"I was 14 when I first heard the music of Tom Jobim," recalls Albare, nom de guerre of guitarist Albert Dadon. "I already had six years of guitar learning under my belt. When I first heard those bossa chords, my ears were opened in a whole new way. A musical seed was planted in my brain that would never leave me."
Plays Jobim Vol. 2 continues the story from Volume 1, released in May 2020, and polishes many of Jobim's most famous and favored compositions into a bright glow. It features delightful guest contributions from such first-call musicians as trumpeter Randy Brecker, flutist Nestor Torres and drummer Antonio Sanchez (master accompanist for such legends as Pat Metheny, Chick Corea and Charlie Haden). But the undeniable star of this show is Jobim's music, and the guitarist's loving renditions and tributes to it.
Albare's unaccompanied introduction to "Dindi" hangs in the air like luscious sonic smoke, notes hanging heavy yet floating and then dissipating to make room for the next phrase. The rest of the ensemble takes that cue and dances at a languorous tempo with cymbals and strings shimmering like a dream and suspending the melancholy melody between orchestral and Brazilian jazz. Pianist Joe Chindamo abstractly muses the melody in his solo intro to "Once I Loved," and his gentle yet firm touch sounds so complementary to Albare's guitar. In both of these tunes, drummer Sanchez sounds simply sublime, neither overplaying nor underplaying, as perfectly pristine as Brazil's legendary rhythm ace Dom Um Romao.
"Favela," featuring Brecker's impeccable flugelhorn, raises the tempo and heat. Brecker floats and flutters from note to note so lightly that he barely seems to touch down in the arrangement, which gloriously pulls the introduction from Jobim's classic "Wave" into its handoff between the flugelhorn and guitar solos!
"If you find the head of my rendition with my friend and collaborator Nestor Torres of 'How Insensitive' resembling that of Wes Montgomery, it is because I am paying tribute to Wes," Albare explains. Strumming chords on the upbeats helps pull out the drumming and creates a thicker but no less balanced sound. Torres ends his flute solo with the first few notes of the original melody, which he lovingly hands back for the guitarist to sing.
"Everything you are hearing in my Jobim albums is my attempt to honor in my own way a music that moved my soul nearly fifty years ago," Albare concludes. "Maybe I needed all those years to figure out how to best do this."
Dindi; Summer Samba; A Felicidade; So Danco Samba; Caminhos Cruzados; How
Insensitive; Triste; The Girl from Ipanema; Once I Loved; Favela; Meditation.