice of such a narrow wedge of Brazilian music tightens the focus of the disc, making it intelligent and aesthetic entertainment. There is much to be learned and enjoyed about Belezas: The Music of Ivan Lins and Milton Nascimento, and we are lucky to have it to enjoy.
Track Listing: Bola De Meia, Bola De Gude; Who Is In Love Here; Abre Alas; Tristesse;
Beleza E Cancao; Anima; Soberana Rosa; Doce Presenca; Tarde; Tres
Pontas; Velas Icadas; Estrelaguia.
Personnel: Antonio Adolfo: piano; Claudio Spiewak: acoustic and electric guitars;
Jorge Helder: double bass; Rafael Barata: drums and percussion; Dave
Liebman: soprano and tenor saxophones (4, 9); Hendrik Meurkens: