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Duduka Da Fonseca & Helio Alves featuring Maucha Adnet: Samba Jazz & Tom Jobim

Dan Bilawsky By

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Since 2007, drummer Duduka Da Fonseca, pianist Helio Alves and vocalist Maucha Adnet have been presenting the titular program at Dizzy's Club Coca Cola at New York's Jazz at Lincoln Center, and at other venues throughout the world. A concept set steeped in personalized history of varied sorts—Da Fonseca's, absorbing this hybridized style at the foot of the masters in Brazil; Adnet's and Da Fonseca's, working with the late Antonio Carlos Jobim; Alves' and Da Fonseca's, playing together in bands in New York City for more than a quarter century—it's a show that never fails to impress and inspire.

Moving comfortably across a playlist containing originals, Jobim compositions of both the ripe and rarely-heard varieties, and an outlier or two, this crew extols the virtues of the stylistic crossroads where it so artfully operates. Claudio Roditi's "Gemini Man" serves as a spicy stepping-off point, with Da Fonseca, Alves and bassist Hans Glawischnig firing on all cylinders while guitarist Romero Lubambo and the song's composer occupy the spotlight. Then, as if to indicate the wide scope of this band upfront, Da Fonseca's shape-shifting "Alana" and Alves' cool-headed "Untitled" follow.

The swaying baião bounce of Jobim's "Pato Preto" serves as the scene of Adnet's first appearance and, save for the intimate "I Loves You, Porgy" closer, all of her subsequent contributions are also filtered through that master's work. That list of songs, which includes a beautifully breezy "Dindi," spellbinding-turned-soothing "A Correnteza," mellow and melodious "Você Vai Ver," and perky, Rhodes-enhanced "Polo Pony," provides many of the highlights on the program.

There's much to appreciate about the way these different personalities blend and balance each other out across the album, but there's just as much to admire in the the expression(s) of the individual(s). That's evident whether we're talking about Alves' drive, Da Fonseca's singular groove play or Adnet's alluring vocals. And let's not forget Lubambo's grace, Glawischnig's grounding, multi-reedist Billy Drewes' versatility and some shots of pep from the guest trumpeters—the aforementioned Roditi and Wynton Marsalis. There's still no substitute for seeing this band live—as this writer can attest, having had the pleasure on more than one occasion—but this is pretty damn close.

Track Listing: Gemini Man; Alana; Untitled; Pato Preto; Dindi; A Correnteza; Pedra Bonita Da Gavea; Helium; Você Vai Ver; Polo Pony; A Vontade Mesmo; I Loves You Porgy.

Personnel: Billy Drewes: saxophones (2, 3, 6), flute (, 9, 10, 12)l Romero Lubambo: guitars (1, 2, 5, 9-11); Hans Glawischnig: bass; Maucha Adnet: vocals (4-6, 9, 10, 12); Helio Alves: piano, Rhodes; Duduka Da Donseca: drums.

Title: Samba Jazz & Tom Jobim | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records

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