ANTONIO ADOLFO – JOBIM FOREVER

Pianist, arranger, composer, and bandleader Antonio Adolfo has performed songs by Antonio Carlos Jobim (1927-1994) many times before, both in concert and in the recording studio, and why not? Those songs, particularly the epochal bossa-nova hits composed in the 1950s and ’60s, made Jobim one of the brightest and most influential stars in the jazz firmament. They also helped make Rio de Janeiro, Brazil—the city in which both Adolfo and Jobim were born—an important capital of world culture. Beginning in his home country in the late ’50s and then gathering momentum with the global success of his “The Girl from Ipanema” (as recorded by Stan Getz and João Gilberto) in 1964, Jobim’s music has been enjoyed by millions of people around the world and recorded countless times by musicians across many different genres. Under the circumstances, it’s far from surprising that Adolfo would feel a connection to Jobim. But he has never recorded a full album of compositions by his legendary countryman … until now. On his latest album Jobim Forever, Adolfo imbues nine iconic Jobim tunes from the 1960s with his own artistry, taking music that often seems ubiquitous and giving it a fresh sensibility, making it into a truly personal statement. Joining Adolfo in this achievement is an eight-piece band, including Jesse Sadoc on trumpet and flugelhorn; Marcelo Martins on tenor and soprano saxophones and flutes; Danilo Sinna on alto saxophone; Rafael Rocha on trombone; Lula Galvão on guitars; Jorge Helder on double bass; Rafael Barata on drums and percussion; and Dada Costa on percussion. (Two additional players, vocalist Zé Renato and drummer Paulo Braga, make cameo appearances.) The material they tackle includes the cream of Jobim’s classic crop: “The Girl from Ipanema,” “Wave,” “A Felicidade,” “How Insensitive,” “Favela (O Morro Não Tem Vez),” “Inutil Paisagem,” “Agua de Beber,” a medley of “Amparo” and the introduction to “Por...

Toninho Horta – Belo Horizonte

A fantastic return to form for the legendary Toninho Horta – the Brazilian singer and guitarist who first rose to fame in the company of Milton Nascimento at the start of the 70s – then created a tremendous musical legacy of his own! This double-length set has Horta working in some great jazzy territory – that spacious, soulful style that marked all the members of Nascimento’s “corner club” from Minas Geraes – an approach that seems to embrace elements of fusion and progressive styles, but give them a warmer, more soulful Brazilian setting – all while never losing any of the sophistication of their inspirations. The set features guest work from Joyce, Joao Bosco, and Lisa Ono – and the group also features Robertinho Silva on percussion, William Galison on harmonica, and Nivaldo Ornelas on tenor sax. Titles include “Dieb”, “O Poder De Um Olhar”, “Saguin”, “Durango Kid”, “Paris”, “Samba Sagrado”, “Aqui O”, “Belo Horizonte”, “Ceu De Brasilia”, and “Meu Canario Vizinho Azul”.  © 1996-2020, Dusty Groove,...

Sergio Mendes

At 78, Brazilian-born pianist, composer, and arranger Sérgio Mendes just might be ready for his closeup. Don’t get me wrong; Mendes has been a face for the breezily sophisticated sounds of Brazil ever since he departed from his mentor Antônio Carlos Jobim and brought jazzy bossa nova into 1960s AM radio-pop prominence. If you’re older than a minute, you’ll remember that there was once no medium where you couldn’t see Mendes’ big eyes and snazzy suits as he played beside the members of his Brasil ’66 ensemble (including Lani Hall, an airily cooing vocalist who became Herb Alpert’s wife), or hear his smoothly ethnic rhythms and chord changes—the cosmopolitan equivalent of Bacharach, Brian Wilson, and the Beatles. And beyond the ’60s, Mendes continued to make his mark, particularly with the pop-culture ubiquity of his breakthrough hit “Mas Que Nada,” the neo-soul/hip-hop-filled Timeless of 2006, and a 2012 Best Song Oscar nom for “Real in Rio” from the animated film Rio. Still, In the Key of Joy, a fresh documentary from director John Scheinfeld (Chasing Trane), brings the savvy Mendes into current focus, as does a double album of the same name. While the package’s second disc features radio-friendly Brasil ’66 hits of yore such as “The Look of Love” and “The Frog,” its first disc is all new, and keenly nuanced, even as its overall tone will feel familiar to Men It gets off to a weird start, though, as “Sabor Do Rio” and the collection’s title tune host oddly rigid Chicago rappers Common and Buddy (respectively). Perhaps welcoming MCs whose voices were more fluid and whose lyrics felt fresher would’ve allowed these songs a freer vibe. Yet the basis of each track’s buoyancy, its merry carnival mien, stems from literal bells and whistles, to say nothing of an undulating indigenous percussive roll and the plush choral blend of female voices that’s made Mendes famous. The squeak of the cuíca that nestled below the groove of “Sabor...

Antonio Carlos Jobim – Endito

As a celebration of “Tom” Jobim‘s 60th birthday in 1987, a Brazilian consort simply called the Organization sponsored an album that anthologized his output as a composer. Jobim made the final choices of 24 tunes, recorded them with his band of family and friends, and the results were released privately in a limited edition. Recorded at around the same time as Passarim, it’s possible that Jobimdid not want this retrospective to compete with his new material. Not until 1995 did the Brazilian arm of BMG put out a commercial edition of this project in a very handsome two-CD box with a beautifully illustrated 38-page color booklet (alas, the contents could have been easily squeezed onto only one CD). It’s far from a casual project, obviously carefully rehearsed and polished; rather it’s an intimate one, using a minimum of resources, backed only by Jobim‘s simply-stated piano on several tracks. There is the expected quota of greatest hits like “Desafinado,” “One Note Samba,” “Chega de Saudades,” and “Wave,” yet the bulk of the material is not very familiar, often dispatched in to-the-point slices that sometimes clock in at less than two minutes. Jobim also takes a personal flyer by including his countryman Heitor Villa-Lobos‘ haunting “Seresta No. 5,” with just himself on piano backing Danilo Caymmi‘s vocal, followed by his own “Modinha.” Jaques Morelenbaum provides the occasional string arrangements and cello solos, again keeping things uncluttered and decidedly less ambitious than Claus Ogerman‘s charts on a previous Jobim retrospective, Terra Brasilis. Sometimes the arrangements are unpredictable; “The Girl From Ipanema” omits the words of the first chorus, picking up the thread on the bridge, and the stunning “Estrada do Sol” shifts gears several times. The feeling of saudade is very much front and center on Jobim‘s birthday present to himself — he later said that this was his favorite album — and all of his connoisseurs should try to hunt it down in the import bins.  Also available...

BOSSANAIRE – HOLIDAY

This is the second offering from the talented Portland based jazz vocal group.   Bossanaire artfully mines the rich tradition of bossa nova popularized  by Jobim, Sergio Mendes  and Gilberto/Getz.  Don’t be fooled by the title of their latest release. It is not a seasonal/Christmas album.  It is a wonderfully conceived and performed set of original material that will transport you to the warmth, sun and sand of whatever beach fantasy you might...

Bossanaire – Holiday

This is the second offering from the talented Portland based jazz vocal group.   Bossanaire artfully mines the rich tradition of bossa nova popularized  by Jobim, Sergio Mendes  and Gilberto/Getz.  Don’t be fooled by the title of their latest release. It is not a seasonal/Christmas album.  It is a wonderfully conceived and performed set of original material that will transport you to the warmth, sun and sand of whatever beach fantasy you might...

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