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Mario Adnet and Philippe Baden Powell: Afro Samba Jazz, The Music of Baden Powell

Edward Blanco By

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Afrosambajazz: The Music of Baden Powell celebrates the most influential Brazilian guitarist of all time and his collaboration with songwriter Vinicius de Moraes. Baden Powell's son Philippe, an acclaimed pianist in his own right, has joined forces with Brazilian guitarist Mario Adnet on this fine tribute to Baden—and the influence that legendary Brazilian songwriter and arranger Moacir Santos had on him. Inspired by the first Os Afro Sambas albums of 1966 and beyond, Philippe and Adnet interpret Baden's explorations of bossa, samba, choro, and Afro-Brazilian elements known as candomble and umbada. A few original songs are also recorded here for the first time.

Philippe and Adnet play with a light ensemble, using at least twelve players on each piece, with Adnet performing on eight and Powell sharing piano duties with Marcos Nimrichter. The music is diced with strong samba and bossa rhythms while incorporating elements of classical jazz—as in the spacious Powell/de Moraes composition "Lamento de Exu (Lament for Exu)," a light, gentle tune featuring a solo by Ricardo Silveira on electric guitar. "Alode (Mermaid's Lament)" is another bright piece without any obvious Brazilian flare, played in a traditional jazz style with two exquisite saxophone solos—one from tenorist Eduardo Nieves and the other by Teco Cardoso on baritone.

The album opens with a light upbeat samba, "Canto de Xango (Song for Xango)," followed by "Ritmo Afro (Afro Rhythm)," a composition co-written by Powells senior and junior with a sprawling arrangement by Adnet. Providing a taste of the Brazilian choro, "Caxanga de Oxala (Oxala's Game)" comes off lightly and uses the sounds of hands clapping. The samba flavor is strong on tunes like "Canto de Ossanha (Song for Ossanha)" and "Yansan Suite," which send the music into heavy Brazilian grooves spurred on by spicy vocals from Monica Salmaso.

While Adnet and other guitarists play admirably on record, it is a tad disappointing that the instrument is not more prominent on this tribute to a major guitarist. Nevertheless, Afrosambajazz is a thoroughly engaging slice of samba, bossa and other Brazilian flavors, and a fine re-imagining of one of Baden Powell's major works.

Track Listing: Canto de Xango (Song for Xango); Ritmo Afro (Afro Rhythm); Caxanga de Oxala (Oxala's Game); Nhem Nhem Nhem; Lamento de Exu (Lament for Exu); Canto de Ossanha (Song for Ossanha); Lamento de Preto Velho (Lament for an Old Man); Sermao (Sermon); Canto de Yemanja (Song for Yemanja); Pai (Father); Alode (Mermaid's Lament); Berimbau; Yansan Suite; Domingo de Ramos (Palm Sunday).

Personnel: Philippe Baden Powell: piano; Mario Adnet: guitar; Marcos Nimrichter: piano; Jorge Helder: bass; Jurim Moreira: drums; Armando Marcal: percussion; Ricardo Silveira: electric guitar; Antonia Adnet: seven-string guitar; Marcel Powell: guitar; Henrique Band: alto saxophone; Eduardo Nieves: tenor saxophone; Teco Cardoso: baritone saxophone; Andrea Ernest Dias: flute; Jesse Sadoc: trumpet, flugelhorn; Everson Morales: trombone; Philip Doyle: French horn; Vittar Santos: trombone; Cristiano Alves: clarinet; Hugo Pilger: cello; Aquiless Moraes: trumpet; Carlos Negreiros: vocals; Monica Salmaso: vocals.

Title: Afro Samba Jazz, The Music of Baden Powell | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Adventure Music


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