Adriano Santos of Sao Paulo, Brasil is a drummer and percussionist currently on the faculty of the Drummers Collective school in New York whose drumming style has been compared to that of Airto Moreira. Residing in New York since the mid '90s and a fixture in the area's vibrant jazz scene, Santos puts his slant on the music of various Brazilian composers with In Session. A sideman for such luminaries as Claudio RoditiHelio AlvesJohn PizzarelliSlide Hampton and Harry Allen among others, he finally breaks through here with a passionate performance as leader.
The opening Raul Mascaranhas' "Sabor Carioca," is a brisk lively number typical of what one would expect to hear in a carnival atmosphere. With David Binney leading the charge on the alto saxophone and pianist Helio Alvesproviding back up chords, Santos and percussionist Dende seal the music with their combined percussive contributions. The music takes a softer road at first before kicking in with more gyrating Brazilian flavored rhythms on the following Milton Nascimento piece, "From the Lonely Afternoons" featuring more of Binney's and Alves' exemplary play.
"Contemplacao," penned by Jao Theodore (J.T.) Meirelles, considered one of the creators of samba-jazz, is the highlight of the disc, moving in mid-tempo mode, the melody is infectious and catchy. From that gentler chart, Santos once again moves into high-energy territory on the Victor Assis Brasil tune "Pro Zeca" containing a slice of the samba sound, the music is contains some of Binney's best work, another Alves piano charge and Santos' expressive drum solos.
Closing with a very fine rendition of the Dori Caymmi composition "Ninho da Vespa," Santos' In Session caps an exciting set of vibrant Brazilian jazz complete with an interesting selection of music, a heavy percussive base and a stellar crew that brings the music to life.
Sabor Carioca; From the Lonely Afternoons; De Ton Pra Tom; Xibaba; Contemplacao; Pro Zeca; Amphibious; Ninho Da Vespa.
Adriano Santos: drums, percussion; David Binney: alto saxophone; Helio Alves: piano; David Ambrosio: acoustic bass; Dende: percussion.
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