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Antonio Adolfo: Chora Baiao

Edward Blanco By

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Chora Baiao (Cry, Baiao) explores the influences of European dances, classical music (choro) and the Moorish-flavored musical environment of the Iberian Peninsula (baiao), on Brazilian music in a light and melody-rich interpretation from Brazilian master Antonio Adolfo. An important composer, musician and exponent of the genre, the pianist is also an educator by profession, touching on Brazilian, jazz and even pop music at the Antonio Adolfo School of Music in Hollywood, FL, an experimental Brazilian music school.

Choro and baiao elements are the main focus of the album, drawing on music from two modern Brazilian composers whose body of works embodies the styles presented here. Adolfo includes three pieces ("A Ostra E O Vento," Gota D'Agua" and "Morro Dois Irmaos") from Francisco Buarque de Hollanda, popularly known as Chico Buarque, a preeminent songwriter from the '60s and '70s. The majority of the music however, borrows from modern guitarist Guinga, whose compositions reveal a heavy foundation of choro and baiao, as well as samba and jazz.

Adolfo also contributes three previously unreleased compositions of his own. The session was recorded in Rio de Janeiro, tapping an all-Brazilian cast of players representing some of the finest jazz musicians in the country. Adolfo's daughter, vocalist Carol Saboya, appears on "A Ostra E O Vento (The Oyster and the Wind) and on "Voce, Voce" (You, You), while guitarist Leo Amuedo plays a major role, sharing the lead with the pianist. Drummer Rafael Barata provides the beats, including a prime solo effort on "Chicote," with the voices of the double-bass and percussion rounding out the rhythm section.

The brief but beautiful "Chorosa Blues" provides a classically-tinged vignette, featuring a solo performance from Adolfo, and is followed by an even more charming tune, the pianist's arrangement of Buarque's "Gota D'Agua" (Drop of Water), offering bassist Jorge Helder a moment in the spotlight. "Di Menor" is one of the spicier pieces, with percussionist Marco Suzano coming to the fore, and the disc comes to a close with Buarque's delicate "Morro Dois Irmaos" (Rio's Two Brothers Hill).

Adolfo captures the essence of the choro and baiao subgenres on the intimate, soft-textured Chora Baiao; an enjoyable lesson in Brazilian flair.

Track Listing: Da O Pe, Loro; No Na Garganta; Chora, Baiao; Voce, Voce; A Ostra E O Vento; Chicote; Chorosa Blues; Gota D'Agua; Di Menor; Catavento E Girassol; Morro Dois Irmaos.

Personnel: Antonio Adolfo: piano; Leo Amuedo: guitar; Jorge Helder: double-bass; Rafael Barata: drums; Marcos Suzano: percussion; Carol Saboya: vocals (4, 5).

Title: Chora Baiao | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Self Produced

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