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Brazilian pianist/composer Antonio Adolfo has been making important contributions to the Brazilian-Caribbean musical discography for 40-plus years. His most recent recordingsChora Baiao (Self Produced, 2011), with Adolfo as leader, and La e Ca (AAM Music, 2010), made with daughter, vocalist Carol Saboyadisplay the results of a careful evolution of jazz through Caribbean and South American music, from trumpeters Kenny Dorham And Dizzy Gillespie's "Afro-Cubano" revolution of the mid- '50s and the bossa nova of the 1960s.
On Finas Misturas (Fine Mixtures), Adolfo wanted to mix his compositions in with some notable jazz standards and apply his exceptional arranging and performance method to the mix. His result is a collection of ten piecessix original compositions and five jazz standardsthat meld together, forming a Brazilian Suite that is elegantly humid with the gentle swing of a warm wind.
Adolfo, with no small amount of cunning, applies his recipe to John Coltrane's cranky and demanding "Giant Steps," with Claudio Spiewak's acoustic guitar softening all of the hard edges and cushioning Marcelo Martins's almost anti-Coltrane tenor saxophone. The pianist does the same with Coltrane's "Naima," his feathery playing lightening the compositional gravity of both pieces. Dizzy Gillespie's "Con Alma" fits most perfectly in to Adolfo's program, illustrating what can be done to update perfection, while Adolfo's own "Tres Meninos" buddies well with Chick Corea's "Crystal Silence" and Bill Evans' "Time To Remember," closing Finas Misturas in fine fashion.
Track Listing: Floresta Azul (Blue Forest); Balada (Ballad); Giant Steps; Con Alma;
Misturando (Mixing); Memories of tomorrow; Naima; Tres Meninos (Three
Little Boys); Crystal Silence; Time Remembered.
Personnel: Antonio Adolfo: piano; Leo Amuedo: electric guitar (1, 4-8);
Claudio Spiewak: acoustic guitar (2-5, 9); Marcelo Martins:
tenor saxophone, flute (1, 3-5, 7, 9, 10); Jorge Helder: double bass;
Rafael Barata: drums and percussion.
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.