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Antonio Adolfo: Tropical Infinito

Edward Blanco By

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Brazilian pianist/composer, arranger and longtime educator Antonio Adolfo, has more than twenty-five albums as a leader delivering the best of bossa nova and samba-styled grooves and employing a variety of rhythm sections in accomplishing this. Tropical Infinito is a musical homage of sorts from the pianist, exploring the jazz music of the early 1960s that influenced an entire generation of Brazilian bossa artists like himself. However, to accomplish this, Adolfo had to alter his rhythm-based approach to the music by expanding his usual format and include a horn section so typical of the bands and music of that era.

With the exception of electric guitarist Leonardo Amuedo from Montevideo, Uruguay, Adolfo's musical cast of characters is an all-Brazilian compliment of some of Brazil's top instrumentalist including longtime collaborator and percussionist Andre Siqueira, Rio-born drummer Rafael Barata, Florida-based acoustic guitarist Claudio Spiewak (appearing as special guest) and double bassist Jorge Helder—all forming essentially the same rhythm ensemble appearing on several of Adolfo's previous recordings.

Providing the new feature to a select—Brazilian-tinged—repertoire that includes four originals and five classic standards are, a propulsive horn section highlighting powerful voices from trumpeter Jesse Sadoc, trombonist Serginho Trombone and saxophonist extraordinaire Marcelo Martins for a new Octet sound. Benny Golson's iconic "Killer Joe" and the hard-bop "Whisper Not," open the music with a decidedly Brazilian samba flair exquisitely transformed by Adolfo's creative arrangements.

The leader includes a poignant tip of the hat to his mother on the soft and delicate "Yolanda, Yolanda" featuring a warm melody, tender key strokes by the pianist and sprite solos by members of the horns on one of the outstanding tracks of the set. Oliver Nelson's classic "Stolen Moments" is a piece the leader has long wanted to record and with a new horn section, finally does here with a fine arrangement that features a sizzling Martins on the tenor and the electric strings of Amuedo on a beautiful riff.

Receiving another wonderful interpretation here is the immortal Horace Silver standard "Song for My Father" featuring a trumpet blast from Sadoc that marks the tune along with a nice accompaniment from the percussion and drums and last but not least of course, is some tantalizing key work by the master himself. The Jerome Kern/ Oscar Hammerstein oft-recorded "All The Things You Are," is the last standard on the album and does not possess the Brazilian flair evident in the other pieces but despite the familiar melody, still comes across as a fresh new tune and testament to the talents of Adolfo as an arranger.

Other note-worthy tracks here include, "Cascavel," "Partido Leve" and the gorgeous finale "Luar Da Bahia" completing a session of superb music that contains no fillers as every piece here is a keeper worthy of repeated spins. Antonio Adolfo's vibrant and compelling Tropical Infinito re-emphasizes the musical magic of a well-balanced rhythm and horn section that brings out the elegance of the rhythms and the power of the horns, in this case, Brazilian-styled.

Track Listing: Killer Joe; Whisper Not; Cascavel; Yolanda, Yolanda; Stolen Moments; Song for My Father; Partido Leve; All The Things You Are; Luar Da Bahia.

Personnel: Antonio Adolfo: piano; Jesse Sadoc: trumpet, flugelhorn (4, 7-9); Marcelo Martins: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone (4, 9); Serginho Trombone: trombone; Leo Amuedo: electric guitar; Jorge Helder: double bass; Rafael Barata: drums; Andre Siqueira: percussion; Claudio Spiewak: acoustic guitar (1, 3, 8).

Title: Tropical Infinito | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: AAM Music

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